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Porter County courts: Woman involved in Kmart stabbing enters plea

Updated: August 2, 2013 6:23PM



VALPARAISO

Woman involved in Kmart stabbing enters plea

The Portage woman accused of ordering a juvenile to attack a Kmart loss prevention worker, leaving the worker stabbed in the abdomen, has pleaded guilty to two of the four felonies she was charged with.

If Porter Superior Judge Roger Bradford accepts the plea agreement at her Aug. 19 sentencing, Bertha J. Qualls, 29, faces up to three years in prison on each of the Class D felonies to which she pleaded Monday: theft and criminal recklessness.

Loss prevention workers at the Portage Super Kmart stopped Qualls and two juveniles after they left the store with $820 worth of items they cut the tags off in the store.

She accused the workers of strangling the larger boy, whom she identified as her son, and told the smaller boy to help him.

That boy stabbed the worker with a utility knife blade taped to a pen, and witnesses captured it on cellphones.

Portage woman admits molesting, neglect

A Portage woman faces a 10-year prison sentence for her Monday guilty pleas to Class B felony child molesting and Class D felony neglect of a dependent.

Dana J. Haywood, 19, would also be sentenced to eight years of probation if Judge Roger Bradford accepts her pleas at a July 29 sentencing.

Haywood originally told police the child’s father molested the girl during a diaper change when they were together, and the man admitted to one incident at her urging.

He also showed police multiple texts where she admitted to molesting the child and said what she planned to do to the child, court records state.

She told police the child’s father coerced her into the acts.

Portage man gets 6 years for heroin

A Portage man received a six-year prison sentence Tuesday for dealing heroin.

The plea agreement Nathan Pearson White, 31, entered — admitting one of the two charges of Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug against him — also means he will spend six years on probation after release from prison.

He sold heroin to informants for the Porter County Drug Task Force twice in February 2012, the first time taking $100 for a gram of the drug and picking it up in Gary, giving the informant a 0.26 gram rock.

The second time he sold 0.14 grams in seven baggies for $100.

Valpo woman gets jail for apartment burglary

A Valparaiso woman who burglarized the apartment of a date she met online received a sentence Tuesday of 10 months in Porter County Jail, 60 days of community and four years of probation.

Nicole Christa Freeman, 26, will also spend part of her sentence in Alice’s House halfway home for her May 28 plea to Class C felony burglary.

Freeman had told police the burglary, done with her stepdaughter’s now ex-husband, was retaliation for an alleged rape.

However, she later said she believed the sex was consensual and that she came to in the midst of it and tried to stop.

Alleged accomplice Keegan Garber, 30, is scheduled for trial on a Class B felony burglary charge Oct. 10.



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