Scottie Hoover, 23, Greencastle, appeared in Putnam County Circuit Court Thursday morning and entered an initial plea of not guilty to a class A felony, dealing in a controlled substance (Oxymorphone) to a child under the age of 18, a class B felony of dealing in a controlled substance (Xanax) to a child under the age of 18, and a class C felony, contributing to the delinquency of a minor causing the death of 17-year-old Dietrich Jackson.
Judge Matthew Headley stated that Hoover is facing as much as 78 years in prison if convicted of all charges, though Hoover's attorney, Denny Bridges said he hopes to get that number reduced as Hoover has no previous criminal record. Bridges said it was too early to discuss any possible plea agreements.
"It's a bad situation for everyone concerned," Bridges said. "It's just a sad situation."
Hoover's bail was set at $50,000 cash and he currently remains in the custody of the Putnam County Sheriff. A pre-trial conference for Hoover has been set for March 13.
Eric Mahrenholz, 50, Greencastle, who law enforcement allege threw a party supplying alcohol to teenagers the night of Jackson's death, appeared before the Putnam County Superior Court at 2 p.m. Thursday. Mahrenholz entered an initial plea of not guilty to a class A misdemeanor, maintaining a common nuisance, and class C misdemeanor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Mahrenholz declined the assignment of a public defender, indicating he would retain his own legal council. Bail for Mahrenholz was set at $5,000 cash or surety, and a June 23 trial date was set.
Two other people have also been charged in connection with Jackson's death.
Steven M. Smith, 43, Greencastle, was arrested Wednesday, but was taken to Putnam County Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and held overnight for observation. He was booked into the Putnam County Jail at around 8 p.m., Thursday, and has yet to appear before a Putnam County court. Smith has been charged with dealing in a controlled substance (Oxymorphone) a class B felony. A probable cause affidavit alleges that Smith sold pills to Hoover in exchange for a stereo.
A 17-year-old Greencastle High School student was also arrested Wednesday evening and taken to the Delaware County Juvenile Detention Center.
Dietrich Jackson, 17, was found dead on Dec. 15, 2007 after attending a party the night before. A toxicology report indicated that the cause of death was pharmacological intoxication.
Mahrenholz posted bond and was released from jail Thursday afternoon.