Court hears drug posession, arson charges


GREENVILLE — Four people appeared in Darke County Common Pleas Court between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. Judge Jonathan P. Hein presided.

Brandon Middaugh, 35, of Greenville, was arraigned on one count of burglary, a fourth-degree felony. If convicted, Middaugh faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison, and a maximum fine of $5,000. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and was appointed public defender Randall Breaden. Middaugh was granted an OR bond and his next appearance is slated for Dec. 17.

Mason Gabbard, 28, of Castine, appeared in court for a plea agreement on an indictment citing arson, a fourth-degree felony. In this case, the plea agreement did not amend the charge, but came with a promise that the defense and prosecuting attorneys would make specific recommendations at the time of sentencing. Gabbard, alongside his attorney Randall Breaden, pleaded guilty to the arson charge. Upon sentencing, Gabbard faces a maximum prison sentence of 18 months, and a maximum fine of $5,000, though neither are mandatory. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 4.

Taylor Swartz, 25, of Greenville, appeared in court for a plea agreement and sentencing on one count of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. Swartz indicated that she adequately understood proceedings, and pleaded guilty to the charge against her. Swartz then agreed to proceed to sentencing without an updated pre-sentence investigation. She was sentenced to community control sanctions for a period of up to 60 months, for which she will be required to seek drug and alcohol abuse treatment and report as ordered to the probation department.

Richard Crowell, 29, of Indiana, entered into a plea agreement on one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony. The charge was amended to attempted tampering with evidence, a fourth-degree felony, and Crowell pleaded guilty to the amended charge.

Crowell’s case runs in conjunction with the case of Eric D. Holder, whereas in July of this year both men were involved in an incident in which a Union City man was assaulted at a private residence South Stateline Road. The victim suffered a broken arm as a result of the assault. On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Holder pleaded guilty to the amended charge of attempted felonious assault.

Upon sentencing, Crowell faces a maximum prison sentence of 18 months, and a maximum fine of $5,000, neither of which are mandatory. He is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on Jan. 7.



By Nathaniel Kubik

Nathaniel Kubik covers courts and crime for Darke County Media. To contact him, email [email protected] or call 937-569-0066.

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