(7-20-21) This past Friday Ryan A. Markle (40) Portland,was sentenced in Jay Superior Court to six years in prison with one and a half years of that sentence suspended after pleading guilty to a Level 5 felony charge of possession of methamphetamine.

The charges stemmed from the March 6, 2020,death of 3-month-old Hayden Markle, Ryan Markle’s son. An autopsy determined that Hayden died as a result of “acute methamphetamine intoxication“.

Markle’s plea agreement on charges for neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Level 1 felony that carried a potential sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison, with an advisory sentence of 30 years, and possession of paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor, were all dismissed.

Jay County prosecutor Wes Schemenaur told the Portland Commercial Review after the sentence was issued-

“With the cause of death being up in the air… that’s why we ended up pleading to the meth. Clearly he possessed meth … but without being able to definitively prove the cause of death, I was going to have a problem… (Markle) was at work when the child died. Whatever happened, happened outside of his knowledge.”


Hayden’s mother, Jennifer Young, pleaded guilty in May to a Level 1 felony charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and was sentenced to 20 years in Indiana Department of Correction.

It was not the first time the two have had issues with the law. Both were convicted of dealing in meth in 2013, according to Jay County court records.

Portland police and the prosecutor’s office, Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Child Services and the Jay County coroner’s office were all involved in the death investigation.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020 10:59 AM Hayden Markle, age 3 months, of Portland passed away Friday, March 6, 2020, in the IU Health Jay emergency room following a sudden illness. He was born in Muncie on Dec. 1, 2019, the son of Ryan Markle and Jennifer Young.

Surviving are his parents Ryan Markle and Jennifer Young, both of Portland; three sisters, Kaylie Markle, Alexis Kelly and Hailey Buchtel; grandparents Fred and Angie Ingram of Portland and Al and Donna Buchtel of Ridgeville; and great-grandfather Wesley Walker of Portland.

Funeral services were held in the Green Park Cemetery Chapel. Baird-Freeman Funeral Home are in charge of arrangements.