Gun case ends in plea deal after previous plea deal was rejected by court

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Marcus Darnell Smith, 35, Richmond

HANCOCK COUNTY — A Richmond man who had his plea deal rejected by judge D.J. Davis in Hancock County Court in November of 2023 had two separate cases settled via plea agreements last week in Hancock County Superior Court 1.

Marcus Darnell Smith, 35, 700 block of South 12th street, was originally charged with a Level 4 felony count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and a Class B misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana, stemming from an incident on May 10, 2023.

Smith was also facing a Level 5 felony count of a prisoner possessing dangerous device or material from an incident inside the Hancock County Jail on July 6, 2023. That case was also settled via a plea agreement last week.

In the Level 4 felony case, Judge Davis gave Smith a four-year term to be served at the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC), with all of the four years to be executed. However, he’ll be given 524 days of credit for time already served. The misdemeanor was dismissed as part of the plea deal.

The Level 5 felony case will then run consecutive with the Level 4 felony case, courts records state. In that case Smith was given a three-year term with all the time to be served suspended to probation.

Judge Davis had rejected an earlier plea agreement attempt in November of 2023 by the state and Smith’s attorney. That plea agreement called for Smith to admit guilt to the Level 4 and the Level 5 felonies and be given a five-year term with a cap of two years to be executed in prison for each charge with both terms to run at the same time.

However, this time around Judge Davis accepted the plea deal, which called for more executed time at the IDOC.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Smith’s troubles started when an Indiana State Trooper pulled a vehicle being driven by Smith over for speeding back in July of 2023. The report said the trooper noticed the strong smell of marijuana coming from the car Smith was driving. Smith informed the trooper that the vehicle was a rental car and he was traveling from Richmond to South Bend.

A check of Smith’s driving record showed Smith had an open warrant out of Saint Joseph County in reference to a previous drug charge.

According to the affidavit, a vehicle search revealed a small plastic bag containing suspected marijuana located in a cup holder ashtray in the front seat cup holder. Inside the trunk, in the spare tire compartment, a separate bag containing three separate bags of suspected marijuana was located. Officials also found a A 9MM Taurus G2C handgun with a 30-round magazine was also located in the same area.

Officials noted in the report the handgun was unloaded and separated from the magazine at the time. The magazine contained 10 total 9mm rounds.

A look at Smith’s statewide records show he had four other criminal cases against him that are now closed. Those cases included charges of possession of meth, possession of marijuana, escape and burglary.