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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

One plea accepted, another delayed

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brandon Pierce
It was a busy day in Clay Circuit Court.

Although the proceedings were delayed slightly because of a backlog of cases, Brandon Pierce, 17, Brazil, and his attorney James Organ appeared before Judge Joseph Trout with a new negotiated plea agreement Wednesday.

According to court documentation, Pierce, the alleged suspect in the armed robbery of the Brazil Taco Bell in May, was originally charged as an adult on charges of a B felony armed robbery charge, D felony theft charge and a class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Because investigators were unable to prove the alleged weapon was actually used or during the May incident or locate one, the Clay County Prosecutor's Office negotiated an agreement with Pierce that would allow him to plead guilty to a lesser charge of C felony robbery. If accepted by the court, the remaining charges in the case would be dropped by the state.

On Nov. 12, Trout rejected a prior plea agreement in the case with a similar stipulation, but it had different sentencing requirements.

The original agreement was for Pierce to be sentenced with 5 years with all suspended with the exception of 2 years to be served with good time credit (if earned), credit for time previously served and 3 years probation. The new agreement has Pierce sentenced to 8 years with 4 years to be served and 4 years of probation upon his release.

While on probation, Pierce would have to obey all laws and pay court and court appointed program fees, make restitution but make no contact with the victims and fully cooperate with the prosecution and testify truthfully in further court proceedings. He also agreed to be subject to random drug screenings, waive constitutional rights for searches of his person, residence or vehicle and provide a DNA sample to authorities.

The agreement also stated if Pierce violated these terms in any way, there was the potential for him being returned to the IDOC to serve the remainder of his sentence.

After accepting the agreement, Trout told The Brazil Times he felt this was more in line with the State of Indiana's advisory sentencing recommendation for a class C felony charge (which is 2-8 years with an advisement of 4 years imprisonment).

Pierce was returned to the Clay County Justice Center pending processing to leave for the IDOC.

The alleged suspect in the Poland First Financial Bank robbery also appeared in Clay Circuit Court Wednesday with a request for a continuance in the case.

On Nov. 3, Trout rejected a preliminary plea agreement with the Clay County Prosecutor's Office and Vance Smith.

According to court documentation, Smith, 38, Plainfield, was formally charged with a class C felony robbery charge, a class C felony operating a vehicle after forfeiture of license for life and an additional filing of the habitual offender charge for his alleged involvement in the Nov. 23, 2007, bank robbery.

Smith is also a suspect in a separate bank robbery in Darlington, Ind., on Oct. 31, 2007.

Trout accepted the request and scheduled Smith's next formal court appearance for Dec. 22.

Smith was returned to the Clay County Justice Center to await further court proceedings.

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WTG Judge Trout for your part in trying to protect our community!

Maybe next time the prosecution can try to charge the b felony that way you can put the criminal behind bars for longer!

-- Posted by BigCB20 on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 11:31 PM

Brandon is a real good kid that just makes mistakes. I understand that Judge Trout has to make an example out of him for other children but my prayers are with Brandon because he knows that he can do better in life. I believe he can do better as well. Me and him were very good friends that just took two different routes in life and I know that after this he'll head back toward the right way!!

-- Posted by Haasehal on Thu, Nov 20, 2008, at 7:52 AM

I'm sorry but this kid is 19 years old, I don't agree with what he done but I think that he should be given extensive therapy and not just be "behind Bars". He really needs help so that he can become a productive citizen. I'm really not that much older than this guy and although the choice that he made is beyond crazy, I think he still has potential. No one on here knows what life has brought this kid. I use to think the same thing just "lock them up" but looking back to my youth I probably done things that I may have deserved a night or two in the county jail. None of us are perfect and we all do things that are against he law maybe not to this extreme but we all do things at times that aren't right. I guess the older I get and the more I see so many families destroyed by the effects of drugs ( which my guess is that contributed to this), I wish that instead of throwing them in prison that the state could make rehab centers and try to help these people. I understand locking them up but at least if they got counseling and some kind of intervention while incarcerated they would have more chances of being ok when they get back into society. I really am not a fan and I think people should pay for their actions but with 83% of offenders in our prisons being in for drugs sonething says they need help. Yes, they should know right from wrong but sometimes when you grow up in a house where the best choices aren't being made you honestly don't know what's right even though you know what's being done is wrong. I just wonder what will happen if we don't get help for the young kids.

