UPDATE: Ballot fraud conspirators sentenced; Morgan to prison - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Ballot fraud conspirators sentenced; Morgan going to prison

Posted:
Owen "Butch" Morgan/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department Owen "Butch" Morgan/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department
Pam Burnette/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Dept. Pam Burnette/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Dept.
Dustin Blythe/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Dept. Dustin Blythe/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Dept.
Beverly D. Shelton/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Dept. Beverly D. Shelton/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Dept.

The four people who were found guilty of forging signatures and creating false documents all have learned their fates.

In April, Former Party Chairman Butch Morgan was found guilty on four counts of conspiracy in forging signatures. Morgan was sentenced to one year in prison, one year in a community correctional facility, and two years probation.

Prosecutor Stan Levco says the sentencing was reasonable and appropriate. "I thought he should get executed time and he did."

Morgan's co-defendant, Dustin Blythe was convicted on nine counts of forgery and one count of falsely making a petition. He was sentenced to one year in a community correctional facility and two years probation. The other two co-defendants Pam Brunette and Beverly Shelton pled guilty to their part in the conspiracy. They both got two years probation.

Saint Joseph County Republican Party Director, Jake Teshka says he feels bad for Blythe, Brunette and Shelton, he believes they were just following orders. But he thinks Morgan got what he deserved. "I think Butch should have gotten a longer sentence, but two years in prison and two in probation again, hopefully the idea that he'll ever be involved in politics again, hopefully that will not happen."

Levco says the forgery wouldn't have changed the results of the election, but it did violate the public trust and justice was served in regards to Morgan. "This wasn't a lack of leadership, this was a crime that he orchestrated." 

Morgan was immediately taken into custody. FOX28 tried to talk with the other defendants after the sentencing, but they left the courthouse without making any comments. We also left a message with the chair of the St. Joseph County Democratic Party and are waiting to hear back.

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