WARSAW — A Pierceton man will likely serve the better part of a decade behind bars as a result of what prosecutors and his own defense described as a drug addiction-spurred crime spree in 2017 that allegedly didn’t end once he was behind bars.
Jerrad Michael Schlemmer, 33, 21 EMS R4B Lane, Pierceton, appeared before Judge David Cates in Kosciusko County Superior Court 1 on Thursday, April 4, for sentencing on six different cases and 13 individual charges. Schlemmer pleaded guilty on those charges earlier this year.
“Jerrad has a significant addiction problem with many of the worst drugs we have in our society,” said Deputy Prosecutor Brad Voelz during the sentencing hearing. “In many of these cases, his addictions led to creating victims.”
According to affidavits of probable cause in all six cases, police accused Schlemmer of crimes that began in April of 2017 and culminated after his incarceration in September of that year when Kosciusko County Jail officials said Schlemmer and another inmate were caught snorting crystal methamphetamine while in central control of the county jail.
“My actions were pretty ridiculous,” said Schlemmer before Cates announced the sentence.
According to police, Schlemmer was the passenger in a pickup truck in April 2017 and told the driver to stop the vehicle near a car that was parked along a rode by a woods. The driver of the car told police she was stopped and entered the woods to mushroom hunt and that she heard her vehicle’s alarm go off. When she returned, she found that her purse had been stolen from her car.
The driver of the pickup truck told police that after Schlemmer ordered him to stop next to the car, Schlemmer got out and stole the purse from the vehicle, took the cash and began throwing the items from the purse out the window. In July of that year, police said Schlemmer was found in possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia and that he was accused of shoplifting at Walmart in two separate cases.
In August and September, Schlemmer was accused of stealing a motorcycle and a boat in two separate incidents and was also accused of burglarizing a convenience store. On Sept. 11, 2017, police say Schlemmer was seen leaving a residence and when asked to stop by police, began running away. Police apprehended Schlemmer and reported finding a small smoking device in his front pocket. It was several days later, while behind bars at the county jail, that jail personnel reported catching Schlemmer and another inmate using drugs.
Schlemmer’s attorney, C. Austin Rovenstine, told Cates that his client had been approved for Community Corrections. However, Cates declined to give the defendant an alternative to jail time.
Rovenstine said that since Schlemmer had spent 573 days in jail awaiting the adjudication of his multiple crimes, he had spent a lot of that time contemplating his past actions and his addictions. “He realizes this is an ongoing battle,” Rovenstine said.
Rather than provide the defendant with an alternative to incarceration, Cates said he would recommend Recovery While Incarcerated and told Schlemmer that if he applied himself, a sentence modification down the road wouldn’t be out of the question.
“I want you to show me that you’re serious,” Cates said. “Get yourself clean.”
Cates sentenced Schlemmer to the Indiana Department of Corrections for a total of 16 years and 60 days. However, three years and 60 days of that sentence were suspended in favor of probation and with many of the sentences ordered to be served concurrently, Schlemmer’s actual time to serve totaled eight years, minus the 573 days of time served.