Michael Lee Eppenbaugh
Michael Lee Eppenbaugh
Two Kosciusko County residents were arrested after the vehicle one of them was driving fled from troopers, driving over 100 miles per hour.

Michael Lee Eppenbaugh, 41, of 1627 Lilac Lane, Warsaw, is charged with possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, a Level 4 felony; operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension, a Level 5 felony; resisting law enforcement, a Level 6 felony; and theft, a Level 6 felony.

He was booked into the Kosciusko County Jail at 12:34 a.m. Tuesday on a $35,500 preliminary bond.

Deanna Marie Geberin, 29, of 8563 E. Asbury Lane, North Webster, is charged with possession of cocaine, a Level 6 felony; possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor; and possession of marijuana with a prior conviction, a Class A misdemeanor.

She was booked into KCJ at 6:53 p.m. Feb 12 on a $5,250 preliminary bond.

According to the probable cause affidavit, at approximately 3:20 p.m. Feb. 12, an Indiana State Police trooper was at a gas station at the southwest corner of the intersection of CR 150W and U.S. 30 when he observed a white Chevrolet Tahoe parked at the gas pump. He performed a license check on the registration plate. The BMV return on that plate returned to a white 2000 Chevrolet Silverado and was falsely registered.

The trooper observed a male driver, later identified as Eppenbaugh, backing up and moving away from the trooper. The vehicle turned on CR 150W and the trooper followed. The trooper drove to the top of the hill and didn’t see the Tahoe southbound in front of him. The trooper found the vehicle at a local business. The affidavit said the trooper thought it was clear Eppenbaugh was trying to avoid ISP.  Eppenbaugh began to drive toward the trooper and the trooper activated emergency lights and sirens and pursued Eppenbaugh.

Eppenbaugh continued to drive in the trooper’s direction. The trooper allegedly communicated to  Eppenbaugh to stop the vehicle. The driver’s window was down in Eppenbaugh’s vehicle and the trooper was within 6 feet of the vehicle and Eppenbaugh was allegedly looking at him.

Eppenbaugh turned south on CR 150W and accelerated, passing a vehicle in a no-passing zone and disregarding a stop sign at the intersection of CR 150W and Fox Farm Road.

Eppenbaugh’s vehicle accelerated to over 100 miles per hour and continued to attempt to avoid the trooper by allegedly driving through fields and driving recklessly. The Tahoe eventually got stuck in the mud and Eppenbaugh allegedly fled from the vehicle.

The trooper saw a woman inside the vehicle, later identified as Geberin.

Officers did a BMV check on the vehicle identification number (VIN), which showed the vehicle was reported stolen to the Warsaw Police Department Jan. 17.

Officers searched the vehicle and found a 20-gauge shotgun; male clothing; a card with Eppenbaugh’s name; a folded dollar bill with a white powdery substance on it weighing approximately 0.5 grams that field tested for cocaine; and a hand-rolled cigarette that contained marijuana.

Officers spoke with Geberin and she allegedly admitted Eppenbaugh was the driver and he was supposed to help her move.

She said the powder on the bill was cocaine and she received it from Eppenbaugh, who told her to use it. Geberin allegedly said she smoked marijuana earlier in the day and both she and Eppenbaugh had used methamphetamine.

Eppenbaugh was previously convicted of burglary, a Level 4 felony, on June 25, 2018, in Kosciusko County Circuit Court; and resisting law enforcement on Oct. 2, 2022, in Kosciusko Superior Court II. He has a pending criminal case for resisting law enforcement, possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia in Kosciusko Superior Court III.

Geberin was convicted of possession of a syringe on Sept. 30, 2019, in Whitley Circuit Court; and possession of marijuana on Nov. 21, 2017, in Kosciusko Superior Court II.