GREENVILLE – Both the prosecution and the defense agreed that the past six months spent in jail was long enough for a man with no criminal history, despite his guilty plea to a felony assault. The judge also agreed.
Charles W. Braumiller, 80, of Phillipsburg, was charged with two counts of felonious assault after an incident in November in which he reportedly pulled a Beretta 9mm handgun on Carl Smith, 56, and shot him once in the side. The incident apparently resulted from an ongoing feud between the two men involving a mutual romantic interest.
He entered a plea of guilty to one count, a second-degree felony, with the prosecution and defense agreeing that community control sanctions and credit for the six months he has already spent in jail were sufficient punishment under the circumstances.
“It’s an unusual case,” said Darke County Prosecutor R. Kelly Ormsby III in court Monday. “Two men were interested in the same woman.”
Ormsby acknowledged that the incident appeared to be a character anomaly for the defendant, who had no previous criminal record of any kind. Ormsby also noted that the victim had not been in contact with the prosecutor’s office to establish any sort of restitution request.
Defense attorney David Rohrer told the court that he found Braumiller to have always been forthright and honest with him. Rohrer said the defendant told him that the woman had reported Smith being violent with her and that Braumiller feared for both his own safety and the woman’s. Rohrer said he believed Braumiller never intended to injure Smith.
Braumiller himself reported that at the moment the victim grabbed him, he had “never been more scared in my life,” despite having worked in active war zones for many years.
Braumiller acknowledged his actions and said that he was not and had never been a violent man. Given the opportunity by Darke County Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein to make a statement, Braumiller replied, “All I have to say is, God bless you and be with you.”
Hein sentenced Braumiller to 180 days in jail, with credit for the full time that he has been incarcerated since his November arrest. He also was sentenced to up to 60 months of community control sanctions, including regular reporting to the probation department, abstaining from any drug or alcohol use, and successfully completing any recommended rehabilitation programs. He was fined $500 and ordered to complete 40 hours of community service.
Braumiller also must surrender the weapon used in the incident to the Greenville Police Department. He will provide for any other firearms in his possession to be taken by his brother, because as a now-convicted felon, he is not permitted possession of a firearm.
Failure to comply with the terms of the community control sanctions would result in a two-year prison sentence with a mandatory three-year term of post-release control.
Reach the writer at 937-569-4354 or on Twitter @RachelLloydGDA. Join the conversation at Facebook.com/Advocate360 or visit our website at www.dailyadvocate.com.