COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley Circuit Court was full Monday, July 9 — not with defendants, but with the family and friends of one defendant.
Lukas Kingslien, 21, of Bluffton, was sentenced to 15 years by Judge Matthew Rentschler for dealing a controlled substance. He was originally arrested March 14 on two counts of possession of a controlled substance and two counts of dealing a controlled substance.
Of those 15 years, six were ordered to be served at the Indiana Department of Corrections and the remaining were suspended. Kingslein was credited with 117 days of time served and the remaining charges were dropped.
Kingslien was not alone for his sentencing. Approximately 15 friends and family members sat in court, showing their support.
Kingslien’s attorney, Brad Baber, argued that his client’s support system was a mitigating factor, along with Kingslien’s previously clean record, acceptance of responsibility, steady employment history since high school graduation and young age.
Prosecutor D.J. Sigler felt differently, arguing that Kingslien’s age and lack of priors were aggravating factors.
“He chose to start at a Level 2 Felony,” said Sigler. Kingslien had no priors and his first offense at age 20 was a Level 2 Felony.
“I turned to selling to support my habit,” said Kingslien, referring to his substance abuse addiction.