New arrests connected to death of local teen

Saturday, January 26, 2008
Jessica Phares

The Putnam County Prosecutor's Office filed charges against a fourth adult Friday in connection to the December death of 17-year-old Dietrich Jackson.

Law enforcement officials say that more arrests are likely.

Jessica Phares, 24, Greencastle, was booked into the Putnam County Jail at 4:30 p.m., Friday, and charged with possession of a controlled substance (Oxymorphone), a class D felony, and possession of a controlled substance (Xanax), also a class D felony.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by the prosecutor's office, Phares acknowledged being at the home of her boyfriend Scott Hoover on the evening of Dec. 14, when Jackson ingested the prescription drugs that lead to his death early the following morning.

The affidavit further states other individuals have testified in court that Phares was seen ingesting both Oxymorphone and Xanax that night.

At least two more juveniles were questioned during intake proceedings with the Putnam County Juvenile Probation Office this week, also in connection with Jackson's death. Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter says he anticipates filing charges against the two juveniles early next week.

Three adults and one juvenile have already been arrested. Scott Hoover, 23, Greencastle is charged with 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 Dietrich Jackson.

Steve M. Smith, 43, Greencastle, is charged with a class B felony, dealing in a controlled substance (Oxymorphone).

Eric Mahrenholtz, 50, Greencastle, is charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors by providing alcohol, a class A misdemeanor, and maintaining a common nuisance, a class C misdemeanor.

Though five arrests have been made, and two more are pending, Bookwalter said he does not consider the investigation into the death of Greencastle High School senior closed.

"We are still interviewing people to find where it leads," Bookwalter explained. "We want to stop the distribution of prescription drugs."

Indiana State Police Detective Jim Dungan, the lead investigator on the case, says that he also considers the case open.

"In my eyes the investigation is open until they are acquitted or found guilty," Dungan said.

Dungan acknowledged that the investigation into Jackson's death has met with an unusually high level of community cooperation that in turn led to an unusually high number of charges being filed.

"I think that people know that there is an RX drug problem in the community and there has been a lot of outcry and a lot of concern," the detective said.

Dungan says that local law enforcement, school officials, the prosecutor and the entire community have learned a harsh lesson about the levels of prescription drug trafficking in the community, and Dungan says he is glad to see people banding together to start finding solutions.

"I want to put a stop to this," said Dungan, pledging not to let the issue die. "I don't want to clean up another dead teenager."

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  • I somewhat agree with bondsman and thebuck. Run your investigation up the ladder and make more arrests towards the source of the drugs. I can't see where the arrest of this woman helps with this case.

    -- Posted by strings on Sat, Jan 26, 2008, at 7:29 AM
  • she is being charged with a felony. possession of a controlled substance is against the law. so yes, the fact that she had these drugs and took them is illegal. no one is charging anyone with murder. D took the stuff himself. that doesn't mean these other people are above the law.

    -- Posted by juanvaldez on Sat, Jan 26, 2008, at 7:32 AM
  • bondsman... I remember reading someone else's comment on another article about this guy and I THINK (meaning I don't know how accurate this source is or if I even read it right...) but I THINK I read that he has some kind of "debilitating disorder" like MS or something like that....which would explain the pain pills..but not why he wasn't taking them...unless like you said he's going to multiple places to get them.

    -- Posted by putcoresident on Sat, Jan 26, 2008, at 8:35 AM
  • I have only read the paper and summitted comments but this continues to stand out to me. Several juveniles met at the GHS parking lot and then returned to the Jackson home, removing the drugs from his pockets so why has there been only one junevile arrested? Are we waiting till ball season is over?

    -- Posted by Trying hard on Sat, Jan 26, 2008, at 9:45 AM
  • Am I reading this right that she was arrested because someone said they saw her take these drugs. They did not find them in her possesion or at the home? So who supposedly saw her do this? Was it the juveniles? I am surprised half of Greencastle isnt in jail if you can arrest someone because of what someone supposedly saw.

    -- Posted by jam on Sat, Jan 26, 2008, at 9:56 AM
  • Remember, the investigation is still ongoing. More of the juveniles might still be arrested and some people might be let go as they find more evidnce.

    -- Posted by indtonyc on Sat, Jan 26, 2008, at 11:09 AM
  • "We want to stop the distribution of prescription drugs." thats what they say but we all know this will not happen just like they'll stop meth users and every other illegal drug distribution in this town. Maybe if they stopped sittin on there butts and left the boozers alone and the ones who aren't causin problems but they feel the need to harass and focused on the big picture of DRUGS! then they might get somewhere.....

    -- Posted by rooster33 on Sat, Jan 26, 2008, at 11:27 AM
  • Wow! It only took 2 posts to invoke Godwin's law. Dead on Blackbear. Guilt by association is so much juicier than innocent until proven guilty.'s_law

    -- Posted by boilerup on Sat, Jan 26, 2008, at 5:32 PM
  • I'm not assuming anything, I know who the boys at the GHS parking lot were.

