Chesterton Tribune



Admits heroin use prior to fatal crosswalk crash in Valparaiso

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The LaPorte woman who police say was driving under the influence of narcotics when--exactly one year and five days ago--she slammed into two pedestrians in a Valparaiso crosswalk, killing one of them, has agreed to plead guilty to three felonies.

Rachel Marvin, 24, would spend at least nine years in prison, under a plea agreement reached with the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Marvin was originally charged with 10 felonies--the most serious, a Level 4 count, OWI with a Schedule I or II metabolite in the blood, causing death--after Valparaiso Police said that she had heroin in her system when she struck Lindy Wilson of Liberty Township and Beverly Beschinski of Morgan Township as they were walking on the morning of Sept. 25, 2014, in the crosswalk at Morgan Blvd. and Lincolnway.

Wilson died later in the day after being airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend.

Marvin has agreed to plead guilty to the Level 4 felony, as well as to a pair of Level 6 felonies: OWI with a Schedule I or II metabolite in the blood, causing serious bodily injury; and possession of heroin.

In exchange all other counts against Marvin would be dismissed.

Under the deal, Marvin would be sentenced to 12 years in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) on the Level 4 count, with two years suspended to formal probation; to 30 months in the DOC on the second OWI count, no time suspended; and to 30 months on the possession count, the whole of it suspended to formal probation.

Persons convicted of Level 4 felonies must serve at least 75 percent of their sentence before being eligible for release on parole; those convicted of Level 6 felonies, at least 50 percent of their sentence. That would mean Marvin would serve at least nine years in the DOC.

Marvin’s driver’s license would also be suspended, under the agreement, for a period of 10 years.

Both Wilson and Beschinski were former employees of the Porter County Auditor’s Office. Wilson was also the mother of Porter County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tammy Gregg, a fact which later prompted Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford to appoint a special prosecutor to the case, Christine Haskell of Jasper County; and a special public defender, Nicholas Otis of LaPorte.

Earlier this year, in February, Bradford also lowered Marvin’s bond from $100,000 cash to a combined $20,000 surety and $1,000 in cash, on a number of conditions, including the requirement that Marvin be accepted into a residential drug treatment program. Some three months later, Marvin’s bond was revoked after it was determined that her residence at the Women’s Recovery Home had been terminated.

After her arrest on Sept. 25, 2014, Marvin tested positive for opiates and cocaine in her blood and urine, admitted having “done cocaine the night before,” and “made other comments that she should not have been driving,” the VPD said.

Recovered from Marvin’s vehicle after the crash, the VPD added: 0.2 grams of heroin, 0.3 grams of cocaine, and a glass smoking device.


Posted 9/30/2015




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