Mitchell sentenced to 180 days for theft


By Meladi Brewer

GREENVILLE — Ansonia man sentenced on a theft charge. Judge Travis L. Fliehman presided.

Joshua K. Mitchell was sentenced Monday morning for theft from a protected class, a felony of the fifth degree via zoom with the Darke County Jail. Mitchell had previously entered a guilty plea on Jan. 23 of this year, and had a previous theft case in 2016. If convicted Mitchell faced anywhere from six to 12 months and up to a $2,500 fine, or community control sanctions.

Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Quigley advised the court that after reviewing the pre-sentencing investigation prepared by the probation department and while being pursuant to the plea agreement, the state would recommend community control.

“The state is recommending community control sanctions to include local jail time with credit, restitution, and any type of community service and sanctions the court would deem necessary,” Quigley said.

Before sentencing, Judge Fliehman told Mitchell the court must base a decision off of three overriding principles and purposes of a felony conviction.

“One is to protect the public from the future crime by the defendant or others, to punish the offender, and to promote the rehabilitation of the offender using the minimal sanctions that the court determines accomplishes those purposes without posing a burden of the state or government resources,” Judge Fliehman said.

He said the court must ensure that the sentence is not based on non permissible purposes, the sentence is consistent with similar cases committed by like offenders, and the sentence is proportional to the harm caused and the impact on the victim. The court had found the offense less serious but risk of recidivism was deemed likely.

Judge Fliehman highlighted Mitchell’s court history stating it was clear “Mitchell is familiar with the legal process.” He looked back on prior cases: In 2016 and 2017 Mitchell was granted a motion for Intervention in Lieu of Conviction that was later revoked for failure to partake in the program, there were community service hours orders in another case, and failure to appear on a warrant issued on another case.

“So the court is mindful that community sanctions, even though they may be recommended, have served little purpose in deterring this kind of activity,” Judge Fliehman said.

Judge Fliehman encouraged Mitchell to watch who he associates with because he grew up with the idea “people become who they associate with.”

“I don’t know. Maybe that’s the challenge here, and you’re just hanging out with the wrong people. I hope that stops. I’m just being perfectly honest with you. I wish you the best and wish you well, but it doesn’t seem like intervention and community service have been persuasive in the past,” Judge Fliehman said.

He said he wanted to make Mitchell mindful of the situation because when those punishments do not work, jail time and imprisonment are the only things left that the court and legal system have to remedy.

“While things might not be really challenging with this sentence, future sentences may get astronomically worse,” Judge Fliehman said.

Mitchell was sentenced to 180 days in jail with 136 days credit for time served. There will be no additional fines, but he will pay court costs and a $372.98 restitution, and there will be a release of bond. Judge Fliehman ordered for there to be no further supervision upon being released from the jail; however, he did leave Mitchell with a warning.

“Just be mindful that I am on the bench for six years, and if I see you again, it will probably get worse,” Judge Fliehman said. “If we see each other in Walmart or K-Mart, I’ll be friendly, but I don’t want to see you in my courtroom or jail anymore.”

The Darke County Sheriff was granted permission to also relocate Mitchell to the extent that the jail population requires due to overcrowding.

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

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