EATON — Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving drugs, ILC, and probation violation Wednesday afternoon. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.
Austin D. Morgan, 24, of Eaton, appeared for a hearing on charges of ILC violation. Morgan was previously ordered to pursue substance abuse treatment in lieu of conviction on charges of trespass in a habitation; additional counts of burglary, assault, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct were dismissed at that time in accordance with the defendant’s ILC agreement.
Preble County Office of Adult Probation Officer Sheila Willeford asked the court to dismiss the violation, saying that Morgan had since become compliant. Judge Bruns agreed, but offered Morgan a stern warning.
“The chance to go on ILC to avoid a second-degree felony conviction is like manna from heaven,” Bruns said. “When Miss Willeford says jump, you need to say how high.”
Bailee N. Morella, 24, of Lewisburg, was ordered to pursue treatment in lieu of conviction on charges of obstruction of justice. The charges were amended from earlier counts of assault and disorderly conduct in accordance with Morella’s ILC agreement.
Brittany Y. Anderson, 27, of West Manchester, was ordered to pursue treatment in lieu of conviction on charges of aggravated possession of drugs. Additional counts of illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed. Anderson could face penalties of up to 12 months in prison, $2,500 in fines and a driver’s license suspension of up to five years if she fails to honor the terms of her ILC agreement.
Nashelle Dorr, 24, appeared for a community control violation hearing on underlying charges of aggravated possession of drugs and possession of drug abuse instruments. Willeford asked the court for a continuance, saying that efforts were being made to get Dorr back into treatment; Judge Bruns continued the case until Friday, Sept. 11. Dorr was ordered to remain in custody until that time.
Angela J. Oakley, 26, of Hamilton, appeared on charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle and grand theft of a motor vehicle. Judge Bruns appointed attorney James Van Zant to represent Oakley. Her next appearance is a continued arraignment to be held Sept. 11.
Tyler A. Spitler, 25, of Gordon, Ohio, appeared on charges of aggravated possession of drugs and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Spitler failed to appear for an earlier hearing on those charges.
Judge Bruns appointed attorney Kevin Lennon to represent Spitler; his next court appearance is a continued arraignment to be held Sept. 11. Bruns set bond at $2,500 and urged Spitler to avoid missing any more court appearances.
“Only bad things happen when you don’t show up,” Bruns said.
Dale Gorman, 44, was arraigned on charges of theft. Judge Bruns agreed to release Gorman despite the defendant’s failure to appear for a previous hearing.
“Please don’t give me reason to regret that,” Bruns said. Gorman’s next appearance is a continued arraignment to be held Sept. 23.
Finally, Eric Lewis, 36, appeared via video teleconference with the Preble County Jail for a change of plea hearing on charges of aggravated possession of drugs, obstructing official business and criminal damaging or endangering. Lewis is currently being quarantined at the jail, as he had contact with an individual who has since been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Lewis reportedly chose to reject the plea; his attorney, John Cunningham, indicated he had done so because it would allow both the defense and prosecution to make their individual recommendations with regard to sentencing.
The plea would have resulted in two of the three charges against Lewis being dismissed; Judge Bruns cautioned the defendant that, should he reject the plea and ultimately decide to proceed to trial, consecutive sentences could be imposed if he is convicted on all charges.
Lewis indicated he had not had sufficient time to consult with Cunningham because of the conditions of his quarantine; Bruns continued the hearing until Friday to allow the two time to consult.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook or Instagram @mproperenglish