KOSCIUSKO — A Warsaw man was sentenced to 15 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections in Kosciusko Circuit Court Wednesday, Dec. 26, in three different cases involving animal cruelty, battery and drug charges.
In the first case, Jerrod Wayne Turpen, 33, 3171 Deerfield Path, Warsaw, was charged with battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, a level 6 felony; and cruelty to an animal, a class A misdemeanor. In the second case, Turpen was charged with resisting law enforcement, a level 6 felony; driving while suspended, a class A misdemeanor; possession of paraphernalia, a class C misdemeanor; and failure to appear, a level 6 felony.
Turpen was charged with two counts of dealing in methamphetamine, level 3 felonies; dealing in a narcotic drug, a level 5 felony; resisting law enforcement, a level 6 felony; and criminal gang activity, a level 6 felony, in the third case.
On June 29, 2017, an officer with the Warsaw Police Department responded to a report of battery. A male subject at the scene advised he saw Turpen engage in a verbal altercation with a female. The male said his dog went over to Turpen and the female. Turpen kicked the dog multiple times, causing injury to the dog, who is now limping. The male told Turpen and the female to leave his property. As he turned to walk back to his property, Turpen struck him on the side of the face and punched him multiple times. Turpen then kicked the male a couple times. The male sustained a laceration under his left eye that required stitches.
On Nov. 28, 2017, an officer with the Warsaw Police Department observed a vehicle driver not wearing a seatbelt. As the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the vehicle accelerated, traveling through parking lots and on various streets while disregarding stop signs. The vehicle then went through a yard and stopped, with the driver, later identified as Turpen, running from the location. The officer pursued Turpen on foot and arrested him.
The officer discovered Turpen’s driver’s license was suspended prior. Officers conducted a vehicle search and found two torches and a glass smoking device.
On Feb. 12, 2018, an officer with the Warsaw Police Department spoke with a male subject who said Turpen contacted him two days prior about buying a vehicle. Turpen told the male he wanted to test drive the vehicle before purchasing it. Turpen took the vehicle and did not return it.
The officer received information that Turpen was staying in the Syracuse area and that he still had possession of the stolen vehicle. On March 2, officers searched locations in Syracuse to locate Turpen. Officers observed Turpen traveling southbound on SR 13 through Syracuse. The vehicle accelerated quickly while passing a line of police vehicles. Officers located the vehicle behind a residence. A female in the vehicle said Turpen observed the police vehicles, fled in the vehicle, and then proceeded to flee on foot.
Next to the vehicle, officers found a clear bag containing methamphetamine that weighed eight grams. A folded piece of foil containing heroin was also discovered. While searching the vehicle, officers found more than 10 grams of pseudoephedrine, a white powdery substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, syringes, and paraphernalia. Officers also discovered a notebook containing a gang creed of the Saxon Knights.
Officers also obtained search warrants for four cellphones in the vehicle. In the phones, officers found messages of Turpen dealing in methamphetamine, heroin, and LSD. On March 7, officers observed a male and Turpen in a vehicle at Verizon Wireless in Warsaw. While informing Turpen he was under arrest, Turpen resisted, causing an officer to sustain a right knee injury and a laceration on his left hand. Officers discovered syringes, a key fob for the stolen vehicle, and two plastic bags containing heroin on Turpen. In the vehicle, officers also discovered a plastic bag containing methamphetamine that weighed three grams.
When officers accessed Turpen’s phone, they found messages consistent with belonging to a gang and organized gang activity.
“Jerrod realizes that he has a significant criminal history and that he’s a substance abuser,” said defense attorney Matthew Buehler. “While continuing his sentence, he just wants to earn the tools necessary for his opportunity to rejoin society and address these issues.”
In the battery and animal cruelty case, Turpen was sentenced to one year in the Indiana Department of Corrections and six months in the Kosciusko County Jail. The probation department was asked to reach the victim in the case about potential restitution.
In the November 2017 case, Turpen was sentenced to one and 1/2 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections for the resisting law enforcement and failure to appear charges. He was sentenced to one year and 60 days in the Kosciusko County Jail for driving while suspended and possession of paraphernalia.
In the February case, Turpen was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. Turpen’s license was also suspended for three years.
Judge Michael Reed recommended that Turpen successfully complete the Recovery While Incarcerated program while serving his sentence.