Investigation of child playing by lake leads to arrests PDF Print E-mail

Three adults are now charged with a number of drug-related charges, all resulting from a welfare check on Sunday, August 6, in Washington County.


According to a news release from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), District 8 office, Conservation Officers Robert Brewington and Neal Brewington and Deputy Brad Naugle of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to the Elk Creek Public Fishing Area in that county. A passer-by had reported a young girl apparently alone playing in the rain.

The trio of officers found the child in a vehicle parked at the fishing area. Her father, identified as Joshua Purlee, 35, Floyds Knobs, was located in another vehicle with an Austin woman, Deloris Newton, 58.

A search ensued of the pair and vehicle. Officers reported they found nearly 30 grams of methamphetamine (meth) and some marijuana, prescription (legend) drugs and cash.

Purlee and Newton were taken into custody and booked at the Washington County Jail in Salem. The youngster was released to the custody of a relative.

Based on information received from Deloris Newton, Officer Neal Brewington contacted the Scott County Sheriff’s Department. A search warrant was obtained on Monday, August 7, for the Newtons’ home off Meridian Road.

When officers served that warrant, they found James Newton, 52, at the residence on Harmony Lane. They said they also discovered additional meth, legend drugs, drug paraphernalia and firearms. James Newton was also arrested. He was transported to the Scott County Security Center in Scottsburg.

According to the officers’ report, a total of nearly 43 grams of meth, 156 prescription or legend pills in a jar, 64 pills identified as Cyclobenzaprine, seven pills identified as Tizandine and 13 firearms as well as marijuana and paraphernalia were seized as evidence in the three arrests.

The pills in the jar were later identified as Oxycodone. Officers said they also found some “Spice,” a synthetic drug look-alike and a small quantity of marijuana as well as one burned “roach.”

Of the guns discovered, a fully-loaded 9 mm handgun and a chambered 30-30 rifle were located in the bedroom. Newton’s gun safe yielded drug paraphernalia and seven loaded weapons and three unloaded guns.

Charges filed against Purlee and Deloris Newton in Washington County include Level 2 felony dealing in meth, Level 3 felony possession of meth, Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance and misdemeanors charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

In addition, Deloris Newton also faces a Level 6 felony dealing in marijuana with a prior conviction. Purlee also has a marijuana dealing charge filed against him, but it is a misdemeanor.

Additional charges against Purlee include Level 5 felony neglect of a dependent, two Level 6 felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Both Deloris Newton and Purlee had initial hearings in Washington Circuit Court on Wednesday afternoon, August 9. They were advised of their rights, the charges against them and their bails.

For the woman, bail is either $50,000 full cash; $25,000 cash and $100,000 by corporate surety bond; or $175,000 by surety bond. Purlee is being held in lieu of $70,000 full cash; $35,000 cash and $150,000 by surety bond; or $35,000 cash and $200,000 by surety bond. A no contact order was also filed against him to protect the minor child in case he obtains pre-trial release.

Both defendants were assigned an initial trial date of November 7.

In Scott Circuit Court, charges against James Newton include Level 2 felony dealing in meth, Level 4 felony possession of meth, two counts of Level 6 felonies of possession of a legend drug, Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance and misdemeanors of possession of marijuana and of paraphernalia.

James Newton’s bail was set at $100,000 by corporate surety bond or $10,000 cash on Wednesday, August 9.

At his initial hearing, he was assigned a jury trial date of October 30. Newton has been provided with the services of a public defender.