Marshall County Prosecutor's Office

  • Agency: Marshall County Prosecutor's Office
  • Address: 112 W Jefferson St, Plymouth, 46563 IN
  • Chief:
Phone: 574.935.8666
Fax: (574) 936-9456
Email:

Marshall County Prosecutor's Office is located at 112 W Jefferson St, Plymouth, 46563 IN. The Marshall County Prosecutor's Office phone number is 574.935.8666.

Marshall County Prosecutor's Office News

As an update to the abandoned dogs at Dixon Lake.... * At least 15 dogs have now been retrieved by the Marshall County Humane Society * some have been accepted by rescue organizations * a number of the adult females were pregnant, including one that prematurely gave birth to 6 puppies that all sadly died. Likely due to the stress of her situation *we still have no information on who dumped the dogs or who owned the dogs We thank you for the attention you've given to this terrible situation but we are still calling on you for assistance in determining the identify of the prior owner.

CALL FOR ACTION. PLEASE SHARE: Please contact the Marshall County Sheriff's Department if you have information about the owner of these dogs. Over the course of more than a week, the Marshall County Humane Society has been trying to capture these terrified dogS who were dumped in the Dixon Lake area. So far, 12 dogs have been rescued and there are more that have yet to be captured. We are asking that you please let the authorities know who you believe is the dogs' owner. The owner does not deserve your silence. The animals deserve justice.

Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman spoke at the 2018 Child Abuse Prevention gathering in Centennial Park in Plymouth. Report suspected child abuse to the Hotline at 800-800-5556.

TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH Encourage healthy relationships for your children by talking to them about friendships, dating, self-respect and respect for others, says Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman. Prosecutor Nelson Chipman says that February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and caregivers should be aware that bruises or broken bones aren’t the only form of abuse children may experience in friendships and dating. Abuse can also be verbal, emotional, physical, sexual or digital hurt. “All care givers need to speak to children specifically about giving and getting respect in their relationships with others,” said Prosecutor Chipman. “Tell your children that healthy relationships are open and honest and that partners must respect each other’s individuality and share feelings without negative consequences.” Relationships where partners don’t respect each other’s boundaries lead to dating and domestic violence. Here are some typical forms of abuse: • Name-calling, insults or put-downs in public or in private • Verbal, written or other threats of violence • Isolating a friend or dating partner from other friends and family. • Sexual coercion or forced sexual activities • Stalking, harassment or monitoring. “One of the most important actions a parent or care-giver can take is to keep the lines of communication open with children,” said Prosecutor Chipman. “Tell your children, if they don’t want to do something within their relationship, they should feel safe to say so.” For more information, talk to the National Domestic Violence Hotline/Dating Abuse Helpline by texting “loveis” to 22522 or calling 866-331-9474. More information can also be found through www.loveisrespect.org or www.breakthecycle.org.

PLEASE SHARE PLEASE SHARE Under Indiana state law and local ordinances, it is against the law to treat a dog or other animal in a cruel or neglectful manner. You must provide shelter, food, water, etc. for your animals. An animal's needs must be attended to by the owner or caregiver. To do otherwise is neglect and is punishable as a criminal offense. If you see an animal being neglected, please notify the Marshall County Humane Society or your local law enforcement agency immediately.

Prosecutor Nelson Chipman's office argued the sentence this week in the murder case against Gauvin Monaghan. Monaghan was represented by attorney Marc Morrison. Judge Robert Bowen sentenced Monaghan to 65 years, the maximum penalty under Indiana law, to the Indiana Department of Correction for the murder of 79 year old Plymouth resident, Paul Costello. Seeking justice for victims of crime in Marshall County is an unwavering priority for Chipman and this case stands as an example of that committment.

January is national Human Trafficking Prevention Month It’s more widespread than you believe and it’s a danger to the dignity and freedom guaranteed every individual in America: "January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month," noted Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman, Jr., "and it is important to educate citizens about its prevelance and how to reconize the signs." This January, learn how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, and where to report suspected instances. Not all indicators are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking, but awareness can help citizens end human trafficking: •Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship? •Has a child stopped attending school? •Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior? •Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts? •Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse? •Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing? •Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive? •Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care? •Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to? •Does the person appear to be coached on what to say? •Is the person living in unsuitable conditions? •Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation? •Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures? "If you believe you know of someone who is a victim of human trafficking, contact your local police agency,” Prosecutor Chipman reminded. “If you believe the individual is under the age of 18, contact the Indiana child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 800-800-5556.” Finally, Prosecutor Chipman added, “If someone discloses to you that they are a victim of sexual abuse, don’t ask details and don’t judge whether the information is true, and above all, be prepared to cooperate fully with investigating agencies”.

