Porter County Courts
August 14, 2012 2:32PM
Michael Sprague. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 16, 2012 6:14AM
Feb. 4 trial set for
3 accused burglars
At an initial hearing Monday, Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford set bail bond at $150,000 each and trial dates for Feb. 4 for three men accused of burglarizing a home on Wednesday, battering the 52-year-old resident and leading a neighbor and police on a car chase.
Jordan A. Wilkerson, 23, of Chicago; Dominick Fazzini, 23, of Peotone, Ill.; and Michael A. Sprague, 24, of Gary, each face up to 50 years in prison on a Class A felony charges — burglary for Wilkerson and Fazzini and aiding in burglary for Sprague.
Fazzini is also charged with two Class B felonies, robbery and confinement, which carry sentences of up to 20 years each, and the other two are charged with two Class B felonies, aiding in confinement and aiding in robbery.
Sprague and Fazzini were granted public defenders, and Wilkerson has retained Larry Rogers as his attorney.
Fazzini allegedly gathered the other men together after getting a call about a burglary “job” from someone not yet named, according to court files.
The men drove by the house three days earlier to check it out and expected to take cash and coins from a safe, for which they would get paid cash.
They also bought Wilkerson a shirt and tie before the burglary and had him knock on the victim’s door to ask directions before they forced their way in.
A fourth man allegedly involved, Shawn Patrick Michael Duffy, 24, of Crown Point, shot himself when police and two FBI agents tried to apprehend the men after they were in an accident at U.S. 30 and Colorado Street.
Wrist-slashing mom avoids jail
A Chesterton woman who slashed her 11-year-old son’s wrists and her own at Indiana Dunes State Park will serve a year of home detention
Amy Denno, 38, will also serve three years on probation after that and must continue to take her medications and attend therapy, as part of her sentencing on Monday.
Denno pleaded guilty but mentally ill on May 22 to Class C felony battery with a deadly weapon for the July 2010 incident.
The boy told police he managed to talk her into giving him the kitchen paring knife, which he threw into the tall grasses, and take him to the hospital.
She told police she had been depressed. At her plea hearing in May, she said she suffers from multiple mental illnesses.
Man gets probation in drug plea deal
A Colorado man with a permit for medical marijuana and who pleaded guilty to Class C felony possession of cocaine won’t be incarcerated more than the 14 days he spent in Porter County Jail.
Clayton J. Wolfson, 22, will spend the next four years on formal probation, though.
Police pulled over the car Wolfson was driving in June 2011 after he left a gas station on U.S. 20 near Indiana 249 and committed traffic violations.
Police found 83.4 grams of methamphetamine and 53.4 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, as well as pills, powders and marijuana in the teal Honda Accord. His two passengers also had marijuana.
Before his June 27 plea, Wolfson had faced up to 50 years in prison on two Class A felonies, dealing in cocaine and dealing in methamphetamine.
He was also charged with Class B felony dealing in a controlled substance and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.
Habitual offender gets 14 years
Courthouse security dragged a Portage man out of Porter County Superior Court after his Tuesday sentencing while he tried to talk to his mother.
Mark Hurst, 33, who had just been sentenced to 14 years in prison and no parole, yelled “Love you, mama,” although prisoners brought over from Porter County jail are not allowed to communicate in any way with people in the audience.
Porter Superior Court Judge Mary Harper had sentenced Hurst to six years on the Class C felony robbery and Class D felony criminal confinement that a jury found him guilty on April 26. Plus, Harper sentenced him to another eight years on the jury’s decision that Hurst is also a habitual offender.
When given the chance to speak before sentencing, Hurst gave a lengthy speech that his attorney was in cahoots in the prosecution, that motions he wanted weren’t filed and that evidence was withheld and witnesses tampered with.
On Dec. 4, Hurst and Brittany Mae Ann Foley, 22, forced a former classmate of Foley’s to withdraw $300 to $400 from ATMs as he drove them around, with Hurst asking him if he wanted to keep his “precious teeth.”
Foley was a witness at the trial, and charges against her were dropped.
Harper noted that Hurst is an enforcer with the Mickey Cobras gang and has a criminal history of mostly destructive crimes.
Man, 63, pleads guilty to sale of prescription drugs
A man who allegedly sold prescription medications while living at a Valparaiso homeless shelter faces up to six years in prison at a Sept. 18 sentencing.
William Silas Land, 63, pleaded guilty to two counts of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance on Tuesday. He originally faced up to 20 years on each of two counts of Class B felony dealing charges.
He sold 50 Hydrocodone pills for $300 on Oct 3 and a mix of 50 Hydrocodone and Clonazepam pills for $200 on Oct.10, he admitted in court.
Land had no prescription for the pills and said during his hearing that he thought it was just a favor between friends for someone who was sick.
Portage man pleads guilty to 2 charges
A Portage man who gave a false identity to police after an accident has about 15 days left in the Porter County Jail to complete his approximate one-year sentence.
Justin Michael Antecki, 20, was on probation for a May 2011 sentencing for burglary when he got into an accident on U.S. 6 in Portage March 3 and gave police a false name.
Antecki pleaded guilty on Tuesday to Class D felony possession of a controlled substance for Xanax that police found in his pocket and misdemeanor false informing.
The prosecution dropped misdemeanor charges of leaving the scene of an accident and never having a valid driver’s license for his plea.
Dyer man accused of molesting girl, 12
A Dyer man has been charged with two counts of child molesting for his alleged involvement with a 12-year-old Valparaiso girl.
Chase King-Ballard, 26, was 25 when he met the girl at a Portage hotel where she was visiting a friend n spring 2011 and told her he was 21.
After five months in contact by cell phone, he met her at a Valparaiso homeless shelter and found her age was 12, court records state.
He told police 11 days after their second meeting in October 2011 that he planned to change his cell phone number so she couldn’t contact him.
However, on June 6, the girl’s father said King-Ballard had met his daughter since then and engaged in sexual behavior.
King-Ballard is being held in Porter County Jail without bond.