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Owens Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Possession of Heroin and 1 ½ Years for Neglect of a Dependent

July 25, 2014

MugShot_OwenCourtney Owens, 25, of Walkerton, was sentenced Thursday (July 24, 2014) in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 to 10 years imprisonment for possessing heroin within 1000 feet of a housing complex. In open court, Owens admitted that on March 21, 2014 she possessed heroin in her apartment located at Forest Place Apartments in Culver. Owens also was sentenced to a year and a half in prison for subjected her children to a location where methamphetamine was being consumed in an unrelated case that occurred in February of 2013.
Judge Robert O. Bowen approved an agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman and defense attorney Marc A. Morrison, which provided for the sentences to run concurrent, and for Owens to undergo intensive drug treatment in the Purposeful Incarceration program.
The case started when Indiana State Trooper Dave Caswell obtained information that a stolen vehicle was being driven by a female (other than Owens) and was parked at the Forest Place Apartments in Culver. Caswell, along with Trooper Jason Faulstich and Culver Police Chief Wayne Bean approached an apartment in the complex and knocked on the door. Owens eventually answered the door, and after intense questioning allowed Caswell into the apartment to look for the suspected car thief. The alleged thief was discovered hiding under a bed in the apartment and was arrested. In plain view at that time was a hypodermic needle.
Owens was asked for permission to search the apartment more extensively, now for illegal drugs, but she refused. A search warrant was prepared and granted and numerous items of paraphernalia, as well as a small quantity of heroin and methamphetamine was located.
The case which formed the basis of Neglect of a Dependent began on February 15, 2013 when the manager of Country Place Apartments saw an individual enter an apartment to whom a “No Trespass Order” had previously been issued and was on file with the Plymouth Police Department. Officer John Weir and Corporal Ray West of the Plymouth Police Department responded to the second floor apartment, and immediately detected a strong odor of ammonia. They also noticed that on a bitterly cold day the windows to the apartment were open.
After knocking on the door, the officers could hear the screams of a young child. Eventually the door was opened and the smell of ammonia became stronger, almost overpowering, and the room air had a cloudy tint. The officers entered the apartment and saw two young female children, later determined to be 2 and 5 years of age standing at the end of a hallway. Eventually, Plymouth Ambulance arrived at the scene and took the two children to the emergency room at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center to be decontaminated and custody transferred to the Department of Child Services. Owens was later charged with endangering the two young children by bringing them to and exposing them to the methamphetamine manufacturing activities in the apartment.
Officer Weir soon found the individual against whom the “No Trespass Order” had been issued and took him into custody. At the same time, no less than four individuals jumped out of the second floor windows and ran in different directions. Two of the four escaping individuals were almost immediately apprehended by quick acting Plymouth Police officers who had been called to the scene for assistance. The remaining individuals in the apartment were also put under arrest. A total of 10 adults were either arrested or identified for having a part in the production of meth.
A search warrant was prepared, submitted to and approved by Judge Curt Palmer later that day. One of the rooms in the apartment was locked requiring the necessity of kicking in the door. Within that particular room was an active methamphetamine lab and almost 6 grams of finished methamphetamine product. In addition, numerous parts of a methamphetamine lab were found on or near the individuals who jumped out the windows and were later apprehended. Other rooms in the apartment also contained drug paraphernalia including numerous syringes and used pipes.
Plymouth officers assisting at the scene included David Bacon, Shelley Cleveland, Jim Cox, Steve DeLee, Mark Owen, Ray West and John Weir. Indiana State Police assistance was provided by Jason Faulstich, Keith Bikowski, Ryan Lebo, Robert Leffert and Brandon McBrier.