    -- Posted by Trying hard on Sun, Jan 27, 2008, at 9:43 AM
  • I get really sick of hearing people supporting drug attics, just because it was there friend. Regardless of how or why the police were even interested in her. The fact of this matter is that she was around the wrong people at the wrong time. Its her fault that shes in PCJ. Its been a long time coming for all of them. Ive known Scott hoover for YEARS---along w/ his parents, and also his sister. Hes just as guilty as everyone else in this case. No, its not like he thought D was going to die because of the pills. And I know that Scott is taking this very rough. I feel sorry for everyone in this case but, this is what happens to you when you choose these habbits in life. As i said, its been a long time coming for all of them. But, like people have said if you want to arrest people for drug abuse then half of this town would be serving 78 years. So, people just because you dont know how to live your life and you choose to do some of the exact things that the people being arrested do, doesnt mean you should have any out-crying support for these people. you also need to get a life. Along wiht all the drug attics in this town. --ALL OF YOU--

    -- Posted by mrjones on Sun, Jan 27, 2008, at 10:28 AM
  • There always seems to be someone to blame in every situation that comes about. It seems to me that learning right from starts at birth, the parents that raise these teenagers should be held accountable for not teaching thier children about DRUGS in the first place.The parents are responsible for thier children until they are 18 years of age or emancipated. So the buck needs to stop at the starting point. Lets bust these kids and thier parents, lets stop the person who holds the prescription and make them suffer for selling thier MEDS and not using what they are intended for.

    -- Posted by WHO MADE WHO on Sun, Jan 27, 2008, at 2:58 PM
  • yes. i agree the whole situation is very sad.I know D's family very well,they are good people and to say just because he did what he did you should blame the family like stating that parents should be part to blame, whats up with that?? can raise your kids the best you know how,and they are going to try different things,and do whatever,only thing you can do is preach,preach you cant be with your child remember if you ever have a child and he or she does something wrong,remember your partly to blame. Thatsjust my opinion on the whole situation.

    -- Posted by lp_27 on Mon, Jan 28, 2008, at 6:36 AM
  • for "raesizzle012" D's mom doesn't live in GC and his Dad (who raised him)lives in Atlanta, he was living with his G-ma. His dad thought he was doing something good for him by moving him here.You all need to leave his family alone and let them go on with their lives. They will never be the same but they need to be left alone so they can try to move on. Those of you who want to blame the family must not have any kids of your own, raising kids isn't easy!! There are way to many people out there that try to undo everything you teach your kids. All you can do is pray that what you teach them at home sticks. And for "strings" you must not know anything about this girl b/c I know for a fact that she went to multiple Drs for scripts.

    -- Posted by mother of 3 on Mon, Jan 28, 2008, at 12:08 PM
  • How many of you have raised a child in a small town like Greencastle - or even in a large city? There are drugs in abundance everywhere! No parent, no child is immune. We need better drug education in Greencastle! And we need it NOW - before someone else suffers the same fate that Dietrich did.

    -- Posted by luther on Mon, Jan 28, 2008, at 5:12 PM
  • everybody understands that all children are innocent. until they start acting like adults and expermenting with drugs/alcohol..

    children are going to explore. you can not tell them they can't do something. they have to find out for themselves..yes its a true tragedy. and for the "mother of 3" i loved your comment. its soo true. (if you know for a fact that she went to different doctors for different scripts, i totally agree...but so are millions of other people.) you can't blame our doctors for trying to help people in need of prescriptions. its the people that are selling the drugs..they need prosecuted not the doctors..i'm sorry for D's family.

    -- Posted by lp_27 on Mon, Jan 28, 2008, at 7:42 PM
  • to the "GCRESIDENT"..try not to take offense to all the comments. it happened to me about a year ago..the same situation. and everybody in Greencastle was not even there..and everybody was voicing their opinion. nobody knew what they were talking about and we got the blame for a murder..(that we didn't do) so yeah..just wanted to say that too..thanks.

    -- Posted by lp_27 on Mon, Jan 28, 2008, at 7:59 PM
  • I think many of you on here make very valid points. But how can one comment that a certain adult raised two successful chidren when one of those children was known to go out to a car daily at lunch at GHS and do drugs either on or off campus with a friend and never got caught? I fail to understand how that makes one successful in life? However, that aside, as mentioned in others' blogs, we can keep blaming anyone we can think of, but where, in the end, does that get us? Nowhere. There has been a drug problem at GHS since my grandparents have attended that school, it's not going to change, no matter how hard we try.

