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Teen pleads guilty to vehicle theft

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The 17-year-old driver involved in a vehicle theft and a high-speed pursuit Tuesday morning pled guilty in Clay Circuit Court Thursday.

Clay County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Kim Jackson told The Brazil Times Zachariah Jones' appearance in court was unusual and surprising.

"(Jones) waived his right to counsel and the advice of the court to submit to a pre-sentencing investigation when he pled guilty," Jackson said. "(Jones) was then immediately sentenced by the judge."

Due to the severity of the charges, Jones was waived into adult court and formally charged with one count each of auto theft, theft and resisting law enforcement (all Class D felonies), an A misdemeanor charge of criminal recklessness and a C misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in the body. The prosecution dropped one formal charge of battery resulting in bodily injury filed against Jones.

According to the Clay County Prosecutor's Office, Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout sentenced Jones to serve concurrent sentences of two years in prison for each D felony charge and one year for each of the misdemeanor charges. The entire sentence was suspended and executed except a sentence of one-year imprisonment at an Indiana Department of Correction facility and one year of probation that will be later arranged through the DOC and Clay Community Correction.

Jones was remanded into the custody of the Clay County Sheriff's Department and remains incarcerated at the Clay County Justice Center.

Shortly after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jones refused to stop when Brazil City Police Patrolman Jeremy Mace attempted to stop him for driving through a stop sign near the Jackson/Walnut street intersection.

Jones led law enforcement officers from the BCPD and the Clay County Sheriff's Department on a high-speed pursuit into Vigo County where stop sticks were successfully deployed to stop the stolen silver Pontiac Grand Prix he was driving.

Stopping in a ditch just east of the Terre Haute International Airport, Jones and an unidentified juvenile passenger attempted to run away but CCSD K-9 Officer Forest helped apprehend and take the two into custody.

Because the case is under review, officials are unable to disclose details about the 15-year-old juvenile detained at an undisclosed juvenile facility for alleged involvement in the incident.

Although facing the same type of potential charges, if found delinquent, the juvenile would be punished at the discretion of the ruling court according to the guidelines set in the juvenile court system.

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well lets just drop all charges, slap him on his other wrist and say "bad boy" so when he does his 1 year and gets out, he can rob someone at gunpoint and possibly kill the person before he can be seriously punished. gimme a break judge!!!!!!! are you kidden me?

-- Posted by shanbilly on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 7:22 PM

He was only 17 and while that was a HUGE crime, maybe he will learn his lesson with the little time he spends in jail, instead of grow up in jail around convicts who WILL teach him every trick of the trade by the time he'd be released and then such a thing as described below MIGHT JUST happen....just a thought.

-- Posted by gingersnap13 on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 11:15 PM

i might agree with you gingersnap if this person was not released just 3 days prior to this for another charge. some people think its all a big joke because they know they will not suffer REAL consequences for thier crimes. what do you say matt dillon? i know you have a comment....

-- Posted by shanbilly on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 12:31 AM

Hmmm D felony, D felony, D felony, A mis, C mis charged in Clay County equals next to nothing jail time. All suspended come on if he does one year then with good time credit that most everybody gets he will be out almost around Christmas this year. Why not plea guilty sounds like the easiest way to not get any jail time. Please judge start sending these people away giving them the sentence they should get for the crime. Good Job BPD Mace well done you did your job you cant help it the the courthouse isnt doing there job.

-- Posted by BigCB20 on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 4:33 AM

No wonder society is in the shape that it is in. There is no accountability. Take a life, plead out to "resisting arrest", "steal a car" plead it down to a misdemeanor. Whatever happened to being held accountable?!?

What are we teaching our children? This is so frustrating to parents trying to teach their children right from wrong because the news shows others breaking the law and getting a slap on the wrist.

Wake up people!

-- Posted by opinion on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 9:47 AM


-- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 10:22 AM

Speak the truth OPINION! Going down in a handbasket!!!!

-- Posted by sassypants on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 1:12 PM

Maybe there are circumstances we are not privy to hear that caused the Judge to lighten up. The guy looks like he is in trouble in many ways. You know jail time for "kids" isnt always the answer.

Sometimes the answer is better parenting an control over their kids. Jails are full of kids who are lost, and that is real sad.However if they go to jail, taxpayers pay, not the parents.

-- Posted by Pearl2083 on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 1:13 PM

People need to remember that the judge is bound by the legal system too!

Lawyers have nit-picked everything in the legal system so much that everything is up for grabs anymore and there really isn't accountability for many crimes.

-- Posted by Cy on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 2:08 PM

Yeah let's put him back with his parents who obviously have no control over him. If they did we would not have an article to post comments on. Wake up people, drive the streets of Brazil and see all of the kids that are just roaming the streets at all hours of the night. Where are the parents? I bet they are not out driving looking for them. Good job OPINION you hit the name on the head with this one.

-- Posted by beautiful978 on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 3:22 PM

come on people, our economy has us all in a heck of a mess, we all agree to that. until a crime has been on your door step, you really can't say too much.my car was one of the vechiles that had been stolen, in the past week. i have grown to realize that people out there are not happy with their own life, that maybe they want people to as miserable as they are, who knows!? i do know one day, they will face the judge~maybe not in a court room, yet who knows!? i only ask that the people the article comes in contact with has an opened mind, enough damage has been done, its a true lesson learned & re-lived every day!

-- Posted by hvnslilangel on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 10:14 PM

I think Judge Trout is confused and still thinks he is a defense lawyer,you all voted him in get used to it

-- Posted by dovelw on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 10:49 PM

If he's old enough to drive a stolen car he's old enough for the punishment. Too many kids get off because of their age, which is why they get more daring with each offense....they gey away with it! Working in the prison population I see a lot of kids locked up for various reasons. You can imagine the attitudes. But they get scared real quick! And they should be. Let them see what they are facing when they do the crime!

-- Posted by levr.gar on Sun, Jun 29, 2008, at 11:00 AM

Has anyone missed the charge of the controlled substance or metabolite in the body? Hmmm. Wonder where he got it? Anyone ask? Anyone ask before handing him a light sentence? Does anyone think maybe he broke the law because a controlled substance helped him make the decision to do it. Shouldn't our officials get some info in return for leniency? Maybe an ADULT supplied the substance and we can feel better by making the SUPPLIER accountable. I'm sure that a 17 year old can get their hands on just about anything they want without a supplier but shouldn't we at least expect him to explain every detail of his actions in return for the free leniency? Just a lot of unanswered question here. Judge Trout, any comments, please? Chief Deputy Prosecutor Kim Jackson, commnets please?

-- Posted by NuffIzEnuff on Mon, Jun 30, 2008, at 2:37 PM

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