Chesterton Tribune



April Kuchta pleads guilty to escape, gets four years

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The Valparaiso woman whose four-year prison term was coming to an end when she went missing from a community transition program in February will have to serve another four years.

April Lynn Kuchta, 19, was sentenced on Friday to four years in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC), after she pleaded guilty to escape, with no time suspended but credit for time served while awaiting disposition in the Porter County Jail.

Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa also ordered Kuchta to complete the GED program while incarcerated.

Kuchta was originally sentenced to an effective sentence of four years in the DOC after pleading guilty to criminal confinement and intimidation, in connection with an incident in April 2011 when, according to Valparaiso Police, she and a 15-year-old accomplice lured a 17-year-old special needs boy to a residence on Roseland Terrace in Valparaiso, threatened him with a knife, handcuffed him, and sexually battered him.

Under Indiana Code, Kuchta was eligible for release after serving half that four-year sentence and had been placed in a community transition program when, on Feb. 6, she absconded in Downtown Valparaiso before she was due to complete a drug test at the Porter County PACT offices. She was found and taken into custody on Feb. 28 at an acquaintance’s apartment in the 100 block of Hickory Street, less than a mile from the garbage can at Monroe and Valparaiso streets into which she had dumped a GPS monitoring device after cutting it.

Kuchta was subsequently charged with two counts of escape, one of them a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years, the other a Class D felony punishable by a term of six months to three years. Kuchta pleaded guilty to the Class C felony and the other count was dismissed.

In addition to sentencing Kuchta to four more years in the DOC, Alexa modified Kuchta’s original sentence to time served through April 30, 2013, that is, to 744 actual days. And Alexa terminated the no-contact order with the victim which had been in effect and entered it instead as a condition of probation on Kuchta’s release from the DOC.


Posted 12/9/2013