On July 19th, 2012 Katherine Atkins was negotiating a curve while traveling east on Joliet Road in rural La Porte County, when the vehicle was suddenly struck by a westbound vehicle. As a result of the crash, Ms. Atkins was pronounced deceased at the scene. Three children inside Ms. Atkins vehicle were injured as a result of the crash. The other vehicle was found to be driven by Mr. John MIKLE. Initial responding Deputies from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office at the crash scene activated the newly developed La Porte County FACT (Fatal Alcohol Crash Team).
An ongoing investigation by FACT members determined that Mr. MIKLE had an extremely high level of the drugs of PCP and Marijuana in his bodily system at the time of the crash. In August, an arrest warrant was issued for Mr. MIKLE for the offenses of Operating While Intoxicated, causing a death and serious bodily injury. It was determined that Mr. MIKLE had fled the area. The assistance of the United States Marshals was solicited who subsequently located Mr. MIKLE within a relatively short amount of time in South Bend, Indiana.
Based upon the extensive investigation of FACT, a guilty plea was entered by
Mr. MIKLE. Mr. MIKLE pled guilty to Operating While Intoxicated, B-Felony, and two counts of Operating While Intoxicated D-Felony. On April 11th, 2013, in the La Porte County Circuit Court, Mr. John Mikle was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Thomas Alevizos. Mr. MIKLE was sentenced to a total of sixteen (16) years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. Mr. MIKLE will serve twelve (12) years with four years suspended. Mr. MIKLE was remanded back to the custody of the La Porte County Sheriff.
The conclusion of this case is a significant event for La Porte County FACT due to its recent establishment. La Porte County FACT is grant funded by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and is overseen and monitored by the Governor’s Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving.
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