Homicide suspect appears for a pretrial hearing

By Meladi Brewer

DailyAdvcoate.com

GREENVILLE — Ashlee R. Fletcher appeared for a pretrial hearing. Judge Jonathan P. Hein presided.

Fletcher, 37, of Greenville, appeared via video conference from the Darke County Jail for a pretrial hearing pertaining to three cases. Case one is a one count indictment for possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. Case two has two charges: tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree, and abuse of a corpse, a felony of the fifth degree. Case three pertains to having a weapon while under disability, a felony of the third degree.

Fletcher is a suspect alongside Dean Baker in the homicide investigation of Corey Fleming. Fleming’s body had been discovered by investigators in a shallow grave at a commercial farm in Brown Township, Darke County, on Aug. 20 after he went missing on Aug. 7.

State Prosecuting Attorney James Bennett appeared on behalf of Deborah Quigley. He said the discovery is still in progress, as they are waiting for forensic evidence to be received. Quigley and Defense Attorney David Rohrer have been said to have had discussions but there have been no formal offers regarding the case at this time.

While discussing bond, Rohrer asked for the court to reconsider Fletcher’s $50,000 bond. He said there is more evidence to be discovered and a pending additional case to possibly come from the Greenville Police Department, but her record has been fairly clean over the years. Rohrer believed the bond could be renegotiated, as Fletcher was under the impression she had a place to stay with Dean Baker’s mother in Greenville.

Bennett opposed the motion to renegotiate bond due to the ongoing investigation and the fact Fletcher does not have any family willing to let her live with them. He said she has no family, no place to stay as Baker’s mother told him Fletcher is not allowed to stay at the residence, and no vehicle. Bennett also informed the court Fletcher is deemed a flight risk due to her fleeing to Florida for whatever reasons at the start of the homicide investigation.

Judge Hein said he is not changing bond nor opposed to re-discussion at a later date when and if Fletcher is able to solidify a housing option. He said the motion is going to hang in limbo for the time being and no decision will be made.

Fletcher’s trials are set for Nov. 15 on the possession case and Nov. 22 for the other two.

Zachary M. Hill, 33, of Connorsville, Ind., entered a guilty plea to possession of methamphetamine, a felony of the fifth degree. If found guilty, he faced a maximum of 12 months incarceration and a $2,500 fine, all of which is not mandatory. Up to 60 months of community supervision was also another option.

His Defense Attorney David Rohrer advised the court Hill has served 69 days, as of Sept. 24 and currently has around 81 days of credit which he deemed acceptable for a felony five case. Judge Hein sentenced Hill to up to 60 months of community control with a monitored time supervision stipulation. He advised Hill that by being put on Monitored Time, he is placing him on the lowest form of community supervision. This allows Hill to live and stay in Indiana without a reason to come back. Judge Hein said he could always drag Hill back to court and increase the supervision, if needed.

If Hill fails to comply, he faces a maximum of 12 months incarceration and a $2,500 fine. Hill was given jail time credit for the time served, and warned another 280 days can still be applied to him if he does not strive to do better.

“The cleaner you keep your nose,” Judge Hein said, “the better.”

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected]