LARWILL GUN INCIDENT: Guilty plea entered
COLUMBIA CITY — Michael Frankhart, 30, pleaded guilty in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday on four counts relating to an incident that occurred at the Larwill Deli in May.According to a Whitley County Sheriff Department case report, Dispatch received a 911 call May 6 from the attendant at the Larwill Deli, located at 207 N. Center St. in Larwill.The witness stated she saw a white mini van in her lot with several males inside. According to the report she also said the mini van did not have a plate and the males inside were putting masks on. The witness also explained she locked the front door of the business and made the customers inside go to the back of the store.According to the report, Deputies Tony Helfrich, Scott Geist and Scott Schmitt responded to the scene, as they surrounded the mini van and ordered the three males out of the vehicle. As Schmitt looked through the van’s windows, he reported seeing a glass smoking device on the passenger rear seat and a license plate on the floor of the front seats. The license plate was reported to be the plate for the vehicle.According to the report, the sliding door on the passenger seat was opened and a handgun was located on the floor behind the passenger front seat. The handgun, a 9mm Kel Tech P-11 semi automatic, was unloaded and secured, according to the report.Frankhart, the driver of the vehicle, said the van was owned by another man. The mini van was towed and after a search warrant was obtained, Schmitt reported finding an empty package that contained synthetic cannabinoids “Spice” at one time as well as a back pack containing another smoking device and cigar wrappers being used to smoke “Spice.”According to the report, the two other males in the mini van stated that Frankhart wanted them to rob the gas station, and after they refused, the two males stated Frankhart was going to rob the station himself.Frankhart pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a serious violent offender, a Class B felony, possession of a handgun without a permit, a Class A misdemeanor, possession of paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor and driving while suspended, a Class A misdemeanor. Frankhart is scheduled to appear in circuit court Oct. 9 for sentencing.