Cates sentenced in abduction case


GREENVILLE — A Greenville man who pleaded guilty to one count of Attempted Abduction, a fourth-degree felony, was sentenced to 120 days in jail Thursday.

Robert Cates, 45, was arrested January 16, following a disturbance involving him, Brent A. Perry, 44, of Arcanum, Ohio, and a group of four teenagers.

The two were arrested for an incident that began in the 900 block of Jackson Street in Greenville. The incident escalated by the adults pursuing the teens out into the country. The adults passed and forced the teens’ vehicle to a stop in the 7100 block of Ohio Route 121. An altercation ensued resulting in an assault and threats made by one of the adults involving a firearm.

Perry has yet to be tried for his role in the incident.

During the sentencing, Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan Hein called the Cates a “high risk” to reoffend, citing the defendant’s long criminal record.

“Nonsense, and mayhem, and dismissals, and obstructing, and things to that effect. So you don’t have any good will with many courts, you’re a regular user,” he said. “Getting the gray matter between your ears to work right is the problem.”

Darke County Prosecutor R. Kelly Ormsby told the court his office felt that imprisonment was a suitable punishment, and asked the court to impose a 120-day sentence.

“Longtime, local incarceration was required here to send the proper message that grown men do not overreact to this type of situation involving some teenagers, and threaten them or physically assault them and terrorize them,” he said.

Defense attorney Dave Rohrer said, “I’ve known Robert for quite a while, represented him a number of times. Robert made the big mistake in this case, he didn’t have the gun, he wasn’t the one that went to pursue, he wasn’t driving, but as I told Robert, what he should have done, your honor, was when they got to the point they stopped this vehicle, and then they approached the car, he should have extricated himself from that.”

In his own defense, Cates claimed there were mitigating circumstances that led him to his actions.

“I had no intentions of physically harming anyone,” he said. “I did nothing but deflect a door that I was struck with.”

“But the fact of the matter remains…I was present at the vehicle, I should have not been standing at the vehicle. I’m not denying that I did deflect the vehicle door, I did not try to physically strike anyone.”

“I’m willing to take whatever the recommendation of the court is and be responsible,” he added.

Judge Hein said Cates’ criminal history is like “a huge boat anchor” around the defendant’s neck.

“If you had a criminal history and it stopped for periods of time, I might understand it, but you’re consistently finding your way into busy judges and courthouses around three or four counties — Champaign, Miami, Darke — so if the past is any indicator, you’re going to find your way into another courtroom because of whatever it is that makes you do what you do.”

“You don’t get endless opportunities to do stupid things or act like a bully or a thug,” he added.

The court ordered Cates to report to the Darke County Jail to begin serving his sentence. In addition to the 120 days in jail — minus four days credited for time served — he will be under community control for 60 months, pay court costs, restitution, and must serve 100 hours of community service. Cates may be eligible for early release pending good behavior.

Robert Cates (left, with attorney Dave Rohrer) was sentenced to 120 days in jail at Darke County Common Pleas Court Thursday on a charge of Attempted Abduction, a fourth-degree felony. Cates (left, with attorney Dave Rohrer) was sentenced to 120 days in jail at Darke County Common Pleas Court Thursday on a charge of Attempted Abduction, a fourth-degree felony. Erik Martin | The Daily Advocate
Pleaded guilty to Jan. 16 incident

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