WARSAW — Shaking his head no, presenting a look of disbelief and at one point mouthing the word “what?” Kevin Lee Bronson, 56, 1901 Sand Dollar Drive, Warsaw, listened carefully this morning, March 8, in Kosciusko Circuit Court, during his initial hearing on 10 grand jury indictments.
The indictments were read by special prosecutor Tami Napier, deputy prosecutor with the Marshall County Prosecutor’s office. Bronson’s reactions came when the seven intimidation indictments were read. He displayed no reaction during the reading of the three corrupt business influence indictments.
Bronson was one of three individuals indicted by a Kosciusko County Grand Jury in December 2015, and February 2016. The indictments were opened and made public Monday, Feb. 29. The others indicted are Kosciusko County Sheriff C. Aaron Rovenstine and Mark Soto.
Napier read verbatim the indictment document: two counts of corrupt business influence and six counts of intimidation. The charges range from Class C and Level 5 felonies to class D and level 6 felonies, depending upon the date of the offense in relation to the change in the state statute on felonies July 1, 2015. Part way through the reading of the indictments, Bronson was given a copy.
Additionally Judge Michael Reed recused himself in the case, stating he could not continue being the judge, due to a conflict of interest. A special judge will be appointed by the District Senior Judge, Terry Shewmaker, Elkhart County Circuit Judge. “The judge may be outside of Kosciusko County as no judge in the county can hear the case,” Michael Reed stated.
Finding Bronson indigent to hire his own attorney, he was advised the office of public defenders would appoint him an attorney, even though he wrote a letter requesting Doug Lemon as his counsel. “Given the circumstance of this entire mess, with respect I don’t feel, except for one other person, I can get a fair or just representation other than Chris Kehler or Doug Lemon or outside the county,” said Bronson.
Reed stated notification will be made to the public defenders office, but he could not appoint Lemon due to a conflict of interest within his office and other public defenders would also have a conflict in the case. Reed assured Bronson he would get an attorney to represent him fairly. “Nothing will happen between now and then. Your rights will not be prejudiced,” Reed assured Bronson.
Sentenced On Drug Charges
Bronson was initially in court for a plea acceptance and sentencing on a 2014 case where he was charged with dealing in cocaine, more than one gram, a level 4 felony, possession of cocaine and criminal gang activity, both level 6 felonies.
A plea agreement was entered on Feb. 22, in which he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver, a level 5 felony, as a lesser included offense of dealing in cocaine more than one gram, a level 4 felony. All other charges were dropped.
With Napier not objecting to the sentence recommended, Reed asked “is this fair to the state and Bronson under the circumstances?” Napier stated it was and Reed, per the plea agreement, sentenced Bronson to an 854-day executed sentence. His jail term will be served in the Starke County Jail or at such other county jail in the immediate vicinity of Kosciusko County as can be arranged by the sheriff of Kosciusko County. Bronson was given 435 days of good time credit.
Lemon, attorney for Bronson on this matter, stated his client was desirous of making a request for the location to serve his sentence. Reed stated it was beyond his control and that it may be back at the Marshall County Jail.
During the hearing Lemon pointed out several matters in the pre-sentence investigation, including the comment from his client that when the package was received for him to complete, it was taken from him by jailers at the Marshall County Jail. Several additional notations to that report were made, which would have no affect on the sentencing: criminal history prior to 1996 was incorrect, his educational background, marital status and that the recommendation made by the probation department related to a prior plea agreement which was withdrawn.
- Search Warrant Served, Evidence Collected
- Impeachment Required To Remove Elected Official From Office
- Aryan Brotherhood Is A White Supremacist Prison Gang
- Bronson Has A Criminal History
- Grand Jury Explained
- Sheriff Back At Work, Innocent Until Proven Guilty
- People’s Reaction To Rovenstine’s Arrest
- Documents Still Remain Sealed, Could Be Vital Importance To County
- Many In Shock Over Sheriff’s Indictment
- BREAKING: Sheriff, College Professor Among Three Indicted