GREENVILLE — A Winchester, Indiana, man had his first appearance in Darke County Common Pleas Court Tuesday, three days after committing a crime spree near Greenville.
Christopher Newman, 31, was arrested Saturday evening by Darke County Sheriff’s deputies after attempting to rob a barn, then brandishing a shotgun at a Greenville man and his 3-year-old son. The man fought back and was able to disarm Newman, who then fled and crashed his vehicle into a creek.
Newman is also being investigated for robbing and setting fire to a nearby residence. He is currently in custody at the Darke County Jail, from where he appeared in court via video teleconference.
Newman appeared before Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein. He is currently charged with Aggravated Robbery, a first-degree felony. Hein appointed local attorney Dave Rohrer to represent Newman, who at one point during the teleconference appeared to break down in tears.
Darke County Prosecuting Attorney R. Kelly Ormsby, citing the serious nature of the charge and the possibility of other charges being added, asked the court to impose a bond of $100,000.
“We think there will be additional charges when we take the matter to the grand jury later in May,” said Ormsby. Hein agreed with the prosecutor’s recommendation and set a $100,000 bond.
Newman also faces pending charges of burglary, theft, counterfeiting, and drug possession in neighboring Randolph County, Indiana.
If convicted on the robbery charge alone, Newman faces a potential sentence of 11 years in prison and a fine of $20,000. He is also likely to serve a mandatory prison sentence of three years for committing the act with the firearm as a prohibited person. His next court appearance is in Greenville Municipal Court May 11 for a preliminary hearing.
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