News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 9, 2013

Ex-Vigo official charged with battery

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A former Vigo County Commissioner convicted of drug trafficking in 2009 appeared in Vigo Superior Court 3 on Monday after being arrested on suspicion of battering an adult relative.

David W. Decker, 57, was arrested Friday afternoon on a class-D felony charge of battery resulting in bodily injury. He was released from the Vigo County Jail less than an hour later after posting $15,000 bond. Decker received a Jan. 7 trial date from Judge David Bolk when he appeared in court Monday morning, accompanied by defense attorney Joseph Etling.

The judge also ordered that Decker provide proof that he has sought a private drug and alcohol evaluation since the alleged battery incident, which occurred June 13 near his home. Bolk ordered that if the private evaluation information is not submitted, then Decker must receive an evaluation through the county drug and alcohol program.

The judge also ordered that Decker have no contact with the victim, an adult who resides near Decker’s home.

According to court documents, Decker and the relative had a prior altercation when the alleged victim complained about Decker’s son to another relative. The victim told Investigator James J. Counterman of the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office that in the more recent incident on June 13, Decker approached her aggressively while screaming. He allegedly punched her in the mouth and kicked her in the stomach. The incident occurred while children and other relatives were nearby, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Deputies from the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene and attempted to speak to Decker; however, someone stated that Decker had fled the area by going into the woods surrounding his house. He was arrested Friday at the county jail.

Decker was ordered by Judge Bolk to return to court Dec. 16 for a pre-trial hearing.

A former county commissioner, Decker was convicted in 2009 of a federal charge of dealing methamphetamine. He was sentenced to five months in federal prison, followed by five months on home detention and another three years on supervised probation with periodic drug testing, in addition to a $3,000 fine.

A federal investigation tied Decker to a methamphetemine trafficking group in Terre Haute. In a plea agreement, Decker admitted to distributing 3.25 grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine. The amount is one-eighth of an ounce, known as an “eight ball.”

Decker was sentenced in July 2009, and released from federal prison in December 2009. His supervised probation was terminated six months early at the recommendation of the federal probation office.

Decker became a county commissioner in 2007, and was selected as the board’s president in 2008. He resigned his seat in April 2009. Prior to that, Decker served on the Vigo County Council from 2000 to 2004. He also has more than 23 years of teaching experience, serving as an educator at Terre Haute South Vigo High School.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter @Trib