WARSAW — A Warsaw man received a sentence of three years for his part in a June 2018 incident where shots were allegedly fired at a female.
Dale Birch Stephens, 606 E. Clark St., Warsaw, pleaded guilty to carrying a handgun without a license, a level 5 felony, at his sentencing in Kosciusko County Circuit Court on Thursday, Jan. 10.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, officers responded to a report of intimidation and shots fired at a residence June 5, 2018. When officers arrived at the scene, Stephens and another male were standing beside a white Ford vehicle.
Officers located a third male hiding in the garage of the residence. In the opposite corner of the garage, officers found two handguns. A female was inside the residence.
The female stated that Stephens came to the door of the residence and said he wanted to speak with a male subject because the male owed them money. He then told the female to check the mailbox because they were expecting a package to be delivered.
Once the female checked the mailbox, the white Ford pulled up with Stephens and two other males inside. According to the affidavit of probable cause, the female saw Stephens holding a handgun which she believed was fake so she pushed the gun away. One of the other males then displayed a handgun, stating, “This is for real,” and fired through the passenger window in the female’s direction.
The back door of the vehicle opened and one of the men grabbed the female, pulling her inside. As they drove down the road, the three males stated that the incident wasn’t about her and that they wanted to speak with the male subject. They allegedly told the female that when the male subject arrived, they would take him to a barn and kill him.
In court today, Stephens’ lawyer, Adam Turner, said, “I would say that this case has made him (Stephens) a little sick to his stomach because he was friends with the victim and feels guilty for betraying her trust.”
Stephens told Judge Michael Reed, “I have a drug problem and that’s what all this is revolved around.”
Reed sentenced Stephens to three years at the Indiana Department of Corrections and recommended the Recovery While Incarcerated program.
“If you get through the program they recommend, stay conduct clear and do not use any drugs while in prison, I will consider a sentence modification,” Reed told Stephens.
Other charges were dismissed, pursuant to the plea agreement. Stephens received 219 days of jail time credit and was ordered to transfer propriety rights to any firearms seized in the case.