An Indiana State Police Trooper on routine patrol came across a disabled vehicle near Leesburg late Monday night and found a man wanted for a serious felony.
Steven Garrett, 37, of Elkhart, skipped out on his sentencing last month in Elkhart Superior Court 3 after pleading guilty to a Class A felony charge of dealing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a public park. He was also charged with five Class C felony counts of neglect of a dependent.
Garrett was set to be sentenced on April 24 on a plea that would leave him with the drug dealing charge but dismiss all neglect charges. When he failed to appear for his court ordered sentencing hearing, the judge issued a bench warrant for Garrett and set his bond at $1 million.
According to ISP Public Information Officer Trent Smith, Trooper Tim Carpenter came across Garrett at about 9 p.m. Monday night. Garrett was with a disabled vehicle on CR 450 North near 175 East.
Garrett has a history of crime, which included an initial arrest in 2001 for child molesting and battery resulting in serious bodily injury. In a plea deal offered by the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office in that case, Garrett was found guilty of the D felony battery charge and had 2 years and 7 days of a 3-year prison sentence suspended for probation. He was also given credit for 174 days served.
In 1995, Garrett was first arrested in Elkhart County on a warrant out of Texas. He waived extradition in that case, but no record of his crime there could be found. That was the same year the body of his 16-year-old sister, Michelle Garrett, was found in the Elkhart River. She was reportedly stabbed to death.
Initially, police pointed at the girl’s father, Edgar Garrett, saying his heavy drinking let to the murder. Edgar Garrett was charged with killing his daughter and faced the death penalty. He was eventually exonerated by a jury when facts of the case did not mirror what was determined to be his coerced confession. Garrett’s murder remains unsolved.
Steven Garrett was booked into the Kosciusko County Jail, but was transported to Elkhart County Jail where he is currently being held on the $1 million bond.