MCCORDSVILLE — A McCordsville man faces criminal charges after telling a girl who had admitted to trying drugs she should do them with him so he could make sure she stayed safe, police said.
The teenager told McCordsville Police Department officers she regularly smokes illegal drugs with a local man. Now, that man is in the Hancock County Jail facing criminal charges that accuse him of neglecting the girl and contributing to her delinquency, court documents state.
The teen told police Matthew Cullom, 37, has been providing her marijuana for more than a year, court documents state. Often they drove around in his car, smoking the drugs together, the girl reported, according to court documents.
The girl told officers she’d gone to Cullom last summer and confided she’d started using drugs. In response, Cullom allegedly told her “that if she was going to use marijuana, he would want her to use marijuana with him so she would be safe,” the girl said, according to court documents.
Cullom faces one Level 6 felony count of neglect of a dependent along with one Class A misdemeanor of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was arrested Wednesday night and is being held in the Hancock County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond.
The teen’s mother contacted police in late August after finding a video on the girl’s cellphone that reportedly showed the girl smoking from a pipe, court documents state. A man’s voice can be heard in the background, telling the girl how to ingest the drugs, court documents state.
The teen’s mother identified the man’s voice as Cullom, whom she knows, court documents state. The teen admitted to police she was smoking marijuana from the pipe, court documents state.
Police took the girl’s cellphone as part of their investigation. In addition to the video, officers found text messages the girl exchanged with Cullom, in which she asks him to bring her drugs and use them with her, court documents state.
In one message, the teen asks, “Can we smoke tomorrow? I haven’t in forever,” court documents state. In another text, the teen asks Cullom to bring her a “bud” — referencing a marijuana plant — while she’s at work, court documents state.
During an interview with detectives from the McCordsville Police Department, the girl admitted she was referring to marijuana in the texts she sent to Cullom. He later provided her with the drugs, and she used them, court documents state.
The girl also told police she and Cullom often drove around when they used drugs, court documents state. She said they’d take turns behind the wheel while they smoked, court documents state.
The girl’s mother told investigators the teen would not have been a licensed driver when this reportedly occurred.
Officers contacted Cullom, asking him to come to the McCordsville police station for an interview. The man never showed up for the scheduled meeting, court documents state.
The charges Cullom faces are filed in Hancock County Superior Court 2.
The Level 6 felony count he faces carries a maximum penalty of 2.5 years in jail. The Class A misdemeanor he faces carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.