Preble County Court hears drug, weapons, assault cases

By Anthony Baker -

EATON — The Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving drugs, domestic violence, illegal weapons, and assault this week. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.

Taylor Neal, 25, of Eaton, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony carrying penalties of up to 18 months in prison and a potential $5,000 fine, and one count of improperly handling a weapon while intoxicated, a first-degree misdemeanor carrying penalties of up to 180 days incarceration and a potential $1,000 fine.

An additional charge of felonious assault was dismissed in accordance with a plea agreement between Neal and the Preble County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Neal must also agree to forfeit a 12-guage shotgun in relation to the weapons charge. Judge Bruns accepted Neal’s guilty plea. His next court appearance is a sentencing hearing, to be held July 2.

Carolyn Mackey, 33, of Eaton, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, aggravated posession of drugs, and domestic violence. Two additional counts were dismissed in accordance with Mackey’s plea agreement. Her next court appearance is a sentencing hearing, to be held June 24.

Kaydin Callahan, 21, of Eaton, entered a plea of not guilty to charges of domestic violence, a fourth-degree felony. Callahan’s next court appearance is a pre-trial conference, to be held June 27.

Melissa Thoman, 44, of Camden, pleaded guilty to charges of illegal conveyence of drugs onto grounds of a government facility, a third-degree felony carrying penalties of up to 36 months incarceration and a possible $10,000 fine, and petty theft, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Thoman told the court that she is currently attending a substance abuse recovery program and has taken online courses to receive a peer recovery support certification from the state of Ohio. According to the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services website, peer recovery supporters must have direct experience dealing with a mental health or substance abuse issue; be actively involved in recovery; complete 16 hours of online training courses and 40 hours of in-person peer support training; and not currently be on probation or parole.

Judge Bruns discussed the results of Thoman’s pre-sentencing investigation.

“I’ve seen a lot of these reports, and yours is one of the most positive in terms of people who take the bull by the horns and ‘fess up to it,” Bruns said. “So congratulations for that.”

Bruns sentenced Thoman to three years probation, with an option to reevaluate at a later time.

“If they tell me ‘I think we ought to cut her loose,’ that’s what we’ll do,” Bruns said.

Dustin Rodandello, 35, of New Paris, pleaded guilty to having a weapon while under disability, a third-degree felony. Rodandello was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to forfeit the weapon involved in the charge, a shotgun.

William Dawson, 20, of West Manchester, pleaded guilty to aggravated posession and aggravated trafficking in drugs, both second-degree felonies carrying a minimum sentence of two years and a maximum sentence of eight years in prison, as well as a potential $15,000 fine; having weapons while under disability, a third-degree felony; and improper handling of a firearm, a fourth-degree felony. Several additional counts were dismissed. Dawson’s next court appearance is a sentencing hearing, to be held June 18.

By Anthony Baker