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Domestic Fight Leads To Arrest Of Seven On Drug Charges
Updated May 19, 2016 6:45 AM | Filed under: Crime
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James Stewart.jpg
James Stewart
Joanna Hurst.jpg
Joanna Hurst
Christian Williams.jpg
Christian Williams
Brittany Staats.jpg
Brittany Staats

(LOOGOOTEE) - The investigation of a domestic dispute and battery charges led officers to arrest seven people Tuesday on a total of 29 criminal charges.

At 1:55 p.m. Indiana State Police Senior Trooper Jarrod Lents, Loogootee Police Chief Kelly Rayhill and Officer Keith Kelly went to a home at a home at 502 South Kentucky Avenue in Loogootee after receiving a call about a domestic dispute that had become physical.

The homeowners, James and Deborah Stewart, with their children were in the yard when police arrived. Officers spoke to the family and then left. No one was arrested at that time.

A short time later, Trooper Lents received a message to contact Deborah Stewart, because she wanted to file battery charges against her husband. So Trooper Lents and Officer Keller returned to a home, but no one would answer the door.

They knew from being on scene earlier that a family member had come out of 422 South Kentucky Avenue, so officers went to that address and knocked on the door. James Stewart hastily exited the residence and attempted to immediately close the door.

In the process of his stepping outside, Lents could smell the odor of burnt marijuana from inside the home. Lents opened the door and ordered all of the occupants out of the residence. Six additional adults exited, along with two small children and a 17-year-old juvenile.

Lents quickly checked the residence to make sure no one else was inside. When he did he found marijuana on a table and a glass smoking pipe on a sofa in the living room. Lents contacted the Martin County Prosecutor's Office and applied for and obtained a search warrant through the Martin County Circuit Court.

While searching the home, officers found numerous items of drug paraphernalia in a bedroom and in a safe in the same room, more drug paraphernalia with white powder that field tested positive for meth.

Police arrested:

  • James Stewart, 48, Loogootee, domestic battery, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, visiting a common nuisance, neglect of a dependent.
  • Brittany M. Staats, 19, Loogootee, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, maintaining a common nuisance, neglect of a dependent, possession of meth.
  • Christian Williams, 21, Loogootee, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, maintaining a common nuisance, neglect of a dependent, possession of meth.
  • Joanna M. Hurst, 41, Loogootee, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, maintaining a common nuisance, neglect of a dependent, resisting law enforcement.
  • Jordan T. Brown, 23, Loogootee, on charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance.
  • A 17-year-old juvenile, of Loogootee, on charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and visiting a common nuisance.
  • A 17-year-old juvenile, of Loogootee, on charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and visiting a common nuisance.

The five adults were arrested and taken to the Martin County Jail. Two juveniles were summonsed in appear in court.

The State Police was assisted by the Martin County Sheriff's Department, Loogootee and Shoals Police Departments, and the Department of Child Services.



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