Man avoids prison time for meth possession

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GREENFIELD — An Indianapolis man who was facing a serious drug charge in the county will not have to serve any more time behind bars, a county judge determined. The decision came after a sentencing hearing in Hancock County Superior Court 1 last week.

David R. Morgan, 40, 1300 block of South Sheffield Avenue, was facing six charges in all from an incident in January 2021. He ended up pleading guilty to a Level 4 felony count of possession of methamphetamine and a Class A misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

A Level 4 felony conviction normally carries a sentence of up to 12 years in prison and the prosecutor’s office asked for at least four years of that to be executed. However, officials from the probation department suggested a lesser sentence, saying Morgan has been working hard and making progress in his recovery, staying at the Progress House, a residential recovery program in Indianapolis.

While a plea agreement, signed by the state and the defendant in September, stated Morgan would be given an eight-year sentence, the amount of time to be spent in prison was open to argument.

Judge D.J. Davis accepted the plea agreement of an eight year term, but agreed with the probation department on how the sentence would be served. He did not order any of the time to be spent behind bars and said Morgan must spend the first year of his sentence at Progress House with no credit for time spent there. At the end of the year, Morgan is to apply for drug court or behavioral health court and spend the next 18 months on home detention.

If neither court accepts Morgan, he will have to spend 18 months with community corrections on home detention. After the sixth year of his sentence, Morgan will have an opportunity to be placed on informal probation.

Any violations of the terms will result in Morgan going to prison, the judge said.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Morgan was sitting in his vehicle stopped east of the intersection of U.S. 52 and County Road 700W on Jan. 30, 2021. When officers arrived after receiving a complaint that a vehicle had almost hit another motorist.

During a search of his vehicle, officers found a plastic bag containing a crystal-like substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine as well as pills identified as a controlled substance.

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