Marshall
Marshall
The owner of Needful Things pleaded guilty to nine felony drug and tax charges Friday.

Julie Marshall, 39, pleaded guilty to possession of a synthetic drug, maintaining a common nuisance, three counts of tax evasion, corrupt business influence and three counts of failure to remit trust fund money.

The most serious charge Marshall pleaded to is corrupt business influence, which is a Class C felony. All other charges are a Class D felony. She faces a possible sentence of two to eight years in prison.

Police executed search warrants on Marshall's residences and businesses in July 2012 and found 933 grams of synthetic drugs in her home.

After searching business records, police discovered Marshall failed to pay income taxes on Needful Things from 2009 to 2011. She also failed to withhold a portion of employee salaries during that same time.

The plea deal Marshall signed with prosecutors also agrees to dismiss several charges, including dealing synthetic drugs and other tax crimes.

Prosecutor Chad Lewis said he believed the plea was a good resolution to the case.

The Indiana General Assembly passed legislation on March 15, 2012, outlawing the substance Marshall had been selling at Needful Things. Five days later, Indiana State Police performed a controlled buy at the store.

"We thought there was a probable argument to a jury that she did not know these had been illegal yet. We don't agree with what she had been selling, the drugs she had been putting out to our community and our youth," Lewis said. "We were still able to convict her on the highest count. So that was why we agreed to dismiss that count."

As a part of the deal, Marshall agreed to forgo her appeal to the Madison Zoning Board of Appeals that would effectively close her hilltop store permanently.

Marshall still has a pending case in Clark County related to allegations of selling synthetic drugs from a Needful Things store. She also is facing federal charges in Kentucky for possession of a synthetic drug.