Wells Superior Court

Criminal Cases

Shane Allen Kieler, 29, Bluffton, violated probation by being arrested in Wells County for knowingly or intentionally operating a motor vehicle without ever having been issued a driver’s license with a prior conviction for the same offense, a Class A misdemeanor; failure to provide vehicle registration, a Class C infraction; and improper headlights, a Class C infraction (those charges were later dismissed by the court); operating a motor vehicle while never having been issued a driver’s license,with a prior conviction for the same offense, a Class A misdemeanor (that charge was also later dismissed); failing to report contact with law enforcement to his probation officer and for being charged in Allen County with two separate counts of theft, both Level 6 felonies.

Ordered to serve 180 days of home detention. Upon completion of his home detention term, his probation will terminate.

Kieler was originally sentenced Jan. 30, 2018, in Wells Superior Court on two counts of theft with a prior conviction for a same or similar offense, both Level 6 felonies.


Case J.M. Smith, 19, Bluffton, pled guilty to possession of marijuana with a prior conviction for the same offense, a Class A misdemeanor.

Sentenced to a year in the Wells County Jail, with all but 305 days suspended, and placed on probation for 305 days.

Credited for 18 days spent in confinement awaiting disposition of his case.

Ordered to pay $705 in costs and fees.

As part of a plea agreement, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor, dismissed.

On Aug. 22, while patrolling 300S a sheriff’s deputy clocked a vehicle at 68 mph-55 zone and pulled it over. Smith was the front seat passenger in the vehicle.

The deputy noted an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and noted in his report that the occupants denied that there was any marijuana in the vehicle.

The deputy ordered them all out and searched the vehicle, reportedly locating a smoking device and a small container of “dabs” — a slang term for waxy oil containing a high concentration of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.


Kim Elaine Harris, 60, Fort Wayne, pleaded guilty to possession of a narcotic drug and possession of cocaine, both Level 6 felonies. Sentencing set for 8:30 a.m. March 23.


One-day jury trial set for 8:30 a.m. June 29 for Sarah M. Crum, 38, Bluffton, charged with possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor; operating a vehicle with a Schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in her body, a Class C misdemeanor; operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor; operating a motor vehicle without insurance, a Class A misdemeanor; and failure to signal turn and/or lane change, a Class C misdemeanor.

Civil Cases

Judgment and writ of possession entered for SMS Property Management, Fort Wayne, against William Brink and Janet King, Bluffton.

Wells Circuit Court

Criminal Cases

Preliminary plea of not guilty entered for Casey Adrian Burnette, 36, Bluffton, charged with dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 5 felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor. Total bond continued at $10,500. Law office of Sprunger and Sprunger appointed pauper counsel.

Burnette is charged with selling a confidential informant methamphetamine during a sting set up by the DETECT Drug Task Force. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

On Jan. 8, at the request of Blackford County Probation, sheriff’s deputies went to Burnette’s residence for a probation search on the residence for Burnette’s girlfriend, who is on probation out of Blackford County. During the course of the search, deputies confirmed that Burnette had a warrant for his arrest on the methamphetamine charge and placed him under arrest. During the course of the probation search, a methamphetamine pipe was found by a deputy. Burnette claimed ownership of the pipe and allegedly admitted to having smoked methamphetamine earlier in the week.

Files Statement

A statement of organization and designation of a principal committee or exploratory committee has been filed with the Wells County Clerk’s office by Michael Kash Vanover, rural Keystone, seeking the position of Wells County Commissioner for District 1. The committee’s chairman is Travis Holdman, Fort Wayne, and the treasurer is Paul Lagemann, Fort Wayne. The committee’s official name is Mike Vanover for Wells County. Vanover is seeking to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Tamara Robbins.

Files Report

A report of receipts and expenditures of a political committee has been filed with the Wells County Clerk’s office by Vicki Andrews for County Council, Vicki S. Andrews, rural Warren, Republican for Wells County Council at-large.

For the period beginning Oct. 10 and ending Dec. 31 the committee showed no cash on hand at the beginning of the reporting period, unitemized contributions of $87.50 and unitemized expenditures of $87.50.

The committee ended the reporting period with no cash on hand and owing no debt.