GREENVILLE — A number of defendants appeared in Darke County Common Pleas Court via video teleconference with the County Jail Tuesday afternoon.
Steven Stith, age 53, of Celina, appeared on charges of violating the terms of his probation. Stith had previously entered a guilty plea and agreed to seek treatment for substance abuse in lieu of conviction for possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony. While authorities indicated Stith was initially compliant, he had recently failed to report to the probation office. Stith also tested positive for cocaine and THC, further violating the terms of his plea agreement.
“He’s simply not done what you told him to do, Your Honor,” Prosecutor Jesse Green told Judge Jonathan P. Hein in court Tuesday. Stith’s record also includes charges of driving while under the influence.
“I hit the ground running, then toward the end of the year things fell apart on me,” Stith said in his defense. “I’ve done my best. I don’t want to go back to prison; that’s not where I need to be. I need to get out and get my feet back under me.”
Judge Hein agreed to release Stith on $15,000 bond. His next court appearance is a probable cause hearing, to be held March 15.
Matthew Deal, age 36, of Piqua, was arraigned on charges of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony carrying up to three years in jail and a possible $10,000 fine.
“The defendant put a lot of people at risk with his behavior,” Prosecutor Green said, recommending a $10,000 bond be imposed. “And he’s shown a willingness to run from the police.”
David Rohrer, Deal’s attorney, took issue with Green’s comments.
“That’s an incorrect statement of the facts, Your Honor,” Rohrer said. “There was no putting anyone in danger, and there was nowhere even close to an accident in this case.”
Judge Hein entered a plea of not guilty for the defendant and imposed the recommended $10,000 bond. Deal’s next court appearance is March 15.
John Allen, age 30, of Arcanum, appeared on charges of assault on a peace officer, a fourth-degree felony carrying up to 18 months in prison and a possible $5,000 fine. Judge Hein released Allen, who has no previous criminal history, on an own recognizance bond, and appointed Randall Braeden as his attorney. Hein also stipulated that Allen seek treatment for depression and substance abuse issues, that he abstain from alcohol and illegal drugs, and that he pay $30 a week toward the cost of a public defender.
Allen’s next court appearance is a preliminary hearing to be held February 8.
Tyler Riggs, age 25, of Brookville was arraigned on charges of aggravated possession of oxycodone, a fifth-degree felony carrying up to 1 year in prison and a possible $2,500 fine. Riggs was released on an own recognizance bond and ordered to report to the probation department for pre-trial supervision. His next court appearance is a status hearing, to be held March 16.
Jimmy Keen, age 21, of Greenville, appeared on charges of possession of methamphetamine, a fifth-degree felony. Judge Hein released Keen on a $5,000 bond and appointed Randall Braeden to serve as his attorney. Keen’s next court appearance is February 14.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. To join the conversation and get updates on Facebook, search Advocate 360. For more features online, go to dailyadvocate.com
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU