Thankful for his time in jail, King to get out in September

Friday, April 12, 2013

A 43-year-old Greencastle man who essentially let himself be caught in the act of robbing the CVS pharmacy so he could go back to jail last May, is happy to be getting out before year's end.

Jeffrey E. King, eloquent and incisive in ways much belying his orange Putnam County Jail jumpsuit, told Superior Court Judge Denny Bridges that the last 321 days in the local jail "has changed my life."

Judge Bridges Wednesday afternoon sentenced King to five years in prison with three years to be executed and two years on probation.

The defendant pled guilty to theft, a Class C felony, in return for all other charges being dropped.

With 321 actual days credit for time served since his arrest on May 23, 2012, King figures to be released on or about Sept. 20, court officials said. Probation will follow with a substance abuse relapse class ordered.

Despite having 160 more days in jail to go, which Judge Bridges recommended be served at the county jail, King smiled and interacted graciously with the judge, the prosecution team, jailers and court-appointed legal counsel Trudy Selvia.

"Seeing the change in my client," Selvia said, "I think we've come to a fair and equitable outcome."

King certainly seemed happy with it.

"People think there's something wrong with me because I'm in a good mood," King said. "But I'm at peace. community, reconnected with my church.

"I've come back home," King simplified.

He recounted how he was a member of the 1988 Greencastle High School basketball team that made an inspiring run to the Elite Eight and how his athletic and academic abilities earned him a scholarship to DePauw University.

But once in college, King admitted, he lost not only his way, but also his family.

And by family, he meant not only blood relatives (of which he had few) but teachers, school personnel, fellow church members and friends.

"I lost my family," he said, "but I feel I've got that now."

And he credits much of that to his church and the staff at the Putnam County Jail.

"My time in jail has been a significant, positive impact on my life," King told the court, commanding the attention of all in court around him, including normally disinterested fellow inmates in orange.

"I can't express enough what my time there has meant. It's changed my life.

"It made me realize," King, a jail trusty, continued, "that I'm not a mistake, I just made a mistake."

That mistake was knowingly setting off the alarm at the Greencastle CVS store at 1:57 a.m. May 23, 2012.

King was initially held on charges of burglary, theft and possession of a controlled substance.

During a pat-down search, officers discovered several loose pills in his right front pocket. In all, they recovered approximately 950 loose prescription pills from King during his arrest.

"I do recall at your initial hearing," Judge Bridges said, "you had said you just wanted to go back to jail."

That was true, the defendant said.

"You don't seem to fit the profile of a burglar," Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter suggested.

"I felt lost and lonely," King advised. "I just wanted to go back to jail where I thought I could be useful and help somebody.

"I've run it through my head a hundred times since then," he shrugged, contemplating his decision to enter CVS. "I just know that in hindsight this has changed my life."

King said he is now excited to about the prospect of getting out and wants to share his story as a cautionary tale for high school students.

"I know the felony will put restrictions on me," he said, "but as the Scripture says, I need to seek it out. I am very eager and hoping there could be opportunities to tell my story."

Come September, that could very well become a reality, judging by how amenable court officials seemed.

"He did seem to have an epiphany in there," Judge Bridges said of King's attitude about his time in jail.

The judge had plenty of praise for the inmate following court proceedings.

"He's probably the most introspective person I've ever had in front of me," Judge Bridges told the Banner Graphic. "It seems like the system is going to work for him, which is really the goal for everybody in here."

"I didn't enjoy life before, now I do. I've reconnected with the

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  • Oh good ol' Jeff, telling his "I'm a good man" story again. And he's got all of Putnam County believing him. LOL. Just wait, he will be back on the drugs and soon enough be back in jail. He's already spent time in Terre Haute Correctional Facility for drugs years ago. He hid out in Florida for several years after that, the whole time on drugs. He came back here 4 years ago, and in that time he has been in jail at least 3 times. He's a repeat offender, and one hell of a manipulative liar. He deserves nothing more than to rot in prison. But I guess you all will have to wait for a more serious crime to be committed to see that. I have no pity on that man. None at all.

    -- Posted by momof2ingreencastle on Fri, Apr 12, 2013, at 1:23 PM
  • I honestly cannot believe a story was done on this guy. He has perfected the art of manipulation and lies. "I wanted to go back to jail." Lol right. You've been duped Putnam County.

