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Former Columbus pastor pleads guilty to 2 felonies

COLUMBUS, Ind. (The Republic) — A former local pastor has pleaded guilty to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Justin White, 38, former pastor of First Christian Church in Columbus, pleaded guilty Monday in Bartholomew Circuit Court to the two Class C felony charges, which allege that between May 7, 2013 and June 30, 2014, he aided or induced a juvenile to commit an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, court documents state.

In the two counts, he is accused of aiding and inducing the juvenile to deal in two narcotic drugs, hydrocodone and oxycontin, court documents state.

The plea agreement calls for the prosecution to dismiss a Level 5 felony charge of insurance fraud, which accused White of staging a burglary at his home to obtain insurance money to pay a drug debt, court documents state.

Those convicted of a Class C felony could face a jail term of two to eight years and a fine of up to $10,000 on each count, court documents state.

It will be up to Bartholomew Circuit Judge Kelly Benjamin whether the plea agreement will be accepted and what White’s sentence will be.

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