EATON — Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving drugs, assault and domestic violence on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.
Eric Jamar Bergbigler, 30, of Eaton, pleaded guilty to charges of domestic violence, a third-degree felony; as well as community control violation on charges of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and criminal trespass, a fourth-degree misdemeanor; additional counts of abduction, possession of drug abuse instruments and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed in accordance with a plea agreement between the defendant and the Preble County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Attorney Brian Muenchenbach spoke in his client’s defense before sentence was handed down.
“He’s certainly indicated to me that he’s remorseful for his actions,” Muenchenbach said. “And there have been no further incidents of violence since he was released.”
Bergbigler declined to address the court in his own defense.
Judge Bruns sentenced the defendant to three years of community control on the domestic violence charge and dismissed the previous community control violations. In addition to taking anger management classes and pursuing “dual-diagnosis mental health treatment,” Bergbigler must perform 100 hours of community service. A reserved prison sentence of 36 months — less 178 days credit for time already served — could be imposed if the defendant violates the terms of his probation.
Brandon T. Welsh, 29, of Camden, was scheduled to enter a guilty plea to charges of felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and domestic violence, a first-degree misdemeanor; an additional charge of kidnapping, a first-degree felony, was due to be dismissed in accordance with the defendant’s plea agreement.
Judge Bruns voiced concerns about the plea agreement, however, saying that despite having agreed to the deal, Welsh claimed in a lengthy letter written to the court that he was not guilty of the charges named in the indictment.
“We’re not in the habit of sentencing folks who say that they’re innocent,” Bruns told the defendant. Bruns ordered Welsh’s case to be returned to the trial docket. His trial is currently scheduled to take place Jan. 27.
Kimberly M. Means, 26, of West Alexandria, entered a plea of admit to charges of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony; additional charges of petty theft, a first-degree misdemeanor, were dismissed. Preble County Prosecuting Attorney Martin Votel recommended probation, citing the defendant’s reported participation in an outpatient substance abuse treatment program.
Judge Bruns sentenced the defendant to three years of community control. Means must continue participating in outpatient treatment, maintain employment, pay $150 restitution and perform 100 hours of community service. A reserved prison sentence of 12 months could be imposed if Means violates the terms of her probation.
Logan W. Rector, 25, of Richmond, appeared on charges of community control violation on an underlying charge of aggravated possession of drugs. Judge Bruns indicated he’d agreed to release Rector pending resolution of the case because she claimed to be employed; subsequent investigations by the Preble County Office of Adult Probation, however, were unable to corroborate this.
Rector claimed she had an application in with a local employer and was awaiting scheduling of an orientation.
“That’s a long way from being employed,” Judge Bruns told the defendant. Bruns ordered that Rector remain in custody pending further hearings.
Dustin D. Alvey, 26, of Connersville, appeared on charges of possession of a fentanyl-related compound, a fourth-degree felony. According to prosecutors, Alvey failed to appear for an arraignment on Nov. 22 after being released on his own recognizance in October. Judge Bruns ordered the defendant held on $2,500 bond; his next court appearance is a pre-trial conference, to be held Jan. 30.
Christina R. Wiles, 34, of West Alexandria, appeared on charges of community control violation on an underlying charge of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. Wiles’ attorney, Brian Muenchenbach, entered a plea of denial on her behalf. Her next court appearance is an evidentiary hearing, to be held Jan. 7.