GREENVILLE — Two defendants made a similar request in Darke County Common Pleas Court on Monday – to leave Ohio.
Jennifer L. Stover, 31, of Greenville, has made several appearances for community control violations stemming from charges that include receiving stolen property.
“Cutting and running, probably the best way to put it,” said Judge Jonathan P. Hein presiding over the case, as Stover, admitted to Women’s Recovery Center as part of an Intervention in Lieu of Conviction (ILC) had cut off an electronic bracelet and “booked” it.
As previously reported, Stover had been on the lam for approximately 40 days before her recent arrest.
According to Randall Breaden, Stover’s defense attorney, his client was prepared to admit to the violations, request the ILC be terminated, and for the court to accept her guilty plea.
“It is obvious Ms. Stover is not doing well on community control,” said Breaden, noting a previous case of breaking and entering where his client likewise did not comply with sanctions. He further shared the defendant’s desire “to return to her home state of Kentucky.”
“We believe further supervision of Ms. Stover in this matter is just a waste of everyone’s time,” continued Breaden with his client proceeding to apologize to the court and probation for her actions and behavior.
“I know that I’ve made some bad choices, and if I stay here, I feel that my bad choices and bad influences will only continue,” said Stover, who requested credit for time served and “to go back to Kentucky.”
“Are you from Kentucky, what’s the connection?” Asked Judge Hein as Stover explained she is from Greenville but has visited the neighboring state with her husband. “I come back up here to see my kids.”
Judge Hein noted Stover’s ongoing drug usage and whether acknowledging her request was pushing the problem onto Kentucky. Whereas Stover argued she could escape the drug issue if able to leave Ohio.
Still opposed to the request, Judge Hein struck a deal.
“If you successfully complete the MonDay program, I’ll cut your probation,” said Judge Hein, citing the program as her best opportunity. “If you want to go to Kentucky, all you have to do is keep your nose clean down there [MonDay program].”
Dennis L. Fries Jr., 50, of Greenville, made a similar request to Judge Hein to leave Ohio but in this case, for New York.
Fries was in court last month on allegations of probation violations for two separate cases of breaking and entering, both fifth-degree felonies. It was alleged he was testing positive for methamphetamine, failing to pay restitution, and failing to make daily reports.
A new indictment was handed down only a day after his initial appearance, a charge of vandalism, and tampering with coin machines, both fifth-degree felonies.
Fries plead guilty to vandalism and the probation violations on the prior cases, with the tampering charge dismissed.
During sentencing, it was Prosecuting attorney Deborah Quigley’s position that Fries be placed under community control sanctions again, with the stipulation he pays restitution of $2169.12 (not including restitution still owed on previous cases) and successful completion of the MonDay program. She stated the vandalism and tampering charge was a result of Fries falling “off the rails” with drugs.
Breaden thought otherwise, stating, “I don’t think Mr. Fries is really amenable to community control.” He cited Fries had already been through the MonDay program, that the drug usage may be self-medicating, and went on to request no further supervision with credit for time served to “allow Mr. Fries to leave the state and not return to us.”
Fries made the same request via a short, prewritten letter to the court.
“If I stay here, I am going to die,” read Fries, explaining that he had family in New York, that he would take what he learned from the MonDay program to move forward, to start fresh. “I have to change for myself, my family, and my friends, or I’m going to die.”
Judge Hein questioned the move to New York with the statement, “the same old you keeps going with you, so you can’t run from yourself.” He sentenced Fries to 23 days in the local jail, to pay restitution, and to continue community control sanctions until a determination was made on the move to New York.
“New York has to agree to take you,” continued Judge Hein. “I just don’t want to cut you loose.”
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email email@example.com. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.