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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Merrillville man dodges felony conviction

Friday, December 5, 2008

Judge Matt Headley gave a Merrillville man what he described as "the best Christmas present you've gotten in years" Thursday in Putnam County Circuit Court.

Rashad Ameen Tucker, 30, was arrested in April and charged with Class C felony trafficking with an inmate and Class D felony possession of marijuana. On Thursday, Headley convicted him of the possession charge -- but dropped it to a Class A misdemeanor.

He served three days in jail before posting 10 percent of a $15,000 bond on April 24.

According to court documents, Tucker went to visit his brother, Kelsie Hall, 26, at the Putnamville Correctional Facility on April 18. Hall is serving a six-year sentence for dealing in cocaine or narcotics, information at the Indiana Department of Corrections Web site said.

"Mr. Tucker was observed en route to the visitation center walking with a noticeable limp," a case narrative said.

Tucker was taken to the prison's Internal Affairs Office, where "he did acknowledge he was in possession of something and did voluntarily retrieve it from his crotch area," the narrative said.

That "something" turned out to be 70.3 grams of marijuana, court documents said.

In court, Tucker explained that he was working two jobs -- one as an emergency medical technician and one as a certified nurse's assistant. He said a felony conviction would definitely get him fired from his jobs, and while a misdemeanor conviction could well yield the same result, "it wouldn't reflect on my license or certificates."

Headley asked Tucker if he didn't think about the possibility that taking drugs into the prison could lead to him losing everything he had worked for.

"I just tried to help (my brother) the wrong way," he said.

Headley agreed.

"That's an understatement," he said.

Tucker also said he is helping to support his three young children, and his losing his job would create a hardship for them.

"I'm conflicted, Judge," Deputy Prosecutor James Hanner said when asked about the state's position on lessening the charge Tucker would be convicted of. "Here you have a man with a job who's supporting his kids. It just makes you wonder why he'd pull a stupid stunt like this. He needs to be punished, but I don't want for him to lose his job or for those three kids to be on welfare."

Darrell Felling, Tucker's attorney, pointed to his client's "character and attitude" as things Headley should consider when convicting Tucker.

"A misdemeanor is extremely warranted," he said. "Not so much for his sake as for his dependents'."

Headley was obviously struggling with his decision before he rendered it.

"I have a big problem with people taking drugs into the prison system," he said. "But you've got kids, you're not a drug user and you're not stupid. You've got a good job and you've done a lot of good things."

Headley sentenced Tucker to one year with 60 days executed, which means he will serve 30 actual days with credit for three days he has already served. He ordered Tucker to report to the Putnam County Jail within two hours of sentencing to serve the first 12 days of his sentence. Tucker must begin serving the remaining 15 days of his sentence no later than Jan. 15.

He will be on probation for the remainder of his yearlong sentence, and must perform 48 hours of community service before that year is up. He is also forbidden from visiting anyone at the prison while on probation, and was ordered to pay court costs and fines, including $200 to help fund drug and alcohol education programs for children.

"I'm questioning my reasoning," Headley said. "Don't disappoint me."

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I myself am questioning all reasoning.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 3:55 AM

It's the mans first time to get caught.

Was it his first time to do anything illegal?

How can a first-time drug buyer even FIND 70 grams of marijuana?

Did he give police the name of the person he bought it from?

The court seemed to be stumped as to why he would do such a thing, but they are sure that he is not a stupid man. Sooo,,, waddling into a prison, with a bag of pot bulging your crotch beyond pornstar proportions represents genius, I guess.

Tough times, people are desperate, temptation is winning over people of every tax bracket.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 2:25 PM

Just a slap on the wrist for a serious offense. I find this unbelievable. The prison system I have heard is an easy place to get drugs.The court system needs to think about the security threat to the staff and officers when someone takes any kind of illegal drug into a prison.

-- Posted by BOO_Boo on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 7:34 PM

According to court documents, Tucker went to visit his brother, Kelsie Hall, 26, at the Putnamville Correctional Facility on April 18. Hall is serving a six-year sentence for dealing in cocaine or narcotics, information at the Indiana Department of Corrections Web site said.

1. Mr.Tucker and Mr.Hall are brothers?

2. Mr.Hall is a convicted drug dealer.

3. Was the delivery of the illegal drug a paid or bartered personal gain for Mr.Tucker. Mr.Tucker drove all the way from Merrillville, Indiana.

4. Mr Tucker is an EMT and a certified nurses assistant. Both jobs put Mr.Tucker close to drugs.

5. The children are the victims. To protect the victims the court should have ordered random drug checks of Mr.Tucker and his properties for several years.

I hope the person who caught Mr.Tucker with the drugs (before they got into the system) stays encouraged and continues to do a good job.

-- Posted by Focus on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 5:46 AM

Greendinglesfunniest, you are a character! It's hilarious how you can call smuggling drugs into a prison, a "MISTAKE".

Recently you were standing up for 2 brothers who operate rolling meth labs. You crack me up when you cry about them getting pulled over for a minor traffic infraction.

How about this idea Greengills, why don't you write something about how "WE" as citizens should all have one FREE shot at being a profitable FELON!! If we get caught at it for some "piddly" error, then we should be let go- no matter what the effect of our crimes.

As for your friend, Tucker, write another comment telling YOUR view on how this drug trafficing caper would have benefitted ANYONE!!

What do think his mistake was, getting caught? If Tucker is such a "good" man, then maybe he is just stupid for trying this. Maybe he is not bright enough to be a nurse or EMT, or even a parent if he is going to attempt felonies like this.

Do we need a "Stupid Prison" for good people?

Make me laugh some more Greentrailorswiniest.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 8:11 AM

GreencastlesFunniest, I'm not a stranger to the back seat of a police car. When I have broken the law, I knew exactly what I was doing. When I got caught, I never blamed it on peer pressure or social engineering.

I have been pulled over more than once for having a light out. Not ONCE did I ever feel my civil rights were violated. Cops have rights to pull people over for minor infractions. Such stops produce major drug busts. It's a known, documented fact.

Don't ask me to smuggle any drugs into prison for you because THAT is really illegal, it is a stupid idea, and the risk factor is off the chart.

Ironically, I DO agree with you about the personalities of policeman. I believe some men in uniform carry issues inside their psyche. All the more reason not to push your luck with lousy auto maintinence before committing felonies while driving on public roads. As for Rashad Ameen Tucker, Merry Christmas from Putnam County.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Dec 6, 2008, at 8:33 PM

Why, thank you declaw2012 that is certainly sweet of you. Please don't flirt with me online, your lifepartner may become irate and we don't want to spoil the holidays now do we?

After reading your comments you seem to fit the mentality stereotype of a local Ovis aries, more that likely tended by one of Greencastle's finest law abiding citizens.

When you return from your college field trip to Amsterdam, and your head clears up, we should get together and debate why you wrote in Amy Weinhart for president on your voting ballot.

Keeping on topic, Rashad Ameen Tucker still has a lot to reflect on over the holidays and should at least send a 'thank you' card to Putnam County.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Mon, Dec 8, 2008, at 6:32 AM

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