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10 Year Sentence for Dave Howe, 4 Suspended

June 16, 2013

  06/17/13 David E. Howe, 44, of Argos, was sentenced last week in Marshall Superior Court 1 to ten years imprisonment for manufacturing methamphetamine, a Class B felony.  In open court, Howe admitted he manufactured methamphetamine in January and February, 2013 in his home located on Hickory Road outside of Argos.

Judge Robert O. Bowen approved an agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman and defense attorney Joseph R. Morris, which provided for a sentence at the Indiana Department of Corrections of 10 years of imprisonment.  Based upon a prior clean record, an exemplary community life before getting involved with methamphetamine, his willingness to take immediate responsibility for his actions and his obvious remorse, four years of the sentence was suspended, leaving six years to serve.  In addition, the State agreed, and Judge Bowen approved for Mr. Howe to be subject to purposeful incarceration which gives him priority entry into intensive drug treatment while incarcerated and, if successfully completed, makes him eligible to petition the court for modification of his sentence.

The case began when an informant was able to video the manufacturing process underway in Howe’s home.  In addition, methamphetamine trash was located near the home with indications it had come from Howe’s residence.  In late January, a traffic stop of Howe resulted in one passenger being arrested for possession of methamphetamine and a second passenger taking flight on foot but subsequently being stopped with a taser and arrested for resisting law enforcement.  At that time, Howe was allowed to leave.

Calls to the drug hotline confirmed manufacturing activities were occurring at the Hickory Road address.  Further investigation revealed Howe’s deepening habit of purchasing pseudoephedrine, an essential ingredient of methamphetamine, from numerous local drug stores.  All of this led to the approval of a search warrant that was executed on February 11, 2013 that obtained numerous ingredients used in the manufacturing process, including completed product and some in the process of completion.

            Chipman stated, “This is a sad example of how meth can take a virtual pillar of the community, and turn an exemplary life upside down.  Through the turmoil in his life that from all indications started in July of 2012 and ended with Mr. Howe’s arrest in February of this year, the strength and character of his family remains.  They are to be commended.  Mr. Howe has a great deal to look forward to.”

            Chipman added,  “ It was the excellent investigative work of the Marshall County Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team, together with cooperative efforts of County Officers Jeff Sharp, Jonathon Bryant, Ryan Hollopeter, Robert Hafke and Neal Wallace that brought an abrupt end to a young, but growing manufacturing operation.”

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12 Responses to “ 10 Year Sentence for Dave Howe, 4 Suspended ”

  1. Andrew on June 21, 2013 at 4:05 am

    I agree with Red3 wholeheartedly! Yes, fair does *NOT* mean equal–nor should it.

    I think this case could not have been handled better if Solomon had done it himself.

    A point to ponder though going forward, especially when it affects younger offenders, which thankfully haven’t been as many, is how does one evaluate them when they haven’t had the time to build a relationship with the community? Does one count scholastic achievement, sports involvement, scholarships? That’s a bill I know I never could have met (and didn’t, but have never touched drugs in my life).

    One can say it’s a slam dunk when you speak of somebody that shoplifted started at age 10, continually expelled or suspended all through Jr./Sr. High school and started to get a police notice at 15. However environment plays a lot in that and you would have to arrest the parents as accessories.

    That’s the main reason why fair isn’t equal. Each case has to be decided on their own merits, as this court seems to have demonstrated itself to have done very well.

  2. Red3 on June 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    David’s sentence has nothing to do with how well the judge likes him and your insinuation that he is receiving preferential treatment is plain ignorant. As with any crime, all of the facts are looked at and examined and sentencing is based on all of those facts. Drug abuse hurts everyone involved with the user. Users do not just hurt themselves but everyone involved in their life. This man has a family, a family that has had to endure the pain, humiliation, and suffering because of a bad decision on David’s part but they have not turned their backs on him. They have stood by his side and want nothing more than for him to get better and receive treatment.

    We only ever have influence over our reputation, never control, but it remains one of our most precious assets. David has spent a lifetime building a good reputation for himself but with one poor decision it has been tarnished. He has been an active member of his community and volunteered to serve others and I applaud the judge and prosecuting attorney for taking that into account when he received his sentencing and feel that the punishment does fit the crime. He is very fortunate to have such a strong support system in his family and purposeful incarceration will be good for him since he is remorseful and willing to put in the work. If everyone receiving sentencing lately had the same outstanding reputation and history that he has had then maybe they would also receive the same type of sentencing. FAIR does NOT mean EQUAL.

    “Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).

  3. Red3 on June 20, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Fair does NOT mean equal, never has and never will. Instead of whining about David not getting the same sentence as others, why don’t you find a way to contribute to the community in a positive way? I commend the judge for taking into account the fact that David had a prior CLEAN record and exemplary community life. Plus he is remorseful and willing to rehabilitate. How many of the others that have been sentenced can say any of those things? I don’t have those facts nor the time on my hands to find them but to me it’s all irrelevant. It is important for sentences to be determined on a case by case basis. David is doing his time and will be putting the work in that he needs to, which isn’t going to be a walk in the park.

