Preble County Common Pleas hears cases of auto theft, assault on a police officer

By Anthony Baker -



Courtesy photo


Courtesy photo

EATON — Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving drugs, auto theft, and assault on a police officer this week. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.

Anthony E Gibbs, 37, of West Alexandria, was sentenced on charges of aggravated possession of drugs and assault on a peace officer. According to court documents, Gibbs was pulled over on a traffic stop in West Alexandria in August 2019. A search of his vehicle revealed the presence of crystal methamphetamine hidden under the driver’s seat.

In January 2020, Eaton police responded to a report of a public disturbance involving Gibbs. Gibbs was arrested at that time; he lunged from the back of a vehicle and assaulted an Eaton police officer while being transported to the Preble County Jail.

A report filed by one of the officers present stated Gibbs was “extremely violent” and that it took several police and corrections officers to restrain him. The report also states that Gibbs “planned the attack” and has a history of assaulting other officers.

“I’m really kind of torn on this one,” Judge Bruns said before sentencing the defendant. “I view an assault on a police officer as a pretty serious offense. They have enough to put up with out in the world without people hitting them.”

“We’re getting some pretty strong directives from the state to reduce the prison population, however,” Bruns continued.

Gibbs was sentenced to three years of community control on each charge; reserved prison terms of 12 and 18 months, to be served consecutively, could be imposed if Gibbs violates the terms of his probation. Gibbs must also complete inpatient treatment for substance abuse at a community-based correctional facility.

Bruns urged the defendant to comply with the terms of his probation.

“If not, I hope you realize how likely it is that you’ll be given a prison sentence,” Bruns said.

Timothy R. Christian, 41, of Eaton, was sentenced on charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle and community control violation on an underlying charge of theft. Additional charges of criminal endangering and attempted petty theft were dismissed in accordance with a plea agreement between Christian and the Preble County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Christian’s previous record includes charges of receiving stolen property and felonious assault. According to court documents, Christian struggles with substance abuse issues and claims to have stolen the vehicle with the hopes of using it to obtain employment.

“I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about what to do here,” Bruns told the defendant before passing sentence. “So many of your previous cases involve things you’ve done that have impacted other people. I don’t feel like I can ignore that.”

Bruns also noted that Christian had previously spent time in prison. He ultimately sentenced Christian to 282 days of imprisonment on each count, to be served concurrently.

Gibbs Courtesy photo

Christian Courtesy photo

By Anthony Baker

Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @improperenglish

Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @improperenglish