    -- Posted by nowyouknow on Fri, Apr 12, 2013, at 8:04 PM
  • Our family wishes the very best for Jeff. It is hell for loved one and friends to see someone they care about go down the self destructive path of drugs. You know there is a wonderful person under all of that, but the drugs can change them into a person you barely recognize. You never give up hope and you pray constantly they will be shown the light someway, somehow, and they may even have relapsed before, but you still remain hopeful and you forgive...and if they try to get to clean, even if it is by being encourage that growth and that new path. We give much praise to the staff at PCJail and his church family, and above all God, and our prayers are for Jeff's continued daily success in defeating his addiction and telling others of his own personal struggle.

    -- Posted by Sputty on Sat, Apr 13, 2013, at 12:18 AM
  • momof2ingreencastle is correct. I've known Jeff longer than most and better than most. As the stories often go, "it all started with a woman..." In this case, a woman who got him started on drugs back in the 90s. Until that time, he was a complete tee-totaler who refused to take any kind of drugs. After...he was someone I didn't want to know anymore. He can definitely be articulate and believable, though - even though he is really just an educated BS artist.

    -- Posted by PlatyPius on Sat, Apr 13, 2013, at 12:35 PM
  • @Sputty - Not sure how long you've known Jeff, but you've clearly been fooled by him...and since when does he go to church other than to con people there too???? PlatyPius and momof2ingreencastle are both correct!!! Drugs did not do this to him-drinking did not do this to him-he's been this way since high school at least. He has a serious mental illness and unfortunately he never received the proper help when his parents died during his youth and it has progressed into this cyclical lying and addiction problem. If you were to look up the words con-artist or manipulator, it would not be a surprise to see his picture next to the definitions. I've known him since high school and he did NOT have an epiphany in jail - this is the classic Jeff King BS story he always tells, with a little extra embellishment to fit the scenario. He seriously needs to be evaluated for mental health issues. Congratulations to Judge Bridges and legal counsel Selvia on winning the prize of the latest people to be bitten by the Jeff King sob story.

    -- Posted by foolmeonce on Sun, Apr 14, 2013, at 2:20 AM
  • Have any of you talked to him since he has been in jail this time around? Probably not, I have. You don't know him enough to judge him. So step off your high horses. It isn't your place to judge, nor mine.

    How about you wish him luck to recover? Maybe if you know him well enough to supposedly judge him, go see him. Talking down on a person on the internet isn't going to help a person recover. Positive re-enforcement will.

    There is only one person praising him on this article. Everyone else is immediately down on him. You disgust me.

    -- Posted by Mercidos on Sat, Apr 20, 2013, at 8:56 PM
  • anxel, I've known him since the 80s. I drove him to visit his relatives in Fremont, OH. I was his roommate for years. Believe me... I know Jeff. I believed him many times over the years and got burned. It is only in the last few years that I have realized just how MUCH I've believed and ignored. I won't be believing anything again.

    -- Posted by PlatyPius on Wed, Apr 24, 2013, at 12:55 PM
  • With all this dramatic speech, what did he have to lose ?? "I wanted this, it was good", like what choice did he have after he got caught ? He likes to be the center of attention, to feel in control, dictate to others and at the expense of hardworking decent people. He can be aggressive and will put down others if he can gain from it. He will gladly try to get something for nothing and pretend he is smarter than you. Only a liar suspects someone else of being a liar, odd isn't it ? He likes nothing better than to tell other people what to do, although his advice hasn't helped him.

    That he is a user and can't be trusted is a known fact. You can't have his past and magically change completely in a few months. This is just the same old ploy, different time same old thing. The crime he committed should be a sign that he is getting worse, and he hasn't changed a bit. He is in his passive, loveable, changed phase. When he feels comfortable again, it will be back to trying to get in control and running that mouth with his superior attitude. And there is nothing he can teach anyone, especially kids ! He does need help, but Jeff so many people don't want to see or hear you again.........

    -- Posted by putnam county on Tue, Aug 13, 2013, at 12:02 PM
  • Oh, he finally admitted that he spent just a few months at Depauw, then dropped out. So much for his "educated" bs and his fluency in the french language. This guy has a track record 24 years back and its not a good one.

    -- Posted by vwthing on Wed, Oct 16, 2013, at 9:23 AM
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