  4. kt46563 on June 20, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I guess if more people waited to start making crystal meth until they were 50 they might have a chance to give themselves a good name in this town. I said nothing about believing people shouldn’t get treatment either. I believe everyone should be offered that, and not just the ones the judge likes. One criminal shouldn’t have advantage over the next for the same crime because the judge likes you. This town is filled with so many meth labs its disgusting. Instead of throwing people in jail for years maybe they should be getting the same guidance and praise mr Howe seems to be getting.

  5. Andrew on June 19, 2013 at 3:23 am


    Please delete my last two comments and replace with this (I misread the tone of what the last two were coming from):

    Interesting point about “fair”. I know some would want the same justice handed out to each and every manufacturer and no preferential treatment. However I am glad the prosecutor and courts are factoring in the fact that he was a highly respected person before his life turned. If more people did the kind of things he did before his fall, instead of complaining about “fair”, maybe this would be a better world.

    Now if you want to talk about “fair”, there was a story about a kid (19) from Bourbon a while back that was in the car with the wrong people and got handed a 6 year minimum sentence. Now that’s a case where I would raise alarm (especially when it looked like up until then he was a good kid). They should be looking to be doing more with Drug courts for these kind of people because with the direction society is going, we won’t have enough prisons to handle the minimum sentence housing.

  6. kt46563 on June 18, 2013 at 11:52 am

    He had a meth lab!! Maybe he didn’t think they are handing out 10 yrs but maybe should’ve thought wow I’m making meth a highly explosive and highly addictive drug!! I agree not fair. Research shows when your using crystal meth( no matter age) shorter sentences make repeat offenders. Sure it’s not so much your age but probably the drug.

  7. phantom_of_Plymouth on June 18, 2013 at 11:44 am

    It doesn’t really matter to me if he is a repeat offender or not… The fact is h already committed the crime so just treat him the same you would anyone else..

  8. phantom_of_Plymouth on June 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Yeah I’m sure when you’re 50 meth seems like a fun thing to do… Everyone has problems and 99% of them don’t meth… Act like a grandpa not a 15 year old and you wouldn’t be going to prison..

  9. phantom_of_Plymouth on June 18, 2013 at 11:33 am

    And I’m sure Dave was making meth with half the people on that list

  10. iamsam718 on June 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Actually, research shows that young offenders are almost TWICE as likely to be repeat offenders. Shorter sentences leave room for this. They become repeat offenders NOT because, as you said, “they don’t KNOW what they are doing” (they know meth is is a drug and drugs are bad therefore what they are doing is bad) but more so because they don’t THINK about what they are doing. They don’t think about it because an 18-25 year olds cognitive ability to process consequence is not fully developed.

    In fact, like nearly every ability, some people never really get the hang of processing cause and effect. So, for you to say this guy “knew” what he was doing is probably true… but did he think about it?? Probably not. I don’t think anyone says hey, you know, meth charges are gonna get me about 10 years… I think I’ll do it.. that sounds really fun.

    As far as fairness goes… purposeful incarceration was a program created for this exact type of situation— older, first time offenders, with no prior record. Its not flawless, I’m sure, but these types of offenders are perfect candidates for purposeful incarceration (which may be why the sentence has the possibility of being lowered) because they are more likely to benefit from and stick with such an intense program.

    Fret not. He’ll get whats coming to him. This program is no walk in the park. More or less like boot camp… which again… doesn’t sit well with many young delinquents.

  11. Andrew on June 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm


    I did some checking over the last six months and here are the sentences reported, ordered by age:

    05/20/13 Sarah Tabor, 21
    04/26/13 Joshua B. Baughman, 23
    04/24/13 James W. Bailey, 23,
    05/17/13 Scott Michael Weaver, 27
    05/31/13 Arthur David Lawrence Jr., 30
    04/25/13 Nicholas A. Hundt, 34
    06/03/13 Ryan Stockberger, 35
    05/21/13 Amy Banks, 37
    05/20/13 Jerome Williams, 39,
    06/03/13 Shawn T. Speirs, 41
    04/04/13 Terry A. Kovacs, Jr
    03/22/13 Anthony Fields

    Unless it takes longer than I realized to finish high school, these are hardly “kids”. This is a serious problem and I think this is good that harsh penalties for the manufacturers are being dealt this.

    Though I also believe that you should pay for the crime, it is also important to take other circumstances into account. This shows some discretion on the part of the courts.

    People have the possibility to either make a mark for good or a mark for bad. Apparently this one has only fallen recently and for the first time. Yes I think there should be some consideration for this.

    Remember though that many of these are accepting the plea agreements because after the Fields case was handed down with the maximum sentence under law, they are very likely going to do better than if the case went to trial.

    With the general lack of discipline in today’s youths, it is clear how one could imagine that they are being singled out. However those sentenced are coming from an age group that should know better by now. I am reminded of the famous dialog from “Cool Hand Luke” (What we have here is Failure to communicate). Maybe time will help that happen.

  12. phantom_of_Plymouth on June 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    The prosecutor has no problem giving kids fresh out of high school 10 years with no time suspended for the same crime when they don’t really know the consequences of their actions and this guy was fully aware of what he was doing and the possible outcome but disregarded that and gets half his sentence suspended… Not really a fair system