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Martin (AP)
Goshen man will serve 11 years for meth
Posted on July 22, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — A man who pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine within 1,000 of a youth program center was sentenced Thursday, July 18, at Circuit Court.

Kirk Martin, 47, of Goshen, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine as a lesser included offense, a Class B felony. A charge of dealing in meth, a Class A felony, was dropped.

Martin was arrested March 4, 2012 after police served a search warrant at his residence. According to the probable cause affidavit for his arrest, police found several items related to manufacturing meth and a one-pot meth lab during the search. Martin told police he had meth in the house, but that he was not attempting to manufacture any.

The residence in which Martin was staying was a owned by Waterford Mennonite Church, and was located within 100 feet of the church building.

Members of the church attended the sentencing hearing Thursday. Martin’s family and friends were also present at the hearing, taking up three rows in the courtroom.

Martin was on probation when he was arrested in 2012. In an earlier case in 2006 he pleaded guilty to two counts of dealing in meth.

Judge Terry Shewmaker reimposed six years of Martin’s previous sentence to the new conviction sentence for a total of 11 years in prison, six years at Elkhart County Community Corrections, and six years on reporting probation.

Martin addressed the court, his family and his friends and admitted he had a problem with addiction.

“My addictions are very serious,“ he said. “To the point of hitting bottom. I couldn’t stop thinking of how to end my life.”

Shewmaker recommended addictions treatment for Martin at the Department of Correction. Shewmaker also made note of the number of people attending the hearing who were there to support Martin, as well as the letters he received prior to the sentencing date.

One of the letters the judge received was written by a member of the Waterford Mennonite Church, who said she saw a change in Martin’s attitude over the last year since he was incarcerated.

“Many of us in the church desire to continue our support for him as he serves his sentence and eventually after his return to the community, trusting that this will strengthen his resolve and ability to remain free of drug involvement in the future,” she said.