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TMCNet:  Charlestown Middle School teacher charged in drug possession

[January 04, 2013]

Charlestown Middle School teacher charged in drug possession

CHARLESTOWN, Jan 04, 2013 (The Evening News and the Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A teacher at Charlestown Middle School is facing charges in Clark County after he was found in possession of marijuana on school property and at his Jeffersonville home Dec. 21.


The Office of the Clark County Prosecutor filed charges Friday against Kevin Dale Hennegan, 56, of 3414 Sundancer in Jeffersonville. He is charged with maintaining a common nuisance, a class D felony, and possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, both class A misdemeanors.

Hennegan is a social studies teacher and has been employed with Greater Clark County Schools for 23 years. He was suspended from teaching with pay pending an administrative investigation, after being arrested on school grounds, Greater Clark officials said in a statement.

According to reports filed by the Charlestown Police Department, a school secretary found an unlabeled pill bottle containing marijuana on the floor of building's main office Dec. 21. A Charlestown officer and the school's assistant principle, Tim LaGrange, then viewed surveillance video that showed the pill bottle falling from Hennegan's pants pocket onto the floor where it was later found.

Hennegan was called to the office later in the day to speak with police officers, Greater Clark Superintendent Andrew Melin and other officials about the pill bottle.

"I found the pill bottle in my classroom in front of my desk before lunch time and planned on talking to Mr. LaGrange directly after school," Hennegan said, according to police records.

Charlestown Middle School Principal Karen Wesley told officers that it would be unusual for Hennegan to find a violation of school policy and not report it in a timely manner.

During subsequent interviews, Hennegan continued to deny the pill bottle was his property.

A Charlestown police K-9 unit was called to the school to search Hennegan's classroom. During the search, police located a black smoking device that contained burnt marijuana located under a folder near his desk. Officers also found a small, blue smoking device, two lighters, two strings and two toothpicks used to clean the smoking device located inside a camera bag in the classroom.

Hennegan said that he had brought the camera bag to the school because it carries his iPods and he wanted to play Christmas music for his students during class.

Police also discovered $13,000 in cash in Hennegan's desk. Officers reported that Hennegan said the money was for a friend of his who was in financial trouble.

Police reported that during the investigation, Hennegan's son arrived at the school in a van to pick up his father. Officers used the K-9 unit to conduct a free-air sweep on the exterior of the vehicle. Police discovered in the center floor board of the vehicle a small amount of marijuana, described as primarily marijuana seeds and small, leafy particles. Charlestown police then went to Hennegan's home to conduct a K-9 search for further illegal materials. Police reported the K-9 entered a small room in the in the rear of the residence and immediately gave a positive alert on a tin lunch box where 28 grams, or about one ounce, of marijuana was found.

According to officials at the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex, Hennegan was booked into the jail at 10:25 p.m. Dec. 21 and released at 11:05 p.m., after posting 10 percent of a $5,000 cash/surety bond.

Hennegan is scheduled to appear in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 7.

The Hennegan family declined to comment in a previous phone call about the charges. No attorney was listed for him in online court records.

___ (c)2013 The Evening News and The Tribune (Jeffersonville, Ind.) Visit The Evening News and The Tribune (Jeffersonville, Ind.) at newsandtribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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