DARKE COUNTY — Ryan Monahan, age 19, of Greenville, was sentenced on charges of aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, in Darke County Common Pleas Court Thursday.
Judge Jonathan P. Hein announced the guilty verdict against Monahan January 29, just four days after a two-day bench trial, but waited until Thursday to sentence the defendant. The charges stem from a June 9, 2017 incident outside Monahan’s home in Greenville, in which Monahan fired a semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle at a pick-up truck containing four other teens, striking one girl in the neck.
Because the non-fatal assault involved the use of a firearm, it carries a mandatory three-year sentence, which Hein imposed, along with 60 months post-release probation.
“This is pretty much a case of young, immature men and women behaving badly,” defense attorney Dave Rohrer said moments before Hein delivered his sentence, alleging that bullying and other provocations by the teens inside the truck helped precipitate the incident. “In fact, another party involved was sentenced to 18 months in prison earlier today.”
That other party was Jase Blocher, age 18, also of Greenville, who pled guilty to failure to comply with order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony, in connection with last year’s events.
Judge Hein sentenced Blocher to 18 months in prison, with an option for judicial release after a few months if he shows improvement in his attitude.
“I’m going to send you to prison to give you a good, healthy look at how bad things can be,” Hein told Blocher. “With your current attitude, I’m not finding that a community control sanction would be worth anyone’s time.”
Defense attorney Rohrer also asked for his client to be granted bail pending appeal, saying he felt that Judge Hein’s refusal to allow Monahan to dismiss Rohrer during the trial might be grounds for a higher court to overturn the verdict. The motion was denied, and Monahan was taken into custody following sentencing.
In other proceedings Thursday, Troy York, age 24, of Greenville, pled guilty to charges of grand theft, a fourth-degree felony. The charge was amended from a third-degree in accordance with a plea agreement between York and the Darke County prosecutor. Judge Hein accepted the plea and found York guilty; his next court appearance is a sentencing hearing, to be held April 27.
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