Preble County Common Pleas hears drug, domestic violence cases


By Anthony Baker - abaker@aimmediamidwest.com



Preble County Common Pleas Court heard drug and domestic violence cases last week. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.

Preble County Common Pleas Court heard drug and domestic violence cases last week. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.


Anthony Baker | The Register-Herald

EATON — Preble County Common Pleas Court heard drug and domestic violence cases last week. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.

Steven P. Geimer, 55, of Eaton, was sentenced on charges of domestic violence. Attorney Brian Muenchenbach spoke in his client’s defense before the judge rendered his verdict.

“Mr. Geimer certainly understands the wrongfulness of his actions,” Muenchenbach said. “The victim is someone he has helped raise, and his intention was to stop her from engaging in what he believed was self-destructive behavior. Alcohol got the better of him and things got physical, and he understands that that can’t happen.”

Judge Bruns sentenced Geimer to 180 days of incarceration, all of which were suspended. He placed Geimer on community control for a period of one year, and ordered him to attend anger management classes and perform 50 hours of community service.

Donald A. Buttery, 41, of Oxford, was arraigned on charges of possession of a fentanyl-related compound. The arraignment was held by phone, as Buttery was unable to enter the courthouse due to a family member being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Buttery entered a plea of not guilty; his next court appearance is a pre-trial conference, to be held Oct. 1.

Samantha L. Gardner, 31, was sentenced on charges of aggravated possession of drugs and aggravated trafficking in drugs. Judge Bruns sentenced Gardner to 18 months of incarceration.

“It was our hope that you’d be amenable to treatment, but you’ve just refused it up to this point,” Bruns told the defendant. Bruns also told Gardner that he might consider a request for judicial release after “an appropriate period of time.”

“I want to hold out a little bit of a carrot for you here,” Bruns said.

Aaron Shannon, 45, of West Alexandria, was sentenced on charges of aggravated possession of drugs. Judge Bruns ordered Shannon to attend a substance abuse “refresher course” at a facility in Cincinnati, citing the defendant’s apparently gainful employment.

“This is a chance for you to keep that job, but more importantly, to stay clean,” Bruns said.

James M. Melzoni, 47, of West Carrollton, was scheduled for sentencing on charges of aggravated possession of drugs. A warrant for Melzoni’s arrest was issued after he failed to appear for the sentencing hearing.

Sommer M. Viars, 39, of Hamilton, was given probation on charges of aggravated possession of drugs.

“I believe that she, and the community, would be better served by focusing on treatment rather than incarceration,” Bruns said, stating that Viars had previously gone seven years without committing a criminal violation. A reserved sentence of 36 months of incarceration could be imposed if Viars fails to complete the terms of her probation.

Cathy Howard, 41, of Camden, appeared on charges of obstructing justice. Preble County Prosecuting Attorney Martin Votel asked for a continuance to allow Howard to be sentenced after she has finished cooperating with prosecutors in another case.

“If sentenced now, that sentence can’t be vacated if she later refuses to cooperate,” Votel said.

Judge Bruns agreed to order the continuance, and told Howard to report immediately to her probation officer to participate in a pre-sentencing investigation.

“You’ve had at least six months to get it done,” Bruns cautioned the defendant.

Preble County Common Pleas Court heard drug and domestic violence cases last week. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/08/web1_Courthouse.jpgPreble County Common Pleas Court heard drug and domestic violence cases last week. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided. Anthony Baker | The Register-Herald

By Anthony Baker

abaker@aimmediamidwest.com

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

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