Woman with illegal prescription meds near Liberty Park sent to prison

Bernice Kersey

Bernice Kersey, 41, Batesville, was sentenced by Ripley Circuit Court Judge Ryan King Oct. 2 to eight years in the Indiana Department of Correction with three years suspended to probation for the possession of multiple controlled substances with the intent to deliver those substances only feet from Liberty Park in Batesville, according to a news release from the Batesville Police Department and Ripley County Prosecutor’s Office.

Prior to the sentencing hearing, Kersey pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver within 500 feet of a public park, a Level 4 felony.

The case stemmed from a traffic stop conducted by BPD Officer Travis Cook of Kersey’s vehicle at the intersection of Park and Western avenues. "While the officer was pulling Kersey’s vehicle over, she tossed a cellophane wrapper from her vehicle that the officer was quickly able to recover and identify as illegal controlled substances," the news release noted.

After making contact with the driver, he discovered additional illegal controlled substances within her purse. The officer then questioned Kersey about the substances. The woman admitted that she was on her way to sell them to an individual who lived on Park Avenue.

The drugs Kersey had were "prescription medications that would have been legal if they'd been properly prescribed by a doctor," reported Ripley County chief deputy prosecutor Shane Tucker Nov. 3. He spelled the "four complicated words to pronounce": methylphenidate and lisdexamfetamine, stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; clonazepam, used to treat seizure and panic disorders; and buprenorphine, used to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates.

At the sentencing hearing, the state of Indiana was represented by Tucker and the defendant was represented by Batesville attorney John Dorenbusch.

The Ripley County Prosecutor’s Office complimented Batesville Police Department officers for their thorough and complete investigation and their continued dedication to investigating drug crimes.

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