WABASH — A Warsaw resident was sentenced to seven years of prison time and one year of probation after pleading guilty, but mentally ill, to charges stemming from an accident that took the life of Warsaw architect Mary Ellen Rudisel-Jordan 2013.
On Monday, May 1, Carl Burt, Warsaw, received his sentencing at Wabash Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, to a charge of reckless homicide, a level C felony. Two other charges were dropped per the plea agreement.
Burt’s sentencing stemmed from an accident that occurred July 18, 2013. When the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department arrived to the scene of the accident, Mary Ellen Rudisel-Jordan was found dead in her vehicle in a field. Burt had been reportedly driving erratically shortly before the accident occurred.
Burt was unable to give police a statement at the scene due to injuries sustained during the crash.
Although he is unable to recall the accident, Burt has expressed he believes witnesses who have testified he caused the crash. A toxicology blood test revealed Burt was positive for Diazepam, Nordiazepam, Oxazepam and Temazepam. The levels, according to a toxicology analytical supervisor, would be recognized as high enough levels to be considered impaired.
During the sentencing, Burt’s lawyer, Alan Zimmerman, mentioned Burt continues to suffer from brain injuries, spinal fractures, multiple traumas, chronic confusion and other injuries as a result of the accident.
Judge Robert McCallen III asked if any of Rudisel-Jordan’s family members would like to speak during the sentencing but received no response. McCallen indicated he understood the family has gone through much distress with the death, but he did want to know what the family’s wishes were regarding the sentencing.
McCallen noted he had taken Burt’s three prior convictions regarding the misuse of vehicles into consideration for the sentencing.
Burt received seven years of jail time and one year of probation. He received one day of jail time credit. McCallen stated he would not be opposed to Burt serving his sentence at an approved medical facility.
“He still gets to go home when all is said and done, that says more than for the deceased.”