GREENVILLE — Darke County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving drugs, breaking and entering, and illegal possession of firearms this week. Judge Jonathan P. Hein presided.
Alfonso Williams, 27, of Cincinnati, pleaded guilty to charges of improperly handling a firearm while in a motor vehicle. The charge stems from an incident in which Darke County Sheriff’s deputies were called to investigate a car parked at a local gas station. Williams and his uncle were found asleep inside. According to Darke County Assistant Prosecutor James Bennett, a loaded firearm was found in the vehicle’s glove compartment, in violation of Ohio law.
A second charge of possessing a firearm while under disability — stemming from the fact that, as a convicted felon, Williams is forbidden to “knowingly acquire, have, carry or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance” — was dismissed, as Williams’ felony conviction occurred when he was a juvenile, and the Ohio Supreme Court is currently debating whether juvenile convictions can be used to support such a charge.
Judge Hein sentenced Williams to 60 months probation.
In a somewhat similar case, Matthew Cooper, 30, of Sidney, was arraigned on charges of aggravated possession of drugs, improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle and having weapons while under disability, felonies carrying combined penalties of up to four-and-a-half years in prison and a potential $15,000 fine.
The charges stem from an incident in May of this year in which a loaded handgun was seized from Cooper’s vehicle following a traffic stop at a gas station in Sidney. As a result, Cooper was arrested and charged by Sidney police. The gun allegedly had a round in the chamber and six bullets in the magazine.
Cooper is currently awaiting sentencing on a case in Shelby County. His next local court appearance is a plea hearing, to be held Sept. 14.
Also in Darke County Common Pleas Court this week:
Jacob Evans, of Arcanum, pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery, both fourth-degree felonies. The charges stem from an incident in which Evans attempted to make purchases at two local businesses using counterfeit $20 bills. The defendant waived his right to an attorney and was sentenced to probation. Evans will be supervised by the Shelby County Office of Adult Probation following his completion of a sentence for another crime in that county.
Casey Bercaw, 31, of Union City, Indiana, was arraigned on charges of breaking and entering and theft, both fifth-degree felonies. Judge Hein appointed attorney David Rohrer to represent Bercaw and released the defendant on his own recognizance. His next court appearance is a status conference, to be held Oct. 1.
Jeromy Kiser, 38, of Greenville, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. Judge Hein sentenced Kiser to 68 days in Darke County Jail with 68 days credit, as well as 60 months probation.