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Non-support charges filed against 42 persons totaling more than $500,000

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hoping to motivate local residents to support the minor children they are responsible for, Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter has filed criminal charges against more than three dozen individuals for non-support of dependent children.

The total amount of child support reportedly owed by the 42 suspects is $521,375.19, the Prosecutor's Office noted Tuesday.

"We have asked that the courts review the probable cause affidavits to determine if probable cause exists for these individuals' arrests," Bookwalter said. "If probable cause is found, then my office is requesting that arrest warrants be issued."

The cases have been divided evenly between Putnam Superior Court and Judge Charles "Denny" Bridges and Putnam Circuit Court and Judge Matthew Headley.

And the 42 cases apparently represent just the tip of the iceberg.

"We have 1,300 active cases," Bookwalter told the Banner Graphic, explaining that those that have resulted in criminal charges being filed are the most egregious.

Filing charges, he said, "usually means we've gone through all the other options like civil proceedings and contempt of court. This is sort of the last gasp."

The intent of the filing process is simple and straightforward.

"We'd like them to pay their child support," Bookwalter said. "The whole goal in all of this is for people to just support their children."

In cases involving $10,000 or more of child support owed, the crime is a Class C felony. For less than $10,000, the charge is a Class D felony.

The largest single amount owed in back child support among the 42 cases is $33,504.54 that Travis L. Smith is in the red.

Meanwhile, three of the defendants have been charged in two cases each. Amounts due range from more than a total of $51,000 in two cases filed against Shawn Fikes to a low of $1,132.95 owed by Brandy Pine.

In all six women are among the defendants owing child support. And that is no longer unusual, Bookwalter said.

"Believe it or not, we always seem to have some women in there when we file these," Bookwalter said. "But in today's world, a lot of men have custody of their children."

The process has been "pretty effective" for the Putnam County Prosecutor's Office in the past, he said.

"Usually when they see it in the paper, they come in and want to settle up," Bookwalter said. "Usually the newspaper article spurs that along."

The largest settlement reached in Bookwalter's tenure in the Prosecutor's Office came in dramatic fashion a couple years ago.

"We had a guy come in who was about $40,000 or $50,000 behind (in his support). He came in and paid it off in one check. Grandma must have had some money under the mattress or something."

The cases filed Monday include charges against:

-- Travis L. Smith, owing $33,504.54.

-- Shawn Fikes, owing $28,394.73.

-- Shawn Fikes, owing $22,741.73.

-- Frederick W. Morgan Jr., owing $28,335.95.

-- Jeremy Clodfelter, owing $27,978.38.

-- William T. Clark, owing $22,455.15.

-- William T. Clark, owing $5,787.48

-- Brandi J. Troxal, owing $24,937.96.

-- Jonas A. Vance, owing $23,649.66.

-- Renee N. Minnick, owing $22,218.

-- George Perry, owing $17,309.77.

-- Scott F. Cole, owing $16,592.

-- Jason L. Garcia, owing $16,082.66.

-- Michael Rice, owing $14,510.69.

-- Jason E. Roman, owing $14,312.

-- Kandra L. Truex, owing $13,682.42.

-- Patrick O'Day, owing $13,041.55.

-- Tameal D. Hook, owing $12,468.38.

-- Timothy D. Tedders, owing $11,181.

-- Jared L. Hornaday, owing $10,690.

-- William W. Johan-sen, owing $9,384.06.

-- David B. McRob-erts, owing $9,278.18.

-- Brandi Faught, owing $9,081.

-- Michael E. Gastineau, owing $8,983.17.

-- Joseph Copeland, owing $8,799.17.

-- Christopher L. Nunn, owing $8,658.08.

-- Dennis Blakely, owing $7,525.42.

-- Justin N. Allen, owing $7,446.10.

-- Steven R. Lucas, owing $7,096.82.

-- Dennis Cheney, owing $7,054.08.

-- Darrell E. Holcomb, owing $6,189.61.

-- Cody J. McNew, owing $5,908.22.

-- Chad Bryson, owing $5,124.99.

-- Edward T. Misamore III, owing $4,968.36

-- Damon P. Tyson Jr., owing $4,638.

-- Charles L. Spiker, owing $4,425.64.

-- Harold B. Pollett, owing $4,227.

-- William S. Pierce, owing $4,193.

-- Kristy Smith, owing $4,128.

-- Charles R. Wood, owing $2,974.46.

-- Charles R. Wood, owing $2,434.09.

-- Guy H. Parrish, owing $2,848.21.

-- Shawn A. Smith, owing $2,629.70.

-- Timothy D. Ruble, owing $2,372.83.

-- Brandy Pine, owing $1,32.95.

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Good luck with collecting all that money!

-- Posted by 1stamendrights. on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 9:03 AM

You do know that it takes two people to raise a child not just the one that is not paying but the other that is sitting on there butt and having every thing paid for them by the state and doing even less. I think that the law should be both parents need to pay or go to jail there are lots of people out there that will love to have a child to take care of with out the help of the state and love as there own. don't just blame the one that don;t get to see the child due to the other parents hate so they don't pay the system because they don't get heard about the truth that is really going on . There is way to much parting going on for some people that are getting free help if they have the money to drink and do drugs and not look for a job as well as the parent in jail due to not paying then again both should go to jail. JUST SAYING PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES and see the truth in this problem..

-- Posted by mltfields@yahoo.com on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 11:54 AM

Its kind of crappy clowning on a guy who drops a check for 40,000 to pay his support, bad journalism! Money is money as long as he didn't rob a bank or commit a crime obtaining the money. That closing statement was counter productive to the story.

-- Posted by 1stamendrights. on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 2:47 PM

@Benedick, Indiana also suspends licenses of those who do not pay their child support.

-- Posted by annoyed_citizen on Thu, Dec 6, 2012, at 12:54 AM

Mr. Bookwalter just couldn't help himself. He had to comment on Grandma's money. He doesn't know where that money came from, and it is none of his business. At least he paid it!

-- Posted by oldlady on Thu, Dec 6, 2012, at 11:24 AM

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