Heather A. Risner

Heather A. Risner

PLYMOUTH – A Knox woman arrested in March on charges she dealt methamphetamine in the presence of her 1-year-old child will spend a decade behind bars.

Marshall Superior Court I Judge Robert Bowen sentenced Heather A. Risner, 40, to 10 years in the Indiana Department of Correction after she pleaded guilty to a single count of dealing methamphetamine.

As part of Risner’s plea agreement with the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office, a count of neglect of a dependent and a second meth-dealing charge were dismissed.

Bowen found no mitigating factors at her sentencing.

Instead, the judge found several aggravating factors, including that Risner has prior drug convictions, has previously spent time in IDOC and that she had a her probation revoked.

According to court documents:

Officers with the Marshall County Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team worked with a confidential informant to buy 0.9 grams of meth from Risner.

The sale took place in the room of a motel on Plymouth’s north side in mid-January. Risner, who has a previous conviction for dealing meth, sold the drug with her 1-year-old child in the room. The child’s gender was not stated in the court documents.

Risner was arrested by Starke County authorities in March.

Deputy Prosecutor Matt Sarber previously said Risner’s sentence was largely left at Bowen’s discretion but capped at 10 years.

In effect, the judge gave Risner the maximum allowed under the plea agreement.

Both of the meth dealing charges were Level 4 felonies punishable by two to 12 years if convicted. The average sentence is six years.

The neglect charge was a Level 5 felony, which has a sentencing range of one to six years if found guilty.

Risner’s public defender was Plymouth attorney Christopher Berdahl.

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