-- Posted by ape1 on Thu, Nov 20, 2008, at 10:17 AM

I don't know this person, but, at whether he was 19 or 56, he knew he was wrong and pled guilty in court. I give him credit for that, but he should have done it sooner and not cost the taxpayers any more than this process has to!

Pleading guilty means he deserves punishment and he was allowed to help decide the appropriate sentencing requirements. Hooray for the US legal system. Where else in the world does that happen?

There are many programs available for a prisoner while incarcerated to take advantage of that even help cut the amount of jail time served. Hooray again!

All this young man has to do is take advantage of the opportunities available and make them stick to turn his life around. I pray and hope that he does.

This is the part that really honks me off!

Finally, I am personally sick and tired of hearing people say, "You don't know what life has done to this person," when someone is caught by the police doing something wrong.

It is an excuse, plain and simple. I'm tired of excuses. It doesn't help anyone to become a better person in the grand scheme of life.

Just because life is tough doesn't give a person the right to do bad things or hurt others.

Pardon my language, but everyone walks through hell a few times in his or her life.

How that person handles it, creates their character and can mold the way they live the rest of their life.

If they blame others or their tough life, they are a whiner in my book.

If they "man up" and admit they have a problem or made a mistake, they have the potential to become winners that will impact their family and society with good things!

What is boils down to is whether the person going through the problem is mature enough to realize what is wrong and not repeat it and grown up enough to stand up and do the right thing if they did do something wrong.

Maybe if people stopped making excuses for themselves and others and held people accountable for their actions, the world might become a better place.

I apologize if I offend anyone with my comments. Just chalk it up to the fact that I must be having a grumpy day after being hit by a car in a parking lot and having the driver leave without leaving their insurance info.

-- Posted by Cy on Thu, Nov 20, 2008, at 11:47 AM

I am curious as to how and they decided to send him to adult court...

-- Posted by Boilergirl on Thu, Nov 20, 2008, at 12:37 PM

Cy ~

I do agree with much of what you say ~ I just wish with some younger offenders that some evaluation could be implemented at some point in their sentence to possibly get them on a better track ~ just a thought ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Thu, Nov 20, 2008, at 2:29 PM

He knew better.. I hope he finds the help he needs while in prison!

-- Posted by ibclean76@yahoo.com on Thu, Nov 20, 2008, at 3:24 PM

He did the crime,he's doing the time.Just a passing of time now...Tommoro there will be someone else's loved one plasterd all over the front page.Way to go... the families can hurt alittle more.

-- Posted by neverstoploving on Fri, Nov 21, 2008, at 11:32 AM

Don't cry too hard for him or the others that get put away. They have life on easy street. Room and board, hot meals, air conditioning in the summer,heat in the winter, all kinds of educational programs-they can get a college degree while WE the taxpayers are footing the bill.I personally think that the prison system needs to go back to when it was to stop crime-NOT mollycoddle the prisoners. Oh, I'm sorry, the OFFENDERS. We don't want to hurt their feelings or damage their self-esteem.

-- Posted by virginiagrace on Fri, Nov 21, 2008, at 10:13 PM

ms VirginiaGrace,

I'd like to know just how you think prison life is easy. Not all of them have air, they buy their t.v.'s. I agree they should think about consequences more before they put themselves in that position. I'm not agreeing with what he done but I know someone that it took 23 years to prove that he did not commit a crime yet at 16 he was in one of the roughest prisons in Indiana and if you could hear of all the things that he was exposed to and had to go through, just maybe your hardened heart would change your opinion. I think now matter how young they should be held accountable but is putting them wiht a bunch of psycho's the answer? I don't think so I think instead of teaching them something we expose them to idioits that expose them even further.

