WARSAW — A South Bend Man will serve four years in jail as a result of a shooting incident in Etna Green in 2016.
Phillip Charles Stewart, 37, 409 E. Victoria St., South Bend, pleaded guilty on March 14 to possession of methamphetamine, a level 4 felony and resisting law enforcement, a level 6 felony. His sentencing was held Monday, April 23, in Kosciusko Circuit Court. As part of a plea agreement, charges of dealing in methamphetamine, intimidation, pointing a firearm and criminal recklessness were dropped.
According to police, Stewart and Iris Hanson were involved in an incident in Etna Green in November of 2016 that involved gun shots into a vehicle. Police were called to the scene and later took Stewart and Hanson into custody after a lengthy vehicle pursuit. Officers found a 9 mm handgun and methamphetamine in the vehicle. At the original scene, investigators found a vehicle that had bullet holes from an earlier shooting.
Stewart is currently serving a sentence in Elkhart and prosecutors told Judge Michael Reed that Stewart had failed to comply with home detention rules in that jurisdiction. According to Brooke Greer with the county’s probation department, Stewart was accused in Elkhart County of testing positive twice for methamphetamine.
Stewart’s defense attorney David Kolbe told the judge that Stewart is proof of methamphetamine’s negative impacts on society.
“Phillip is a textbook example of the dangers of methamphetamine,” Kolbe said. Stewart told Reed that he hopes he will be able to continue with his outpatient treatment.
Reed sentenced Stewart to three years on the possession charge and one year for resisting law enforcement. The sentences are to be served consecutive and also consecutive to time he’s currently serving in Elkhart County.
“Mr. Stewart, I see what you’re telling me here,” said Reed. “But you have 20 years of history here telling me that’s not where you are at.” Reed, in referring to Stewart discharging a firearm, said “That’s crazy.”