Chesterton Tribune


Valpo woman is Fugitive of the Week after GPS monitoring device found in trash

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A Valparaiso woman nearing the end of a four-year prison term after pleading guilty to criminal confinement and intimidation is being sought as a fugitive by the U.S. Marshals Service, after authorities said she removed her electronic monitoring prior to a drug screen at the PACT office on Feb. 6.

April Lynn Kuchta, 19, has been charged with two counts of escape and is the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive of the Week.

In October 2011, Kuchta was given an effective sentence of four years in the Indiana Department of Correction. Eligible for release after serving half that sentence, Kuchta began her Community Transition Period on Feb. 1.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Ruth Garriott of the Porter County Adult Probation Department, on Feb. 6 Kuchta’s PACT case manager reviewed the GPS activity on Kuchta’s electronic monitoring device and concluded that her physical movements the day before did not coincide with the schedule which she had submitted on Feb. 4.

When questioned by her case manager, Kuchta told him that a medical appointment for Feb. 5 had been canceled so instead she ran errands for her grandmother. Her grandmother, however, subsequently advised that she had been in Mishawaka all day on Feb. 5 and “was unaware that April Kuchta had left home for any reason,” Garriott stated in her affidavit.

Then, at 1 p.m. Feb. 6, Kuchta arrived for a meeting at the PACT office and was told she would have to submit to a drug screen. “At that time Kuchta left the PACT building, cut off her GPS monitor, and threw it into a garbage can located on the corner of Monroe Street and Valparaiso Street,” Garriott stated. “April Kuchta has not been heard from since that time.”

The U.S. Marshals Service described Kuchta as being 5’ 2’’ in height, 135 pounds in weight, with brown hair and green eyes.

Kuchta—who the U.S. Marshals Service said has “an extensive criminal history”—formerly resided in the 500 block of Glenwood Hills in Valparaiso but has been known to frequent Lake and LaPorte counties.

In April 2011, Kuchta and a 15-year-old accomplice lured a 17-year-old special needs boys to a residence in the 300 block of Roseland Terrace, where they threatened him with a knife, handcuffed him, and sexually battered him, the Valparaiso Police Department said at the time.

Kuchta was originally charged with criminal deviate conduct but pleaded guilty to one count of criminal confinement, a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years; and one count of intimidation, a Class D felony punishable by a term of six months to three years.

Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa sentenced Kuchta to eight years on the Class C felony, four of those years suspended; and to three years on the Class D felony, none suspended. But Alexa ordered Kuchta to serve those terms concurrently for an effective term of four years in the Department of Correction. Kuchta was eligible for release after serving half of that time.



Posted 2/26/2013