    I think our main concern at this point is to leave the investigating to the professionals and have some respect. Some people may forget that these blogs are public and many people actually read these daily, that includes D's family. We need to show some compassion and respect. This family just tragically lost a member of that famliy. Let's band together as a community and send our thoughts and prayers their way and stop being so disrespectful and childish. Why don't we act like adults and do what's right. Let's stop assuming who's guilty and who should or shouldn't be arrested. Besides, you know what they say when you ***-U-ME.

    -- Posted by collegegirl2008 on Mon, Jan 28, 2008, at 11:22 PM
  • jam, you had a question about this person getting arrested because of what other's say they saw. Well, yes, it happens. Rapper "Little Kim" was arrested,convicted and incarcerated because of what others said SHE saw. Like her "eyes" are in their heads.

    -- Posted by seekingtruth on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 10:54 AM
  • Luther, your post is perhaps the best one. Education is needed. I imagine the kids simply don't know the potential dire consequences. Basically this female is accused of ingesting the same drugs as found in the deceased. I can see where someone may not realize this action can cause death if seeing others do it and they 're fine (like Jessica).

    -- Posted by seekingtruth on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 11:07 AM
  • "Uhohno, those younger people's lives will be ruined if they continue ingesting drugs that can kill them. Maybe an arrest is the bottom they need to hit to change future habits. perhaps that's what the law enforcement has in mind.

    -- Posted by seekingtruth on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 11:10 AM
  • Drugs are at every school, thats a given. The drug problem at GHS seems to get worse and has been a big problem for awhile. I love parents who want to say this and say that about there own children but do they know the truth? I know for a fact atleast 75 percent of my class that were using a certain drug, sure many went on to college they never got caught is the thing......thank god. Please parents out there who think there child is just straight edge, keep in mind " not my child " it could come back to bite you in the rear end, lets go Greencastle stop pointing fingers and work as one to clean up GHS.

    -- Posted by Zionsville317 on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 5:10 PM
  • I think it is time that all whom was involved in this horrible party do yourself a favor and step up to the plate and turn yourself in. Lets stop playing around with our kids lives. You as parents all know by now if your child was involved make them turn themselves in and deal with the consequence of their actions. If you do not, your child will continue to take part in gambling with their life and the lives of others. Shame on all of you involved, a young man lost his life. Now quit being selfish and think your life is worth more so you refuse to get in trouble. Its better you deal with it now then wait until later.ITS WAY OVER DUE..... PARENTS START BEING PARENTS....GROUND YOUR KIDS....TAKE THEIR CAR KEYS.....CHECK UP ON THEM AT ALL TIMES.....STOP IGNORING THEM...OR YOU WILL WAKE UP ONE DAY AND YOURS WILL BE GONE......THIS IS A VERY SAD TIME INDEED....GODBLESS THOSE WHO COME CLEAN!!!

    -- Posted by takeastand on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 7:32 PM
  • According to you Pointer, you are a material witness. Turn yourself in.....

    -- Posted by localman on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 8:18 PM
  • Pointer: If are re supposedly not assuming anything--then why in the first post, do you say you have only read the paper?? If you truly know who the teens were--then you know as well as I do--that the other teens are NOT on the basketball team.

    Seekingtruth: I understand that you believe education is the key-- I think it is a major part in the drug problem as well. But as a former GHS student, I know that any education given will not do much help, and it's a sad thing. However--not all of the teens being investigated do drugs or have ever done drugs. Please don't assume they have/do.

    I know that many of the comments on here are not true, and some are. Most people have no idea what the situation is, was, or may be. Please do not make any assumptions about D's family, friends, or otherwise. This isn't about who's right and wrong on here. What matters is that an amzing young man lost his life. His family and friends {and yes-those teens there that morning(or whenever u want to say) WERE D's friends!!} They were trying to help him, not hurt him. Please remember that though it's been over a month since his death, that many many people, including myself, are still mourning D's death!

    -- Posted by udontknow on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 8:50 PM
  • UDONTKNOW, Dietrich thought that they WERE his friends he found out otherwise..... they did NOTHING to help him!!! Maybe they were'nt TRYING to hurt him BUT they only cared about HELPING themselves. i try not to get on here but it's hard not to. There for a while it's what I did to help me get through. I'm not saying that NONE of his lil' high school friends cared about him because he was so easy to love. He just had that kind of personality just like Ricky and

    Reuben but y'all will go on you'll move on with your lives. We are his family WE WILL NEVER MOVE ON. We will always be reminded that he is no longer here. Every June 1st, every Christmas, every Cousin's b-day(because we always celebrate together even if it's just chillin' at home listening to music and crackin' jokes with eachother), every single holiday, every bar-b-que and get together. We all just try to make it through the day and go on. It will never be over for us. if he was alone and died and NO ONE could've helped him then it would be so much easier but that isn't the case. Stop feeling sorry for those boys and open your eyes. THEY ARE NOT VICTIMS.


