EATON — A Camden man who once underwent training to be a police officer pleaded guilty to possessing criminal tools in Preble County Common Pleas Court Wednesday. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.
Beve Dean Goins, 55, was indicted in Dec. 2018 on charges of pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor, and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. Two of those counts were dismissed on Wednesday, while the third was amended to a charge of possessing criminal tools, a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of 180 days of incarceration.
Goins was initially scheduled to stand trial in February 2019. His trial was subsequently rescheduled at least six times. The offenses with which Goins was charged allegedly took place between Jan. 23 and Sept. 25 of 2016.
According to representatives from the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London, Goins successfully completed peace officer training there in 1998, but was never certified because, as far as their records indicate, he never received an actual appointment as a police officer. The Village of Camden, Camden Police Department, and the Preble County Sheriff’s Office also have no record of Goins ever having served as a police officer.
Judge Bruns conferred briefly with Preble County Assistant Prosecutor Gractia Manning and defense attorney H. Steven Hobbs before asking Goins a series of questions designed to determine whether the defendant had chosen to enter his plea “knowingly, intelligently, and in a voluntary manner.” Bruns then accepted the plea and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation. Goins’ next court appearance is a final disposition hearing, to be held March 10.
In a separate case, Cale E. Clinger, 30, of Lewisburg, was sentenced for community control violation on underlying charges of trespassing in a habitation. Clinger allegedly violated the terms of his probation by failing to complete a court-ordered substance abuse treatment program. His previous record includes arrests for theft, possession of heroin, robbery, sale of counterfeit controlled substances, and failing to stop and exchange information following an accident.
Clinger asked the court for leniency, though he admitted there was no excuse for his actions.
“I don’t know why I left that program,” Clinger told the judge before sentence was handed down. “I’m going to ask for the court’s mercy, Your Honor. I give you my word, you won’t hear me begging if I mess up again.”
Preble County Adult Probation Officer Sheila Willeford, however, said that Clinger had contacted her prior to leaving the treatment program, at which time she apprised him of the consequences which would result.
“He told me he was bored, and that it wasn’t for him,” Willeford said.
Judge Bruns sentenced Clinger to 18 months of incarceration, with 123 days credit for time already served.
“I don’t know you, Mr. Clinger, but I’ve looked over your record and it bears out everything Miss Willeford just said,” Bruns told the defendant. “I’m kind of out of options here.”
Michael A. Bird, 29, of Lewisburg, was sentenced on charges of aggravated possession of drugs. Bird’s attorney, Brian Muenchenbach, spoke in his client’s defense.
“I can tell you, based on my interactions with Mr. Bird, that he truly does understand the seriousness of his actions,” Muenchenbach told the court. “He’s indicated to me that he feels deep remorse.”
Bird previously appeared for a plea hearing on the same charges, at which time he asked to be taken into custody pending sentencing to avoid being tempted to further abuse drugs.
“He asked to be put into jail out of fear that he would relapse,” Muenchenbach said.
Bird has allegedly been accepted into an inpatient substance abuse treatment program. Bruns sentenced the defendant to three years of community control; a prison sentence of 36 months could be imposed if he fails to complete the terms of his probation, which include successful completion of the treatment program.