Marshall County SENIOR EXPO 2016 Nov. 8th from 8am-3pm The Zone Sports Complex 2923 Vanvactor Drive, Plymouth, IN FEATURING: •FREE ADMISSION •FREE REFRESHMENTS •FREE ENTERTAINMENT •FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS •FLU SHOTS •FREE EXPIRED MED DISPOSAL •HUNDREDS OF DOOR PRIZES •FREE TRANSPORTATION FOR SENIORS Presented by: Marshall County Council on Aging PLAN TO ATTEND OR BRING ALONG A SENIOR FAMILY MEMBER TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY IN OUR COMMUNITY!

Prosecutor Nelson Chipman's office argued the sentence today in the murder case against Fabian Rubio. Judge Robert Bowen sentenced Rubio to 65 years, the maximum penalty in this case under Indiana law, in the Indiana Department of Correction for the murder of 15 year old Bremen resident, Desi Jones. Seeking justice for victims of crime in Marshall County is an unwavering priority for Chipman and this case stands as an example of that committment.

Introducing.....Jax! Jax is the K9 partner of Jon Weir of the Plymouth Police Department. Jax is a hard worker and is a "witness" in many of the criminal cases pending in Marshall County. Our office is K9 friendly and we appreciate the crucial role K9s play in effective enforcement of the law!

Meet Chase! Chase is the K9 partner of Indiana State Police Trooper Caswell. Chase and Trp. Caswell will be working in Marshall County and we look forward to working with them in the future.

Zachary Oiler, 26, of Marshall, Michigan, was sentenced March 17, 2016 in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 to 12 years imprisonmnet for dealing Suboxone, a Schedule III Controlled Substance. Oiler will be imprisoned at the Indiana Department of Correction pursuant to a plea agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tami Napier and defense attorney, Bart Arnold from Ft. Wayne. Judge Robert O. Bowen sentenced Oiler to serve 12 years executed at the Indiana Department of Correction. None of the sentence was suspended. Oiler admitted in open court that in June of 2014 he sold pills in Marshall County to an undercover officer from the Marshall County Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team. Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman praised the dedicated work. “The Marshall County Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team continues to diligently work to reveal and investigate drug dealing in our county. Drug dealing is a blight and a drain on the community. It must be prosecuted accordingly.” Oiler remains incarcerated in the Marshall County Jail until he is transported to the Indiana Department of Correction.

Booking photo of Derek Cole (related to posting below)

CHILD SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED Derek Cole, 32, of Tyner, was sentenced March 17, 2016 in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 to 30 years for child molesting. Cole will be imprisoned at the Indiana Department of Correction pursuant to a plea agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tami Napier and defense attorney, Tim Lemon. Judge Robert O. Bowen sentenced Cole to serve 25 years executed at the Indiana Department of Correction followed by 5 years of sex offender probation. Cole will be a lifetime registered sex offender. His sentence for child molesting makes him a credit restricted felon pursuant to Indiana law. Cole admitted in open court that in 2009 he performed sex acts at a house in Culver on a friend’s daughter in her bedroom. Cole initially denied the victim’s allegations but later failed a polygraph examination performed by the Indiana State Police. The case was investigated by Det. Jeff Snyder of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department. Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman commended Det. Snyder for his dedicated work and thorough investigation. “The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and Detective Jeff Snyder followed up on the victim’s delayed disclosure of the sexual abuse. This case, like many child molest cases, arise from delayed disclosures by victims and emphasizes that most sex crimes committed against the most innocent victims are perpetrated by people their families know and trust. It’s an insidious crime with lasting effects. My office will continue to aggressively prosecute crimes of this nature. Parents must remain vigilant and report these crimes when their children disclose abuse as these offenses are by their very nature committed under a veil of secrecy. Child molesters rely on the victims remaining silent, sometimes for years. It is important for parents and responsible adults to report when a child discloses, even if the accusation may have taken place years earlier. Trust that trained law enforcement will try its best to get to the truth.” Cole remains incarcerated in the Marshall County Jail until he is transported to the Indiana Department of Correction.

Yesterday, a Marshall County jury found David Ferguson guilty on 13 of 14 counts after a three day trial. The jury found Ferguson guilty of charges of Corrupt Business Influence, Theft, Receiving Stolen Property and Conspiracy. Ferguson was the CEO of Stone Creek Homes, Inc. of Plymouth and concocted a scheme to take money from customers. Ferguson also failed to pay employees. Stone Creek Homes closed without warning to either customers or employees and his whereabouts were unknown for months. Prosecutor Nelson Chipman said: "This was not a story of a series of bad business decisions. The criminal intent was obvious and this was a story of using a business operation as a ruse to steal money." Ferguson will be sentenced on April 14, 2016 by Judge Robert O. Bowen of Marshall County Superior Court I. Chipman will be requesting the maximum sentence be imposed.

