GreeneStreets. Feature photo of a back country road in Greene County, Indiana. Courtesy of Nick Schneider.

Linton man sentenced to 13 years in prison for dealing methamphetamine

Justin Norris

Justin Norris

On the night of his arrest in late April, a Linton man accused of dealing methamphetamine led Greene County Drug Task Force officers and ISP troopers on a chase, rammed a trooper’s vehicle, drove through a yard, crashed into a porch then fled on foot. He’s been in jail since then. On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to dealing meth and was sentenced to 13 years.

Justin Dean Norris, now 42, was charged with:

  • Dealing in methamphetamine in an amount of 10 or more grams,  a Level 2 felony,
  • Dealing in methamphetamine in an amount between five and ten grams, a Level 3 felony,
  • Dealing in methamphetamine in an amount between one and five grams, a Level 4 felony,
  • Possession of methamphetamine, a Level 6 felony,
  • Resisting law enforcement using a vehicle, a Level 6 felony, and
  • Resisting law enforcement – knowingly or intentionally flees from law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.

He was booked in to the Greene County Jail on April 25 and he’s still there. His bond was set at $100,000 surety with ten percent allowed. It would have taken $10,000 cash to bond out. Greene County Public Defender Alan Baughman was appointed to represent Norris and in May, the defense filed a motion to reduce the bond, but that motion was denied by the court.

Norris had been under investigation by the Greene County Drug Task Force. The charges filed against him represented suspected sales of methamphetamine in three separate transactions, plus his actions on the night of his arrest. The Task Force reported they had evidence of these deals that occurred in April both in Linton and in a couple of other unspecified locations in Greene County.

Norris was under surveillance on April 25 when Assistant Police Chief Ryan Van Horn of the Jasonville Police Department initiated a traffic stop. Norris was driving a silver 1999 Chevrolet truck on SW 4th Street in Linton at the time. The red and blue lights were flashing but Norris did not pull over. He fled northward through Linton.

When two Indiana State Police troopers in the area approached in their vehicles, Trooper Richard Klun and Trooper Brent Robinson, Norris turned and rammed Trooper Robinson’s patrol car. Then Norris turned again, traveling in an alley, then through a yard where he crashed into the porch of a Linton residence.

Norris then ran but Trooper Robinson gave chase on foot and apprehended Norris a short distance away.

In a change of plea and sentencing hearing in Greene Superior Court early Wednesday morning, Norris changed his plea to guilty on the count of dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 3 felony.

The negotiated plea agreement filed in Greene Superior Court was signed by Norris, his attorney Alan Baughman and Greene County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Keven McIntosh.

Under the terms of the agreement, sentencing was left up to the discretion of Judge Dena Martin, but the sentence was not to exceed 14 years and the other charges were dismissed.

When Judge Martin pronounced sentence, Norris got 13 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with three years suspended. He’ll spend those three years on probation after he is released from prison. He was given credit for 78 days already served. He will be eligible for good time credit but since he was convicted of a Level 3 felony, under Indiana law he must serve at least 75 percent of his time which means he’ll be in for at least 7.5 years.  

Click here for earlier stories on this case.