    -- Posted by sunshinenap on Fri, Feb 1, 2008, at 11:16 AM
  • Sunshinenap: Apparently you are part of D's family... Do you live in or near Greencastle, because if not you know nothing about D's friends. You think you know that they did nothing to help D.. And I can say for a FACT that at least one of the teens DID do something. Maybe not all of them involved did, but at least one did. And I am proud of that person. That one person was very very upset and will NOT ever forget. I try not to get on here either, but I read some of the other posts and they made me angry. I know that if you are his family you are going to believe whatever you want--but I know the one who tried to help & if anyone thinks otherwise then that's fine.. But I know differently. Please do not try and blame only his friends. They could NEVER have known that something this tragic could have happened. They didn't force him to do anything--he did it on his own (w/ the help of Hoover & those other people) God bless your family during this hard time.

    -- Posted by udontknow on Sat, Feb 2, 2008, at 5:04 PM
  • udontknow... I am also a part of Dietrichs family! And I DO reside in Greencastle and have for 22 years! I do know Dietrichs friends! Living in Greencastle and "knowing people" has absolutely nothing to do with anything! Now the friend that you say tried to help Dietrich, obviously did not try hard enough! Yeah... That's something to be very proud of! Let's quit with all the BS!

    -- Posted by TamekaLynn on Mon, Feb 4, 2008, at 4:27 PM
  • I think the one associate not friend is ...udontknow....

    -- Posted by pageme369 on Mon, Feb 4, 2008, at 6:14 PM
  • Tameka.. Yeah I know you've lived there for 22 years.. if you're the Tameka I used to know... I'ts not even about the person who tried.... D didn't know he was going to die and neither did anyone else. Let's not put the blame on anyone person.. it's many people's faults, including D's. D was a great kid, and it's a horrible unimaginable thing that happened to him.. end of story

    -- Posted by udontknow on Mon, Feb 4, 2008, at 6:23 PM
  • End of story?!?!? Yea for you! His life here is gone and to the people that actually cared about him there is no end of story!! And no I don't live in Greencastle but i am from Greencastle and some of my family is still in Greencastle. I agree with you pageme369 he probably is that "wanna pretend friend"! So my question to him, if you think you helped him then why wasn't he taken to the hospital or the ambulance called or Charity woken up or called????? huh? Quit trying to make yourself feel good you did nothing! To me you are nothing! Take the pics of your Myspace. two of a kind, never!! It's such BS. Don't email my little brother again because you're wasting your time! we don't believe you the truth remains and the facts stand you watched him die and then y'all got together and made up a lie about everything for all of that you will never be forgiven or forgotten for how you treated him! I f you were his friend you showed diferently that night AND that next morning.

    -- Posted by sunshinenap on Tue, Feb 5, 2008, at 8:10 AM



    ********THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE********

    -- Posted by takeastand on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 7:11 AM
  • Distributing prescription drugs, controlled substances,no less is absurd. Why, who, and what put these kinds of drugs into the hands of innocent, guillable, still growing children should be investigated to the fullest extent. Every single person involved should be jailed and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Think of all the fortunate children being handed these types of medications with no clue how thier young growing bodies will react. Most of them probably got lucky and maybe for some of them this is and was a huge wake up call as to what can happen when you abuse drugs. A lesson the young and old alike could of used alot sooner. Before an innocent child had to die from misuse and complete mistrust in his "buddies"

    Doctors prescribe drugs for a reason, they've been to school for multiples of years and know the in's as well as out's of these types of narcotics and only the very sick or very needy get them. People who get them and do not take them, and then sell them to others, just to get a high should be in bars the longest. They are the main reason for this travesty.

    -- Posted by cmg071580 on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 7:43 AM
  • It is very easy to get prescription drugs from any doctor, just tell them you are sick! The problem is parents have lost control, therefore children have lost control. A parent cannot trust other adults, some of them are doing drugs too. Kids are stealing drugs from Mommy and Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa. There are too many drugs for too many things, one can get a pill for anything from a headache to an erection, from a sore muscle to a nose bleed. There is a drug for everything. Can't sleep? Take a pill. Can't stay awake? Take a pill. Can't relax? Take a pill.Not comfortable with others? Take a pill. Anti-social? Take a pill. Want to have sex and no baby? Take a pill! Got aids, herpes? Take a pill. Dying? Here, take a pill, it will make you feel better.

    -- Posted by charpo on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 3:40 PM
  • To address concerns of people getting multiple prescriptions...Indiana along with many other states, has all pharmacies and there filled scripts linked...a Dr can and should run a check on each patient. They will get in a matter of minutes all prescriptions filled for this person regardless of where filled.

    -- Posted by GR8T2BME on Fri, Feb 8, 2008, at 12:03 PM
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