By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — A Warsaw man expected to graduate from the county’s Jail Chemical Addiction Program received a local sentence for drug possession.
Billy Joe Pearson, 29, Warsaw, was charged with possession of a narcotic drug, operating while intoxicated with a prior conviction and failure to appear, all level 6 felonies; and conversion, a class A misdemeanor. An additional OWI charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Pearson was sentenced in Kosciusko Circuit Court on Tuesday, June 14.
On Aug. 28, 2021, a Syracuse Police officer responded to a report of an unresponsive man in a vehicle. Upon arrival at the scene, the officer noticed the man’s car was running and in gear.
According to court documents, the officer was able to shut off the vehicle and put it in park. However, the vehicle’s driver would not wake up.
Medical personnel administered two doses of Narcan to the driver, who was identified as Pearson. He was put into an ambulance for further treatment.
In Pearson’s vehicle, officers found 0.3 grams of fentanyl, a narcotic drug, in a bag. Pearson then left the ambulance and ran to a wooded area. Officers immediately began tracking Pearson and took him into custody. When Pearson fled the ambulance, he took his intravenous line and blood pressure cuff with him. Pearson did not have permission to remove these items from the ambulance and they were not on his person when they were found.
Medical personnel attempted to provide assistance to Pearson a second time, but he became verbally abusive and refused treatment.
For this case, Pearson received a three-year sentence at the Kosciusko County Jail. Judge Michael Reed said he had no objection to Pearson serving the sentence through the county’s work release or community corrections programs. He also has 212 days of jail time credit in the case.
Pearson is one of the men graduating from KCJ’s JCAP program on Friday, June 17.