By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — A Mentone man was sentenced in three separate cases Monday, Aug. 31, in Kosciusko County Circuit Court.
In the first case, Christopher K. Hodges, 21, 5935 W. Osprey Drive, Mentone, pleaded guilty to burglary, a level 4 felony; theft, a level 5 felony; and auto theft, a level 6 felony.
In the second case, Hodges pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, a level 6 felony.
In the third case, Hodges pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, a level 6 felony; resisting law enforcement, a level 6 felony; and operating while intoxicated, a class C misdemeanor.
Hodges’ first case stemmed from his involvement in a burglary in August 2018 in which a homeowner contacted the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department and said his residence had been burglarized while he was out of town.
The homeowner found no evidence of forced entry. A key was used to open a safe inside the residence, and $45,000 in cash was taken from the safe. In addition, three rifles, 15 handguns, one shotgun, jewelry, two watches and a crossbow were also taken. Those items were valued at over $50,000.
On Aug. 19, officers received information that Hodges was in possession of a stolen vehicle. The officers located the stolen vehicle and found Hodges and another man spray painting the vehicle.
Hodges allegedly became belligerent with an officer at that time and was arrested for disorderly conduct. While dealing with Hodges, the officer noticed a watch inside the vehicle. The officer was able to identify the watch as one of the items taken during the burglary.
Hodges and two other men were charged in the burglary case.
In court today, Hodges’ attorney, Scott Reust, told Judge Michael Reed that Hodges “makes a real effort at times” and that Hodges does better when he is under supervision.
Hodges declined to speak during court proceedings when offered the opportunity.
For the three charges in the first case, Reed sentenced Hodges to three years at the Indiana Department of Corrections for the burglary charge, two years at IDOC for the theft charge and one year at IDOC for the auto theft charge. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively and consecutive to any sentence imposed in the other cases. Hodges was given 62 days of jail time credit.
For the possession of methamphetamine charge in the second case, Hodges was sentenced to one year in the Kosciusko County Jail, with the sentence ordered suspended, to be served on formal probation. He was given one day of jail time credit.
For the three charges in the final case, Hodges was sentenced to six months in the Kosciusko County Jail for possession of methamphetamine, six months at the county jail for resisting law enforcement and 60 days at the county jail for operating while intoxicated. The sentences in this case were suspended, to be served on formal probation.
Two other cases were dismissed, pursuant to the plea agreement.