-- Posted by ape1 on Tue, Nov 25, 2008, at 3:51 PM

Brono921 ~

The article on Brandon's new plea actually reads:

"The new agreement has Pierce sentenced to 8 years with 4 years to be served and 4 years of probation upon his release."

You were actually quoting the plea that was rejected if I read your comment correctly ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Fri, Nov 28, 2008, at 11:29 AM

Brono921 ~

Personally, I feel that Prosecutor Reberger is taking many factors into account ~ one is Brandon's age, another is the fact that Brandon turned himself in & thirdly that no one was hurt in this robbery ~ as I stated in a comment to Cy earlier:

"I just wish with some younger offenders that some evaluation could be implemented at some point in their sentence to possibly get them on a better track ~ just a thought ~"

I know what Brandon did was wrong & he should be punished; but at 17 do we want to incarcerate & turn out a hardened criminal? Possibly Prosecutor Reberger was willing to try to save a young life from criminal activity ~ maybe he felt like Brandon staying in the Clay County Justice Center for months had enlightened Brandon & scared him about his future life ~ we don't & probably won't ever know the thought process; but I would say it was a whole lot about compassion of a young person.

And, the other thing to consider: am I wrong or weren't there others involved in this robbery ~ where are they?

-- Posted by karebabe on Sat, Nov 29, 2008, at 8:31 AM

Brono921 ~

What I stated was that I would like to see an evaluation of younger offenders while doing their sentence ~ this evaluation could consist of many factors ~ such as attitude, behavior, counseling, schooling, etc...a sincere willingness by the offender to produce ~ I was not implying that this should be done prior to sentencing ~ yes, most offenders, I agree should do the time, but for the younger offenders, other factors must be taken into consideration ~ never once did I mention a troubled childhood ~

And, as for Prosecutor Reberger, I do not know what his obligations are so far as plea agreements ~ I am sure he has some guidelines that he must follow ~ then the Judge has to evaluate & rule on these proposed agreements ~ I am not fluent enough in the process as to whether the offender's attorney is able to plead the court with agreements or whether the Prosecutor must agree prior to court ~ I have known Prosecutor Reberger for many years & find it hard to believe that he is a slacker in his duties ~

And, as stated before, I still think that at some point it was stated that Brandon was not the only one involved in this robbery ~ so where are the others?

-- Posted by karebabe on Sun, Nov 30, 2008, at 1:52 PM

brono921 ~

search "taco bell" on the times site ~ the article dated 5/20/08 has comments actually from the husband of the gal robbed that mentions more than one person ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Sun, Nov 30, 2008, at 1:59 PM

Brono921 ~

Have been around the "victim" ~ if what is said in the comments is true you sure couldn't prove it by me ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Mon, Dec 1, 2008, at 6:57 AM

brono921 ~

I had mentioned that others involved in this robbery besides Brandon were mentioned by the victim's husband & others commenting ~ my point was where are the others ~ haven't seen anyone charged besides Brandon ~ so far as the "victim" ~ many have witnessed her making light of the whole situation so I kind of doubt that she is scared for life as her husband would want everyone to believe ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Tue, Dec 2, 2008, at 9:07 AM

OMG!!! I cannot believe there are still comments made about this.But, then again everyone has a opinion.If opinionators do not believe that 4 years is not enough time to wreck a famiy & break a young person, they are mistakenly wrong...

-- Posted by neverstoploving on Tue, Dec 2, 2008, at 9:02 PM

One more comment, according to the BPD they pulled over 2 other boys involved in this robbery,the 3rd boy played a silent roll,but B.P. knows who this boy is & is not (what the CCJC residents) call ratting on any of these boys.The BPD has enough evidence to charge these other boys,but nothing has been heard about any of this.As far as comments on the victim by her husband,She appears to be just fine taking out the trash by herself after dark.Haven't heard any other comments from him, could it be that he is also a resident of CCJC??? Just an Opinion!!p.s. virginagrace...nice comment,good-luck on that perfect life you have!!!

-- Posted by neverstoploving on Tue, Dec 2, 2008, at 9:48 PM

karebabe, you seem to know this person! just wondering?

