Repeat-offender cases concern judge, prosecutor


MUNCIE — A convicted murderer and other alleged repeat
offenders remained in jail Monday after trial dates were set on
their latest charges.

Delaware Circuit Court 4 Judge John Feick said it was
discouraging to see a growing number of convicted felons returning
to court to face new charges, a trend that also concerns Delaware
County Prosecutor Mark McKinney.

Michael L. Kidd, 40, pleaded not guilty Monday to being a serious
violent felon in possession of a firearm. Feick set an April 14
trial date as Kidd was led back to jail under a $40,000 bond.

Muncie police said they found Kidd last week in a house along South
Waldemere Avenue with a handgun and another man kneeling in front
of him. No one was shot, and Kidd claimed he was depressed over
being unemployed and a breakup with a girlfriend.

In 1989, Kidd, then 22, was convicted of murder in the death of
Jeffrey H. King, who was shot in the head with a sawed-off shotgun
at point-blank range. Kidd was released from prison in 2005.

Also in Circuit Court 4 Monday, a Muncie couple allegedly
involved in a drug-dealing ring with convicted cocaine dealer
Dewayne Emberton received April 28 trial dates.

Ricky Lee Wilson, 44, and Dana Wilson, 52, are both charged with
possession of a controlled substance, cocaine and marijuana, along
with maintaining a common nuisance. They were being held under
$50,000 bonds.

The Wilsons were arrested, along with Emberton, on Nov. 14 by
members of the Muncie-Delaware County Drug Task Force. Authorities
said the defendants were linked to an apartment along East Memorial
Drive being used for the selling and storage of cocaine and
marijuana.

Court records indicate Ricky Wilson has been convicted of at
least six misdemeanors since 1991: three counts each of driving
while intoxicated and battery.

Emberton, 25, pleaded not guilty last week to possession of
cocaine and marijuana, maintaining a common nuisance and resisting
law enforcement.

Feick set Emberton’s bond at $100,000 and set his trial for
Aug. 14. Emberton is on parole for a previous cocaine-related
conviction.

Also Monday, Kirk Leslie Mullis Jr., 28, also received an April
12 trial date on allegations that he robbed a Village Pantry clerk
while armed with a snow shovel.

Mullis is charged with robbery and battery, and McKinney’s
office has also filed a notice to seek habitual offender status for
the Muncie man, who has since 2002 has been convicted of three
counts of theft, driving while intoxicated and driving while
suspended.

McKinney said a study was under way to determine the number of
habitual offender cases filed over he past five years to determine
whether a trend exists.

“The Indiana Department of Corrections, Legislature and Indiana
Court of Appeals seem to all be working hard to get offenders out
of prison quicker and quicker,” he said.

The Legislature recently gave drug dealers one pass because the
first dealing conviction does not count toward habitual offender
enhancement, the prosecutor said.

McKinney supports a system similar to the federal government
that requires offenders to do at least 85 percent of their
sentence. Convicts in state courts generally serve about half of
the sentence imposed by a judge.

Originally published November 27,
2007


The StarPress.Com

Muncie Indiana

http://www.thestarpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071127/NEWS01/711270319/1002

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