Ryan Smith, 33, of Knox, Indiana was sentenced March 2, 2016 in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 to a 22 year sentence for dealing methamphetamine. Smith will be imprisoned at the Indiana Department of Correction pursuant to a plea agreement between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tami Napier and defense attorney, Joe Simanski. Judge Robert O. Bowen sentenced Smith to serve 20 years executed at the Indiana Department of Correction followed by 2 years of probation. In open court, Smith admitted in August of 2015, he was in a vehicle with Kristen Cobbs, Brandon Adkins and Justin Stetler that was stopped by Marshall County Sheriff’s Department Deputies Jordan Rans and Brandon Cooper. Marshall County Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team detectives were also present at the scene. Deputy Cooper’s K9, Arras, conducted an open air sniff around the vehicle and indicated to the presence of drugs in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle and its occupants revealed 12.2 grams of methamphetamine, Xanax and heroin as well as smoking and/or snorting devices. All of the occupants were charged with drug-related crimes. Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman praised the work of Marshall County Sheriff’s Department Deputies Jordan Rans and Brandon Cooper and the Marshall County Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team. “Aggressive enforcement of drug crimes in our county is essential to the stability, safety and health of our community. Our ability to do so is impossible without the outstanding work of our local law enforcement officers. This case demonstrates how their work, in partnership with my office, has taken a serious drug dealer out of our community. One of our objectives is to make sure that message is heard by others who may intend to deal drugs in our county.” Both Cobbs and Adkins have been sentenced in relation to their involvement in this case. Adkins is already in the Indiana Department of Correction.

Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman was appointed as a Special Prosecutor in Kosciusko County. A grand jury was convened in Kosciusko County and reviewed evidence and testimony. The grand jury returned indictments against three individuals--Aaron Rovenstine, Kevin Bronson and Mark Soto. Rovenstine was indicted was allegations of bribery, official misconduct, intimidation and assisting a criminal. Bronson and Soto were indicted for corrupt business influence and intimidation. NOTE: The Prosecutor's Office reminds all readers that an indictment charging an individual with a crime is a mere allegation. The individual charged is presumed innocent. The State is obligated to prove beyond a reasonable doubt before a judgment of guilt may be made..

Robert Lee Stafford, 36, of Argos, was sentenced February 17, 2016 in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 to a 30 year sentence for child molesting. Stafford will be imprisoned at the Indiana Department of Correction pursuant to a plea agreement between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tami Napier and defense attorney, Tom Black. Judge Robert O. Bowen sentenced Stafford to serve 30 years executed at the Indiana Department of Correction. Stafford will be a registered sex offender for life upon his projected release in 2041. In open court, Stafford admitted that some time in February of 2015, he molested a six (6) year old family member. Argos Police Department Chief Corey Bowman investigated the incident after Stafford’s family member disclosed the sexual abuse. Stafford admitted during the investigation that the relative’s disclosure of sexual abuse was indeed true. Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman praised the work of the Argos Police Department for its prompt action in this matter once it was reported. “Chief Bowman of the Argos Police Department, as lead investigator, was particularly effective in removing a child sex offender from the community. Also, encouraging children to come forward and report abuse is critical in identifying these crimes. A common misconception about child sex abuse is that it is perpetrated by strangers.” Chipman added, “What this case, and nearly all child sex abuse cases demonstrate, however, is that the perpetrators of these crimes against children are usually someone they know and trust. Protecting children is a priority for me and these crimes will be aggressively prosecuted by my office.” Stafford remains incarcerated in the Marshall County Jail until he is transported to the Indiana Department of Correction.

Angela Cunningham Sentenced to 20 Year Total Sencence Angela Cunningham, 46, of Bourbon, was sentenced February 3, 2016 in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 by Judge Robert Bowen to 20 years imprisonment at the Indiana Department of Correction. Cunningham plead guilty to Dealing in Methamphetamine in two separate cases. Cunningham was on probation for methamphetamine-related charges when she was arrested. On December 8, 2014, Cunningham was either sleeping or passed out when the store manager of a Bremen gas station noticed her in the parking lot and called for police assistance. Officer Bradley Kile of the Bremen Police Department encountered Cunningham when he responded to the call. Cunningham had 11.4 grams of methamphetamine in her possession, admitted to smoking methamphetamine prior to Officer Kile’s arrival. She was subsequently arrested and charged accordingly. In exchange for the guilty plea, the State dismissed lesser charges against Cunningham as well as another unrelated case. Judge Bowen accepted the agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tami Napier and defense attorney Tom Black. Judge Bowen listed aggravating factors of Cunningham having a history of criminal or delinquent behavior and of violating the conditions of her probation, parole, community corrections placement, and pretrial release. Judge Bowen found no mitigating factors in Cunningham’s favor. Judge Bowen sentenced Cunningham to twenty years pursuant to the plea terms. Cunningham remains incarcerated in the Marshall County Jail until transport to the Indiana Department of Correction. Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman pointed out Cunningham’s age of 46. “This is sad example of how methamphetamine addicts even middle aged adults. Her last chance to turn her life around is now behind the walls of Indiana’s prison system.” Chipman added, “What a waste.”

