Walker appears on six count arraignment


By Meladi Brewer


GREENVILLE — Jessica R. Walker appeared for a six count arraignment Wednesday in the Darke County Common Pleas Court. Judge Travis L. Fliehman presided.

Walker, 46, of New Madison, entered a not guilty plea to count one: disturbing a lawful meeting, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; count two: obstructing official business, a misdemeanor of the second degree; count three: resisting arrest, a misdemeanor of the second degree; count four: harassment with a bodily substance, a felony of the fifth degree; and count five and six: assault, both felonies of the fourth degree.

Walker was arrested following a Feb. 7 disturbance at a Butler Township Trustee meeting. Allegedly, Walker had gotten up during the meeting and began to record the trustees and everyone in attendance. In the police report, she was accused of walking around the meeting videoing everyone before asking the officer if they were going to take her to jail now. The report stated Walker became verbally combative with the trustee in charge and had already been previously warned she would be removed if her behavior became disruptive.

The trustee in charge was reported to having asked for the defendant to be escorted out so the meeting could continue, and when Walker was escorted out, she allegedly refused to exit the north door jam area so the door was left open. Walker allegedly tried to push through the deputies, so the officer had to place his arms out and up to keep her from going around them. Officers reported having observed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from her person.

While being escorted out, Walker allegedly turned around and struck the officer’s left hand, and she was arrested. While being helped up and back into her shoes, the report stated Walker kicked Captain Trissel in the leg. From there she was transported to the jail -merely a week from her previous trial where she had been convicted of assault, a felony of the second degree.

State Prosecutor Drew Wood advised the court on the states recommendations for bond. They previously asked for a bond of $50,000 be continued on the felony four charge for assault on the officer, and in respect to the felony five harassment charge, the state would ask the court to set bond at $10,000. He advised bond for the other assault charge should be $20,000.

“For the misdemeanors, we would request house arrest with electronic monitoring, no drugs or alcohol, no contact with the victims: the Butler Township Trustees and Darke County Sheriff’s Office except for imminent emergency services,” Wood said.

Dennis Liberman refuted the states bond advising it was too high for the charges. He proceeded to advise the court bond is set based off public safety and the ability to appear in court.

“She’s not a danger to this community. She’s not a danger to anybody. She is passionate, and she now has to stand trial for that passion,” Liberman said.

Understanding his client is a very verbal person, he noted being opinionated and verbal “isn’t always a crime.” He said if she were a danger, her charges would be higher than low felonies and misdemeanors, so he feels “there’s no reason for this type of a bond.”

Wood refuted by advising the issue in this case is not what Walker said, but the verbal means escalated the situation.

“Ms. Walker escalates verbal confrontations into physical ones, and she places everybody at risk. She has a previous conviction for resisting arrest under similar circumstances,” Wood said.

Walker addressed the court stating why she feels bond should be lowered and advised she has three cases pending in the supreme court and views those cases as the reason why allegations were brought against her.

“Two of them are involving Butler Township, so this is a little bit of a retaliatory move I am afraid, but I also need to work as an attorney and respond to the three motions to dismiss on the cases,” Walker said. “I need to actually be out earning an income, interviewing for jobs, and I need to be able to complete my legal duties.”

She advised “they are sort of keeping her from perusing her legal means against them.” The court was advised by the defense that the state’s recommended bail far exceeds the financial punishments in the case.

“It’s a bail meant to keep the defendant in jail pending her trial in this matter, and there is absolutely no reason for that,” Liberman said.

Judge Fliehman set the bond at $30,000, a reduction from the previous $50,000 bond. Upon Walker’s release from jail, she will be required to abide by all pretrial recommendation from the probation department and will be subject to a house arrest electronic bracelet without work privileges. Those privileges could be modified in the future if Walker’s attorney can provide a detailed synopsis of what she would specifically need in regards to work privileges. Walker is also ordered to have no contact with the victims in this case.

A motion was filed at the end of the arraignment addressing a search warrant on Walker’s cellphone to retrieve the video and audio capturing the incident to be taken into evidence. Walker made a final statement to the court before the arraignment was concluded.

“My final comments are that the police keep assaulting me because they don’t like what I’m saying. They assault me and accuse me of assault,” Walker said.

If Walker is found guilty, she could face 0-30 days in jail and a $250 fine on count one, 0-90 days in jail and a $750 fine on count two, 0-90 days in jail and a $750 fine on count three, 6-12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine on count four, 6-18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine on count five, and 6-18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine on count six.

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

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