Varied Pleas in District Court

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Sheridan County Courthouse Addition houses 4th Judicial District Court.
Sheridan County Courthouse Addition houses 4th Judicial District Court.

Three separate defendants were arraigned in 4th Judicial District Court Thursday. First, 33-year-old Daniel Brown, represented by Hardy Tate, went before Judge John Fenn, arraigned on one count of Delivery of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine. Brown allegedly delivered the drug in Sheridan County on August 3rd of this year. He plead “Not Guilty” and a two-day trial has been scheduled for March 16th and 17th, 2011.

The charge, a felony, carries a possible sentence of up to twenty years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both. Judge Fenn continued the $50,000 bond set in Circuit Court by Judge John Sampson, after Deputy County Attorney Christopher LaRosa opposed Tate’s request of a bond reduction for Brown to enter into treatment with the VOA's Life House. LaRosa acknowledged Brown’s need for treatment, but said Brown is already a convicted felon with drug-related crimes and his drug use renders him a danger to the community. LaRosa also said that his original bond had been set at $25,000, but upon information that Brown had made threats against a law enforcement officer, Sampson had doubled it.

Next to be arraigned was 31-year-old Dana Turner, represented by Ryan Healy. Turner was charged with one count of Delivery of a Controlled Substance – Adderall, a prescription drug. She plead “Not Guilty” to the charge, and a one-day #2-stack trial has been scheduled for March 16th. That charge carries a possible sentence of up to ten years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.

Lastly, 33-year-old Steven Kruger, represented by Robert Jackson, was arraigned on two counts: Count 1 – Felony Child Abuse; and Count 2 – Misdemeanor Child Endangering. Per a plea agreement with the State, Kruger plead “Guilty” to the Child Abuse charge in exchange for the misdemeanor charge being dismissed.

Sheridan County Deputy Attorney Darci Arsene told Judge Fenn that on July 21st of this year, Wendy Kruger told law enforcement that while under Steven Kruger’s care, her 13-year-old daughter and two of the girl's friends went missing. Her daughter later called from the lobby of the Best Western Sheridan Center saying that the three kids – another 13-year-old and a 12-year-old – had run away from Kruger after he’d hit one of the friends on the side of the head and pushed the other when they refused to smoke some marijuana he’d gotten. Prior to his getting the marijuana, he had also forced the three to drink some alcohol, calling them obscenities until they did so.

Judge Fenn will conduct a Pre-Sentence Investigation, and has scheduled Steven Kruger’s sentencing for December 7th at 9 a.m.

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