Bronson violates parole, headed to state prison

Kevin Bronson (Photo supplied/Kosciusko County Sheriff's Dept.)

Kevin Bronson is headed to prison.

The man at the center of a scandal that led to the resignation of Kosciusko County Sheriff Aaron Rovenstine violated terms of his sentencing just months after being convicted.

Special Judge Stephen Bowers sent Bronson to the Indiana Department of Corrections after Bronson admitted he violated the terms of work release.

Bronson was serving a suspended seven-year sentence on work release after pleading guilty to corrupt business influence in July.

With credit for time served and the potential for good behavior credits, Bronson could be released in less than four years.

But the court was notified recently by Elkhart Community Corrections that Bronson had threatened staff and thus violated his status in the program.

Accusations of threats and intimidation that surfaced in work release mirror the same claims heard in testimony this summer when he invoked his alleged connections to the Aryan Brotherhood and the mafia.

During the trial of his co-defendant, Mark Soto, witnesses testified Bronson used the name of the Aryan Brotherhood to coerce people into donating money to  make a movie about Bronson’s life.

Bronson was sent back to work release from a job, after “He creeped people out,” according to the violation notice.

When discussing the matter with his case manager, Bronson threatened the man with his purported connections.

“You don’t want to poke a tiger that even Washington, D.C., backed away from,” Bronson said.

In Monday’s hearing, Deputy Prosecutor Matthew Sarber called Joseph Garrett, a corrections case manager, to testify.

Garrett said the work release program had no intention of accepting Bronson back.

Bronson on Monday asked the judge for leniency.

“What I did was wrong and I was disrespectful,” Bronson said. He argued other inmates have been given second and third chances.

“Give me a last-second chance,” Bronson said.

Pete Todd, Bronson’s lawyer, argued other people who have escaped or committed new crimes were allowed back into the program.

Sarber argued that whether the work release would take Bronson was irrelevant.

“His pre-sentence investigation points out his past criminal behavior. He should be at the Indiana Department of Corrections,” Sarber said.

After the hearing, Sarber said the plea deal was Bronson’s last chance.

Sarber said they offered a plea deal in exchange for Bronson testifying against Soto.

“He wants a second chance. He’s had like 10 chances,” Sarber said.

Soto was convicted of two counts of corrupt business influence and one count of intimidation.

Soto’s case is under appeal.

All charges connecting Bronson to Rovenstine were dropped. Rovenstine pleaded guilty to intimidation based on a heated phone call with Warsaw Police Department Lt. Paul Heaton.