Eric Pfishner Sentenced to total of 20 Years for Multiple Burglaries Eric Pfishner, 36, of Elkhart, was sentenced February 3, 2016 in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 to a 20 year sentence as a result of a string of burglaries and break-ins in Bremen, Indiana. Pfishner will be imprisoned at the Indiana Department of Correction pursuant to a plea agreement between Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tami Napier and defense attorney, Burke Richeson. Judge Robert O. Bowen sentenced Pfishner under the terms of the plea to serve 15 years executed at the Indiana Department of Correction followed by 5 years of suspended time. In open court, Pfishner admitted that between February, 2014 and April, 2014, he committed a series of residential burglaries and residential break-ins at homes around Lake of the Woods near Bremen. Most of the homes were lake houses. Detective Jeff Snyder of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department investigated the incidents. All of the break-ins occurred within mere feet of each other on each occasion. The method of entry, items stolen and condition of the scene when discovered were all substantially the same, if not identical. None of the homeowners were able to provide the name or description of a suspect. However, during the course of the investigation Det. Snyder was able to collect a glove. DNA samples were found on the glove and submitted for analysis to the Indiana State Police Laboratory. At the scene of one of the burglaries an opened soft drink was found. Swabs were taken around the drinking portion of the can and submitted for analysis to the Indiana State Police Laboratory. Laboratory scientists were able to determine that that the DNA derived from the glove and the soft drink can matched the DNA profile of Pfishner. Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman praised the detective work of all officers and departments involved. “Detective Jeff Snyder of the Marshall County Police Department, as lead investigator, was particularly effective in putting an end to Mr. Pfishner’s criminal career, at least for the next several years. And the evidence technicians from the Indiana State Police, particularly Lamar Helmuth, was instrumental in bringing a successful conclusion to this rash othe burglaries of vacant homes.” Chipman added, “Watching the teamwork necessary to effectively gather evidence for submission to scientific test, is a fascinating experience. We all can be proud of the work on this case.” Pfishner remains incarcerated in the Marshall County Jail until transport to the Indiana Department of Correction.

Prosecutor E. Nelson Chipman, Jr. is proud to announce the addition of Matt Sarber to the office. Matt Sarber will be deputy prosecutor assigned to Judge Dean Colvin's Marshall County Superior Court II.

Did you know that the Marshall County Prosecutor's Office also does this? * Establish paternity * Perform genetic testing in paternity actions * Establish child support orders * Establish medical support orders * Modify a child support order (under certain conditions) * Locate parents * Enforce child support orders * Help other states enforce and establish thier child support orders We do all of this for a one-time fee of $25--if you receive TANF or Medicaid our services are free. Call our office if you need information or to see if we can help your children get the support they deserve. 574-395-8677 #PuttingChildrenFirst

Marshall County Prosecuting Attorney E. Nelson Chipman, Jr., testified in support for the use of aerial drones by law enforcement agencies in the reconstruction of accident sites, January 14, before a committee of the Indiana House of Representatives. The Courts and Criminal Code Committee was hearing House Bill 1013 that concerns geolocation (GPS) information for law enforcement agencies, sponsored by Rep. Eric Koch who represents a portion of south central Indiana. Prosecutor Chipman told the members of the Committee that his office recently purchased drones for use by law enforcement officers when it became apparent that a major use for the drones would be for vehicle accident reconstruction. However, after research of applicable statutes, he discovered that a search warrant is normally required for use of drones by law enforcement. “Presently at a crash scene, an officer can take all the photos he wants as long as he is standing on the ground, but is prohibited from taking photos by the use of a drone looking down from an altitude of 20 feet at the same intersection,” noted Prosecutor Chipman in support of the legislative proposal. He told the committee: “there are exceptions to current law, however, that allow use of drones without a warrant and we would ask that the use of drones for accident reconstruction to be added as an exception.” He said that many other states allow photos and video by drones at vehicle crash sites. Prosecutor Chipman also thanked Rep. Koch for authoring this important legislation. “Without use of drone technology for accident reconstruction in the Indiana code, the admissibility of photos and videos could be an issue,” he said. The proposal was approved by the committee with a vote of 12-0, with amendments, and will go to the full House for further consideration.