EATON — Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving domestic violence, sex offenses, and endangering children Wednesday, Nov. 13. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.
Brian J. Miller, 39, of Germantown, was initially set to appear for sentencing on charges of inducing panic and endangering children. Miller stood trial on those charges Oct. 29. He was ultimately acquitted on additional counts of abduction and domestic violence.
Miller was arrested March 11 following a stand-off with police in Somerville. Preble County Sheriff’s deputies were responding to reports that a woman and her child were being held at the Somerville residence against their will when the stand-off, which lasted several hours, ensued. Miller was allegedly in possession of a rifle, and had threatened to kill his female captive if she contacted law enforcement.
Miller finally exited the property after numerous rounds of chemical agent were deployed. He was then arrested, treated for possible injuries, and transported to the Preble County Jail. Sheriff’s deputies were assisted at the scene by Gratis PD, West Elkton-Gratis Township Fire Department, and Gratis EMS.
Miller’s attorney, Sam Borst, asked for a continuance of “at least a week” during Wednesday’s hearing to allow him time to assemble supporting documentation for his planned motion for a new trial, citing what he believed to be legal errors made during the original trial. Borst also said he had not been given time to review the state’s sentencing recommendations for the purpose of formulating a response.
“I sat through the trial, Mr. Borst,” Judge Bruns told the attorney. “Why do you think I need to see these records?”
Borst insisted that the court would be “adding more error” by considering his motion without the related documentation. Bruns agreed that counsel’s point regarding sentencing was “slightly more legitimate,” however, and granted a continuance on those grounds. Miller will now appear for sentencing Monday, Nov. 18.
Trevor M. Schack, 24, of Englewood, pleaded guilty to charges of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor or corruption of a minor. Additional charges of sexual imposition were dismissed in accordance with a plea agreement between Schack and the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office.
Under the terms of Schack’s plea agreement, prosecutors would recommend he be sentenced to probation. Schack would also be ordered to register as a Tier-II sex offender, which would require him to report all changes of workplace, address, or phone number to authorities in his county of residence for the next 25 years. He would also be ordered to have no contact with his alleged victim.
Judge Bruns accepted Shack’s plea and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation. Shack’s next court appearance is a final disposition hearing, to be held Dec. 18.
Robert Gayheart, 34, of College Corner, asked the court to revoke a no-contact order prohibiting him from having contact with his ex-girlfriend. Gayheart currently faces charges of domestic violence, and the subject of the no-contact order is his alleged victim.
According to prosecutors, Gayheart was charged with domestic violence after reportedly yelling at his former partner and burning her face with a cigarette. Gayheart’s ex appeared in court to ask for the order to be lifted, however, as the two have a child together and are having a difficult time attending joint parenting meetings at Preble County Job and Family Services. Judge Bruns modified the order to allow the two to attend the PCJFS meetings, but said it would otherwise remain in force until the case is resolved.