Donald Dickson, Jr., 36, of Plymouth, was sentenced by agreement on Wednesday, April 11, in Marshall Superior Court Number I to a 27 total year sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. The sentence was entered in exchange for Dickson pleading guilty to one count of Criminal Confinement as a Level 2 Felony and to being a Habitual Offender under Indiana’s sentencing enhancement statute. The State agreed to dismiss the remaining low-level felonies charged in the same case. Judge Robert O. Bowen approved the agreement between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tami Napier and defense attorney Tom Black.
In open court, Dickson admitted that on July 22, 2017, Sgt. Trent Stouder of the Bremen Police Department was on routine patrol in the Lake of the Woods area when he observed a speeding vehicle. Sgt. Stouder attempted to pull over the vehicle after activating his emergency lights and sirens; however, the vehicle sped up, failed to pull over which began a harrowing pursuit. The vehicle reached speeds of over 100 mph at times. Sgt. Nick Laffoon and Deputy Jonathan Bryant of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and Officer Troy Ulch of the Bremen Police Department assisted in the pursuit.
The pursuit ended after the vehicle became mired in a cornfield when the driver lost control while attempting a turn. As police approached the vehicle, they recognized the driver as Dickson from previous encounters. Dickson refused to get out of the vehicle and held his passenger, Angela Baker, hostage with a box cutter-type knife while making demands that police let him go. Deputy Bryant broke the driver’s side window and tased Dickson in order to subdue him. Dickson was immediately lodged in the Marshall County Jail where he has remained until sentencing.
It was later determined that Dickson was driving a vehicle that was stolen from a car dealer in southern Indiana.
Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman was pleased with the outstanding work of Sgt. Stouder, Sgt. Laffoon, Off. Ulch and Dep. Bryant and other police officers involved in the case. Chipman stated that resisting law enforcement in this manner—particularly when there is a victim in the vehicle—is extremely dangerous and must be prosecuted aggressively.
“Respect for law enforcement is a cornerstone of a safe community. My office supports law enforcement efforts to maintain a safe environment for all people in Marshall County. The fact that Dickson chose to confine his passenger with a deadly weapon following a harrowing pursuit speaks to the level of violence he was prepared to use to evade police. The fact that Dickson is a habitual offender under Indiana law further demonstrates that prison is the only option for him.”