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Monday, May 2, 2016

Meth, neglect nets 20-year sentence

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Timothy Johnson was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years at the Department of Corrections for manufacturing methamphetamine and neglect of a dependent. The sentence was handed down by Clay Circuit Court Judge Ernest Yelton.

Prosecutor David Thomas filed the two count information on Jan. 7, 2004, alleging that Johnson was manufacturing methamphetamine in his home in Clay City. An accompanying probable cause affidavit alleged that officers from the Clay City Police Department, Clay County Sheriff's Department and the Indiana State Police responded to a 911 call. The call was from a two-year-old child. When dispatch was unable to determine why the child was calling the emergency line, law enforcement officers responded to the Johnson residence at 911 Main Street, Clay City.

The officers knocked on the door and received no response. They then knocked on windows in the house in an attempt to get someone to answer. They also found the windows were covered so that no one could see through them from the outside. Upon entry the officers found a methamphetamine laboratory. Inside the home was Johnson and his two-year-old son.

The 12-member jury trial started on June 28 in the Clay Circuit Court. According to Prosecutor Thomas, the case went to the jury the following day, and the jury returned the verdicts of guilty that same afternoon after two hours of deliberation.

Johnson's 20-year sentence issued by Judge Yelton was the maximum allowed under the law. Manufacturing methamphetamine has a penalty ranging from six to 20 years. Yelton cited aggravating circumstances to enhance the presumptive 10-year sentence to 20.

These included Johnson's drug activity in the presence of his young child. Another aggravating circumstance was Johnson's prior criminal convictions which included a conviction for check deception and domestic violence.

When Thomas was asked for comments about the case, he stated, "Methamphetamine is a scourge on our community. But to manufacture it in your home with a child present makes it even worse. We will continue to aggressively prosecute persons who engage in this conduct."

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