Richard Baker Gee, 30, formerly of South Bend and currently with no address other than jail, was sentenced on September 23, 2015 in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 to 20 years imprisonment for Burglary as a Level 2 felony; nine years of imprisonment for Conspiracy to Deal in Methamphetamine as a Level 3 felony; and two and a half years imprisonment for Resisting Law Enforcement, a Level 6 felony. Judge Robert O. Bowen approved an agreement between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tami Napier and defense attorney Marc A. Morrison. The agreement provided for no suspension off of the twenty year sentence, and ordered all three sentences to run concurrently.
In open court, Gee admitted that on November 13, 2014, he, along with Shannon Dixon, broke into a residence to manufacture methamphetamine. Gee was armed with a silver and black BB gun during the crimes. After leaving the scene of the original crime, Gee engaged in a protracted and high speed chase. In exchange for the guilty plea, the State dismissed the remaining eleven counts.
The case began on November 13, 2014, when Trooper Patrick O’Keefe responded to a home regarding a residential entry. The homeowner explained that she had walked into her house and observed a man lying in a bed. The homeowner exited the residence and locked herself in her vehicle near a garage to call 911. Gee and Dixon exited the residence and entered the garage. Gee then came out of the garage and pointed what appeared to the homeowner as a handgun and motioned for her to get out of the way. Gee then ran back into the garage and fled the scene in a black Suburban. Dixon was in the passenger seat.
Detective Lourdes Lemler of the Indiana State Police was in the area and heard the radio traffic with a description of the incident and the vehicle. Near the Dollar Tree/Kmart mall on the north side of Plymouth, Detective Lemler observed a vehicle and its occupants that matched the description. Plymouth Police Officer John Weir was also in the immediate area and attempted to stop the black Suburban, but it fled from police and refused to stop. Officer Weir then engaged in a high speed pursuit through downtown Plymouth. Gee was driving erratically on Liberty Street near the Lincoln Junior High School when Dixon tossed a black bag out of the car window. Police later retrieved the black bag and discovered it contained items used to manufacture methamphetamine. The pair continued at high speed on Lincoln Highway eastbound and eventually turned into a field on the north side of Lincoln Highway near the US 31 overpass. This modern version of Bonnie and Clyde was taken into custody at that time.
Police soon discovered the black Suburban used in the chase was a stolen vehicle. When police searched the vehicle, they found a “one pot” methamphetamine reaction vessel and a silver/black BB handgun. Also found in the Suburban were numerous articles that had been burglarized from the residence.
Police also discovered that Gee was wanted on an arrest warrant out of St. Joseph County for resisting law enforcement, possession of methamphetamines, possession of precursors to make methamphetamine, and criminal confinement. Gee has an extensive prior criminal record beginning when he was 14 years of age, with his first felony conviction when he was 19 years of age. Since then he has now accumulated five felony convictions, and he was only 29 when the events in this case took place.
Shannon Dixon, age 25 at the time of the offenses, also has an extensive criminal history that includes maintaining a common nuisance, conversion, possession of marijuana, and theft. That history included numerous arrests related to the manufacture and possession of methamphetamine. She previously received a sentence of 16 years in prison.
Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman praised the seamless communication and collaboration between law enforcement agencies. “The call came in on 911 and the Indiana State Police responded to the scene first. Information was quickly gathered and communicated by radio throughout the area with an ISP Detective spotting the vehicle and communicating that to Plymouth Police. The chase was then on and filmed by a car camera. The public would be proud of how Officer Weir did a controlled chase in the middle of the day through the streets of Plymouth, the lawn of Lincoln Junior High and eventually a successful arrest. The video is incredible. From the beginning of this crime to its successful conclusion, we are so fortunate nobody, let alone an innocent person, was hurt. We are also very fortunate, and my deep concern goes out to the homeowner who no doubt was shocked to find these criminals in her home in the middle of the day.”
“As for Richard Baker Gee,,,,,,,,,, he is a rotten and dangerous (expletive) that must be separated from civilized society for as long as the law allows. Under the new sentencing guidelines, Mr. Gee must serve 15 years before he is eligible for release, unless some court in the future modifies the sentence. I don’t see that happening.”