Man pleads guilty to drug charges as jury selection begins for trial
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:00 AM
A North Vernon man entered a guilty plea Tuesday during the jury selection for his scheduled trial.
Israel Richardson, 41, pleaded guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine, a Class B felony.
Pursuant to the plea deal, he will serve nine years in prison, with no time suspended to probation.
Prosecutor Chad Lewis said the plea deal came around 2 p.m., after eight of the 12 jurors had been selected.
Richardson was arrested in November 2012, after police received a report of a suspicious vehicle at the west junction of state roads 56 and 62 in Hanover.
When officers arrived at the scene, Richardson fled on foot, according to a police report. He was eventually tased by officers. Police said they found syringes he had thrown from his pockets while fleeing.
Officers discovered a meth lab in the vehicle, according to court records.
Lewis said there were "some risks proceeding to trial" based on their ability to tie Richardson to the meth lab. The lab was found under the floorboard at Richardson's feet, police said, but Richardson had claimed he did not know it was there.
Richardson will be sentenced on March 5.