Potential Pill Seller Reaches Plea Agreement; May Avoid Any Time In Jail
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A local funeral director once accused of trying to sell prescription pills and carrying an unlicensed handgun has been ordered to go through a newly created drug treatment program.
Kristen Denney, of Lawrenceburg, allegedly arranged to sell 20 Oxycodone pills to a Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit confidential police informant for $600 in Greendale in April of 2012. Detectives moved in before Denney could sell the drugs to the informant, according to a court affidavit. A .45 caliber handgun for which Denney had no permit was later located in his vehicle.
The 38-year-old is a funeral director at Fitch-Denney Funeral Home in Greendale.
Denney pleaded guilty during his August 5 initial hearing in Dearborn Superior Court I to one of the three drug possession counts against him. On January 30th, Denney reached a new negotiated plea and sentencing agreement with prosecutors in Dearborn Superior Court II, pleading guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class D felony).
As part of the agreement, the military veteran has to complete a year on probation and complete the newly-created Dearborn County Veterans Treatment Court Program in Dearborn Superior Court I. If he completes the program successfully and complies with his probation, the possession charge will be dismissed, according to the agreement.
Surprisingly, there is no record of Denney being arrested or booked into jail following the 2012 drug bust. A search of records at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center showed no indication of Denney going through the jail. No booking mugshot photo was available.
The lack of arrest raises questions whether such a practice is common for suspected drug dealers in Dearborn County.
Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said Wednesday he thought Denney should have gone to jail at some point following the charges last August, but would have to look into the matter. The prosecutor added that a resolution to the case was worked out between the state and Denney’s attorney prior to the criminal charges being filed.
“The stakes are high for Kris. If he doesn’t complete that program he’ll go to jail,” Negangard said.
According to Negangard, Dearborn Superior Court I Judge Jonathan Cleary began work on the new Veterans Treatment Court Program last year in response to an influx of drug problems among area veterans. The treatment course is similar to the Accountability Change and Communication Court, or drug court, created five years ago by Cleary. Denney will be one of the first people to enter into the program.