Meth dealing conviction affirmed, restitution required

September 23, 2014

Convictions for dealing methamphetamine and two counts of neglect of a dependent were affirmed on appeal Tuesday, as was an order that the offender pay restitution to the state for the costs of cleaning up the meth lab.

Dale Bulthuis III failed to persuade a panel of the Court of Appeals that evidence from a search of the home and garage he shared with Karen Wireman and two young children should have been suppressed because he wasn’t afforded an opportunity to object. Wireman allowed an initial search, and a warrant was secured later.

Bulthuis also argued the trial court abused its discretion in ordering him to pay restitution of $2,443 to the state.

“The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting into evidence the items seized during the search of Wireman’s garage: Wireman voluntarily consented to the search, and the police were not required to give Bulthuis, who was in custody in a police car on an active warrant for his arrest, an opportunity to object to the search,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote for the court.

The panel also found the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction in Dale Bulthuis III v. State of Indiana, 79A04-1402-CR-49.

“Lastly, the trial court’s restitution order requiring Bulthuis to pay the State for the costs incurred during the cleanup of the lab was specifically authorized, and indeed required, by the relevant restitution statute,” Mathias wrote.


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