Investigation in Loogootee leads to 7 arrests, 29 charges

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Top row: James Stewart (left), Joanna Hurst (right). Bottom row: Brittany Staats (left), Christian Williams (right)

LOOGOOTEE, Ind.– Seven people were arrested on a total of 29 criminal charges as a result of a police investigation in Loogootee Wednesday.

Police were called to a home in the 500 block of South Kentucky Avenue just before 2 p.m. Tuesday regarding a domestic dispute that became physical.

Homeowners James and Deborah Steward spoke with officers when they arrived. The officers ended up leaving without any charges being filed. Deborah Steward called a detctive a short time later, saying she wanted to press charges against James.

Officers returned to the home, but nobody answered the door when they knocked. Police say James “hastily exited the residence” and tried to close the door. At this time, officers smelled marijuana.

All of the occupants in the home were ordered to come out. Six adults exited the home, along with two children and a two 17-year-olds.

Marijuana was sitting in plain sight in the living, along with paraphernalia, police said. After getting a search warrant, officers began searching the home.

Several items of drug paraphernalia were found in a bathroom. A white powder found in a safe tested positive for methamphetamine.

Five adults were taken to the Martin County Jail after being arrested. Police said two juveniles were summonsed to court.

James Stewart, 48, faces misdemeanor charges of domestic battery, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, visiting a common nuisance and one felony charge of neglect of a dependent.

Brittany Staats, 19, faces misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. She faces felony charges of maintaining a common nuisance, neglect of a dependent and possession of methamphetamine.

Christian Williams, 21, faces misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. He faces felony charges of maintaining a common nuisance, neglect of a dependent and possession of methamphetamine.

Joanna Hurst, 41, faces misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and resisting law enforcement. She faces felony charges of maintaining a common nuisance and neglect of a dependent.

Jordan Brown, 23,  faces misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. He faces one felony count of maintaining a common nuisance.

A 17-year-old suspect was arrested on misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. The juvenile faces a felony charge of maintaining a common nuisance.

Another 17-year-old suspect was arrested on misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and visiting a common nuisance.

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