Courthouse

Truth file photo

Elkhart County Courthouse in Goshen.

GOSHEN — A Claypool woman will serve time for a drug conviction in Elkhart County only after completing sentences in two neighboring counties.

Katlynn Craft, 21, was sentenced to two years on probation Thursday after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine over a year ago. She admitted to the Level 6 felony as a lesser included offense to a Level 4 felony charge of possession of between 10 and 28 grams of cocaine.

She was arrested in June 2018 on the original charge, which carries a potential sentence of up to 12 years. She was held in the jail on $50,000 bond, but released on her own recognizance after pleading guilty to the lesser crime in September 2018.

A bench warrant for her arrest was issued when she failed to show up for sentencing in November 2018. 

Other arrests

Craft’s arrest followed an arrest in Kosciusko County in April 2018 for dealing methamphetamine, a Level 5 felony, and possession of meth, a Level 6 felony. She was released on her own recognizance after her arrest in that case too, but failed to show up for her initial court hearing, resulting in a warrant for her arrest being issued. 

A count of failure to appear, a Level 6 felony, was also added to her charges. She later pleaded guilty to one of the three charges, possession of meth, and received a suspended sentence of one year in jail.

After she had pleaded guilty to her Elkhart County charge but failed to show for sentencing, Craft was arrested in Noble County in January. Her charges included resisting law enforcement, possession of meth and unlawful possession of a syringe, all level 6 felonies, and misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

She was released on her own recognizance following her arrest, with the condition that she continue to reside in a transitional living home. Craft failed to appear at a later court hearing in April and a warrant for her arrest was issued.

Craft was arrested in Kosciusko County again in July, that time on a charge of unlawful possession of a syringe. She entered plea agreements in the two pending cases in Kosciusko and Noble counties after that.

In her Noble case, she admitted to resisting arrest, possession of meth and possession of paraphernalia and was sentenced to serve three concurrent terms. For each of the two felonies, she received six months in the Indiana Department of corrections followed by a year on probation, and for the misdemeanor, 64 days in the Noble County Jail.

The judge later ordered that she could spend the executed portion of her sentence on work release in Kosciusko County, if she’s accepted into the program.

In her Kosciusko case, Craft was sentenced to one year in the Kosciusko County Jail for the syringe charge, with nine months of that to be served on probation.

‘Grow up’

In sentencing Craft on the Elkhart County charge Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Michael Christofeno ordered that her two years on probation only start after she served her time in Kosciusko and Noble counties. He said she should get an addictions evaluation and follow-up treatment, in one county or another.

He also made his impatience with her behavior clear.

“It’s ironic. You were in this court first, but you will end up serving this sentence last because of the way things turned out,” Christofeno said. “You have a lot of things going for you, but you need to grow up.”

Craft’s attorney, Matthew Johnson, remarked on the amount of suspended time she will have over her head. He also believed that her original plea agreement was effective, even after she had picked up, admitted to and was sentenced for additional crimes in the meantime.

Craft told the judge that she realized she put more effort in pleasing others before, but that she learned to focus more on herself this time.

“I realized it’s not a bad thing to help yourself, to focus on yourself,” she said.

Christofeno remarked that he wasn’t sure what she meant by that, but hoped she meant she was serious about getting off drugs this time. 

“If that’s what you mean, then the court is glad to hear it,” he said. “If not, it’s just more gobbledygook.”

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