Scottsburg woman’s recent troubles over dog, drugs land her in jail cell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 00:00

A Scottsburg woman had her dog impounded on July 19 after the animal bit a mail carrier and then found herself in jail on July 24 on a variety of drug-related charges.
Shauna L. Lucas, also known as Shauna L. Merritt, 34, first came to law enforcement attention on Thursday, July 19, when her dog allegedly attacked and bit a female mail carrier twice.
Information gathered in the case by animal shelter officer Dereck Robinson related that the male black-and-white mix pit bull reportedly attempted to attack a man walking his dog on Walnut Street in Scottsburg shortly after 11 a.m. on July 19. The man was able to get him and his dog away without injury.
At 3:20 p.m. that afternoon, however, a staff member of the Scottsburg Post Office notified the Scott County Animal Shelter that one of their carriers had been bitten twice by the same dog.
When Robinson arrived at the scene, he found the carrier, Gina Branham, being treated by Scott County EMS. Branham was later transported to Scott Memorial Hospital for additional treatment of her injuries.
Robinson and  Sgt. Joe Nicholson of the Scottsburg Police Department approached the owner, identified as Lucas. Lucas brought the dog out and loaded it into the animal shelter’s truck. She said the dog had broken its chain earlier in the day and then her children had left the door open, which allowed the dog to attack the mail carrier.
Since Lucas could not provide the dog’s proof of rabies vaccination, the animal’s veterinarian was contacted. Its vaccination expired in February.
Consequently, Lucas was served with impoundment papers for the animal, which was taken to the local shelter for observation.
She was cited for harboring a non-immunized dog, a Class B misdemeanor, in Scott Superior Court on July 24.
That same day, however, Lucas’ legal problems multiplied.
Deputy Jeremy Arnold with the Sheriff’s Department was assisting Community Corrections Department officers Donnie Richie and Mike Higgins with home visits.
Allowed to enter Lucas’ West Walnut residence, the men said they found Lucas in her bedroom with a 16-year-old female. Both were sitting on a bed. When asked to step away from a holstered knife laying on a nearby table, the juvenile got up and went into the living room. Lucas, however, got up but kept turning her body toward the officers and reached down below the bed.
Deputy Arnold went to the side of the bed so that he could see what Lucas was doing with her hands, the probable cause affidavit related. The woman bent down and picked up a green plastic container, the officer said. She tried to conceal it under papers, but Deputy Arnold took the container.
He said he found it to contain partially burned marijuana cigarettes, a glass pipe containing a white crystal substance, rolling papers and approximately four grams of marijuana.
He also said Lucas’ purse was laying on the bed. It contained another container which had ten blue pills and a small baggie with a clear crystal-like substance inside. A black pouch in the purse had another baggie of marijuana, again around four grams. Drug-related paraphernalia was also located in the bedroom.
Deputy Arnold field-tested the crystal material later, saying that it tested positively for methamphetamine.
Lucas was placed under arrest and transported to the Scott County Security Center.
On July 25, she appeared in Scott Superior Court for initial hearings on both cases.
On the dog charge, bail was set at $5,000 corporate surety/10% cash. Lucas was given the services of a public defender and trial date of September 25.
Her drug charges include one count each of possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, maintaining a common nuisance and escape, all Class D felonies. The escape charge is based upon Lucas’ alleged violation of her home detention order awarded her in another Class D felony case in Superior Court.
She is also charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, both Class A misdemeanors.
Bond in this case was set at $30,000 surety/10% cash. Her trial date is October 16, and she was provided with a public defender.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 07:25