Preble County Common Pleas hears robbery, probation violation cases

By Anthony Baker -

EATON — Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving robbery, drugs, and probation violation on Wednesday, July 24. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.

Jimmie Joe Chasteen, 54, of Eldorado, was sentenced on charges of aggravated burglary. Chasteen allegedly broke into the home of an elderly woman, duct-taped her to a chair, taped her mouth shut, and then robbed her, according to Judge Bruns. Chasteen was arrested by U.S. Marshals after failing to appear for two previous sentencing hearings.

“This is a pretty horrific crime,” Bruns said before sentence was handed down. Prosecutors alleged that despite claims of various medical ailments, Chasteen had attempted to flee and hide under a bed before being arrested by the Marshals.

Chasteen told a different story, however.

“When they came charging into my bedroom, I jumped up out of fear and fell on the floor,” Chasteen claimed.

Bruns sentenced the defendant to five years incarceration.

Melissa Thoman, 44, was sentenced on charges of community control violation. Thoman has been on probation since 2017, according to prosecutors, stemming from charges of receiving stolen property and illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto the grounds of a specified governmental facility.

“I would like to take responsibility for my actions,” Thoman told the court before being sentenced. “I didn’t follow through with my treatment; that was where I went wrong.”

Thoman admitted to having relapsed and ultimately overdosed twice since leaving her most recent treatment program. Nonetheless, she asked the court to consider ordering her to receive intensive outpatient care.

Judge Bruns declined to be lenient, however, saying that Thoman had twice failed to complete substance abuse treatment programs at Sojourners Recovery Services, and later relapsed “about a month” after completing the MonDay program in Montgomery County.

“I don’t think we can de-escalate at this point,” Bruns said.

Thoman was sentenced to six months incarceration on each of the original two charges, to be served concurrently.

Destiny Carter, 24, of Connersville, Indiana, appeared on charges of community control violation. Carter is on probation stemming from charges of tampering with evidence.

Carter asked for a continuance to allow time for her probation officer to investigate a potential new substance abuse treatment program in which the defendant wished to enroll.

“I’d like to give this program a try because it is faith-based, and I think that’s something I need,” Carter said.

Bruns ordered Carter to attend a “refresher course” at River City Correctional Center in Hamilton County while her probation officer investigates the new program.

Finally, Larry Wayne McDaniel, 34, of Gratis, appeared on charges of breaking and entering and aggravated possession of drugs

McDaniel’s attorney, Sam Borst, asked for a continuance, saying that while the defendant has not been attending court-ordered treatment, he has been sober for more than a month and is currently seeking employment.

“Right now he’s the best I’ve seen him,” Borst said. “I’d like to give him three weeks to a month to stay sober on his own and get employed.”

Judge Bruns ordered McDaniel to seek treatment or risk being incarcerated at a Community Based Correctional Facility, however.

“Self-recovery isn’t going to cut it,” Bruns said. “If that’s all I’m hearing I’ll send you to CBCF right now.”

By Anthony Baker