Court beat

In the past week, the White County Prosecutor’s Office filed 12 cases related to criminal matters for a total of 306 cases so far this year.

Of the total 306 filings for 2019, 173 have been for people charged with misdemeanors, 82 have been for someone charged with a Level 6 or higher felony and 63 have been for case-related concerns, such as search warrants, probation transfers and post-conviction relief requests.

Between May 31 and Friday, the 12 cases the prosecutor’s office filed included nine misdemeanors, no case-related filings and three cases with at least one Level 6 felony charge.

A Level 6 felony carries a potential sentence of six months to a year.

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On June 7, Ezekiel Avita, 21, of the 100 block of Red Cloud Trail in Lafayette, was charged with Level 6 felony pointing a firearm, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia after an incident that allegedly happened June 1 along Interstate 65 in White County.

According to charging information, two people traveling north on I-65 reported to police that a black Nissan pulled up next to them around the 184 to 187 mile markers and someone — later identified as Avita — rolled down the window, mouthed something at them and pointed a stainless steel or brushed nickel handgun with a black top at them before driving off.

They confirmed that a car a White County deputy stopped was the car they saw him in, and police found a 9mm Ruger SR 39 with one round in the chamber and 16 rounds in a magazine with Avita, according to court documents.

Police had the vehicle towed to storage and during inventory found a large capacity magazine with 24 rounds, as well as a marijuana grinder with a picture of Bob Marley on it and a leafy green substance identified as marijuana in it, court reports state.

Avita has an initial hearing set for June 10 and was released on $5,000 bond June 1.

He has retained his own attorney in Portage, Ind., according to his court files.

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On June 7, Kho Nyi Nyi Aung, 50, of the 8200 block of Zone Drive in Indianapolis, was charged with Level 6 felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated and Level 6 felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated with an alcohol concentration equivalent of .15 or more.

According to charging information, Aung was involved in a crash on northbound I-65 about 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 near the 196 mile marker.

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Police reports stated that Aung had glassy eyes, the odor of alcohol about him and poor manual dexterity, and he failed the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test.

He agreed to an alcohol level test, but the results aren’t in yet, according to court files.

The charges against him were elevated to felony level because of a Sept. 8, 2015, Marion County conviction for operating a vehicle having an unlawful blood or breath alcohol concentration.

Aung has an initial hearing set for June 17 and is being held on $5,000 bond.

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The Herald Journal doesn’t publish information about charges where a warrant is waiting to be served for the safety of law enforcement personnel and to avoid alerting suspects. We also do not publish accounts of domestic abuse – except in cases with extreme or unusual circumstances – to preserve the privacy of the alleged victims.

All information in the court beat is obtained through the White County court files. All suspects are considered innocent unless proven guilty.