-- Posted by neverstoploving on Wed, Dec 3, 2008, at 7:45 PM

Brono921 ~

Taking out the trash after dark is how this robbery took place ~ not thru the front door as you have stated ~ I would also think like neverstoploving that this particular task would be extremely difficult for the victim if she is so afraid as her husband commented ~ & as to your questions brono921 ~ I think there is a lot more to this entire situation that hasn't been played out, yet ~

And, yes, neverstoploving, I suppose you could say that I know all involved ~

And, I wonder, too, is room & board being served to the victim's husband at the CCJC??

-- Posted by karebabe on Wed, Dec 3, 2008, at 10:18 PM

brono921 ~

And, as for stupidity, hope you are including yourself in this category ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Wed, Dec 3, 2008, at 10:20 PM

wow!! i like your investigating brono! you could probably do a better job than the BPD.but, then again it didnt take much to investigate this one with our Tax dollars!!!BP made it pretty easy for them. As for how Mr. Reberger did on this one. I think it was pretty difficult for him & the judge to send a young person to prison.I sure wouldnt want Lee's job. maybe brono could run for it??

and karebabe, your comments are to kind towards BP.If you know him as I do, then you know just who he really is.Thanks for the kindness.It goes far for families with their loved ones incarcerated.

-- Posted by neverstoploving on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 8:16 PM

brono921 ~

I'll try again:

Yes, she still takes out the trash & takes her smoke breaks after dark while at work & doesn't have her husband in tow ~ clear enough for you? And, as for being outgoing ~ that doesn't appeared to have changed much either ~

neverstoploving ~ you're welcome ~ BP just got on the wrong path ~ maybe now he can realize his true self ~ I still have to wonder where the others involved are ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 8:20 AM

brono, you did get #1 wrong,there were others.

as for everything else you say,It's an opinion~just like an as*h*le everybodys got one.Good luck in those politics, you would fit right up there with the best of them.

This debate,forum or whatever u wanna call it,is too close to the heart for me. I better say bye & wish you all a Merry Christmas, especially you karebabe.A kind heart goes along way!!!

-- Posted by neverstoploving on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 8:12 PM

hmm.. brono921... you obviously don't know too much.. the "victim" at first denied that brandon could have been involved.. then all of a sudden he was the one along with several others.. She is not scarred for life being as she can run outside and take several smoke breaks...you don't know any of the people involved or the WHOLE story you are just hearing what is in the paper you have no idea what really happened or how it is effecting anybody.. and trust me i doubt brandon is trying to protect anyone i bet he sung like a bird when he turned himself in

-- Posted by blue357 on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 9:15 PM


one more comment on here from me...there wasn't any singing going on,I know this for fact. If there were, don't ya think the others involved would be sitting at southwest or the ccjc? go figure on that one.

Oh,1 more thing...take a look at todays article about the guy having a sentence reinstated in putnam co.& he was just driving the get away car.hmmmmmmmm...guess clay co. laws are different cause 2 boys were pulled over leaving pell's.said they were waitng for B.P.(accesory to the crime,) so if anybodys singing...its me!Do your job,BPD!

-- Posted by neverstoploving on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 11:44 AM

Neverstoploving ~

I wish Brandon would have been singing like a bird ~ all involved should be punished not just one ~ the others knew what was going on..........

And, Merry Christmas to you, too!!

-- Posted by karebabe on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 12:32 PM

this has been on my mind for along time and i need to clear a few things up. #1 there was never a gun stuck in anyone's face. # 2if policy had been followed it probably would not have happened #3 bp as some have said drove his self there (he did not have a car to drive)# 4 how did the bpd know who to look for unless the two that were taken to jail that night were involved and to cover their ---- gave his name why are they not being charged with anything??????. and to ape1 he was raised in a loving home and knew right from wrong but with the way things are these

days you can only hope that your kids will not get in with the wrong people you can only raise them to a point and they do as they please . do u have kids this could be you . l feel some people

who make satements should look at themselves first

-- Posted by colormyworld on Tue, Dec 9, 2008, at 10:57 AM

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