ELKHART — Admitting he was wrong and asking for a second chance, didn’t deter Special Judge Stephen Bowers this afternoon, Nov. 20. Bowers sentenced Kevin L. Bronson to the Indiana Department of Corrections to serve his seven-year sentence. A special notation will be sent to the IDOC noting Bronson may be in danger from other persons and to ensure his safety.
Bronson was sentenced to Elkhart County Community Corrections through a plea agreement that was accepted by Bowers Sept. 29. However, Nov. 13, ECCC officials filed a violation notice Bronson had threatened staff and violated rules – falsified a time sheet.
Bronson was one of three persons indicted by a Kosciusko County Grand Jury in late 2015, with official charges brought against him, C. Aaron Rovenstine and Dr. Mark Soto in February 2016.
During his dispositional hearing in Bowers’ court, Superior Court 2, Bronson admitted to the violations. He told the court he testified against Dr. Mark Soto, as requested in the plea agreement, and Warsaw Detective Paul Heaton had stated in court to the seriousness of consequences he faced if sent to the DOC. He also pointed out to the court there are other criminals who have been given second, third and even fourth chances with ECCC.
“What I did was wrong. I over reacted to the situation,” he stated, apologizing to the prosecution and others. He also asked the court not to send him to a certain place. “Send me to the county jail, house arrest or sit my sentence out,” he said referring to his original plea agreement where it was ether ECCC or the Elkhart County Correctional Facility. “What I did was stupid. … I’ve done everything my attorney and state has asked me to do. I don’t think I’m any better (than others) … I will not fail no matter what I have to swallow.”
Joseph Garrett, ECCC case manager, took the stand for the prosecution. Matthew Sarber, deputy prosecuting attorney for Marshall County and special deputy prosecutor in the case, asked Garrett if ECCC would take Bronson back. “He would not be accepted back,” Garrett stated. Peter Todd, Bronson’s attorney, questioned Garrett about other offenders, including those with escape charges, being readmitted into the program. While Garrett noted each one is a separate case, and that yes there have been individuals readmitted into the programs, administrators had told him prior to the court hearing, Bronson would not be allowed back.
Bowers further questioned Garrett for clarification, in which Garrett stated individuals are readmitted normally after a time period and a re-evaluation, however, he does not participate in that aspect of the program.
Sarber told the court Bronson’s testifying in the Soto trial was the reason the plea agreement was offered. He pointed out Bonson’s long criminal history that includes escape. “Whether he is allowed back or not is irrelevant (into ECCC) his pre-sentence investigation points out his past criminal behavior. He should be at the Indiana Department of Corrections.”
Bowers noted Bronson will receive 283 days good time credit, a number that was disputed at sentencing, toward his sentence.
Because Bronson’s charges are under the old sentencing guidelines, he will serve 3 1/2 years, less the 283 days of good time credit.