Mitchell man sentenced to six years for resisting law enforcement

BEDFORD – Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge John Plummer sentenced 35-year-old Harold Leatherman, of Mitchell, to six years in the Department of Corrections Wednesday morning.

Leatherman pleaded guilty to resisting law enforcement, a Level 5 felony in a negotiated plea deal.

 The State was represented by Prosecutor Ryne Koucouthakis.

On Tuesday, May 18th, the Indiana State Police Drug Enforcement Section and the ISP Bloomington District Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Section obtained information that Leatherman was involved in dealing meth and was in possession of several grams of meth.

Harold Leatherman

At approximately 12:45 p.m., a trooper noticed Leatherman driving a Mitsubishi Eclipse traveling north on 3rd Street, near Warren Street, in Mitchell. The trooper knew that Leatherman had a suspended driver’s license. 

As the trooper began to turn around in an attempt to initiate a traffic stop, Leatherman accelerated and fled. Leatherman disregarded the trooper’s emergency lights and siren, refusing to stop. The trooper pursued Leatherman onto Meridian Street and continued to travel east on Mill Creek Road, then eventually onto Pumphouse Road. 

Leatherman refused to stop, driving at high speeds on the rural county roads. There was no traffic in the area, but as speeds continued to increase, Leatherman started driving off the roadway near Camp Rivervale. At that time, the trooper terminated the pursuit to prevent it from escalating further into a dangerous situation for the public.

The Mitsubishi was later located abandoned in a cornfield on Rivervale Road. A canine track was unsuccessful. The ISP Aviation Section responded, but also could not locate Leatherman. However, inside the vehicle, troopers located marijuana and approximately 10 grams of meth.

ISP requested and obtained arrest warrants on Leatherman for the following felony charges, dealing meth, attempting to deal meth, possession of meth, resisting law enforcement in a vehicle, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.

On Monday, May 24th, ISP utilized a variety of investigative techniques and discovered that Leatherman was at a home in the 6000 block of State Road 60 West.

DES Detectives, along with four troopers, went to the residence. Leatherman was found hiding in a nearby wood line where he attempted to run, but troopers had him surrounded. Leatherman was taken into custody without further incident.

Troopers discovered a baggie of approximately 20 grams of marijuana and another baggie of approximately 1 gram of meth in the weeds where Leatherman had been hiding. 

Leatherman was arrested and incarcerated at the Lawrence County Jail on the warrant stemming from the May 18th incident, as well as additional new charges of possession of meth and possession of marijuana.

ISP was assisted by both the Bedford Police Department and the Lawrence County Police Department during and after the vehicle pursuit.

Anyone with illegal drug activity information is requested to call the Indiana State Police Bloomington Post at 812-332-4411, the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office tip line at 812-545-4700, or send an email to drugactivity@lawrencecounty.in.gov. All calls are confidential.

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