EATON — Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving domestic violence, stalking and vandalism this week. Judge Stephen R. Bruns presided.
John L. Mahan, 56, of Lewisburg, was sentenced on charges of domestic violence. According to court documents, Mahan struck the alleged victim in the case – who was pregnant with his child at the time – following an argument about the victim’s opioid use. A sentencing memorandum filed by the Preble County Prosecuting Attorney’s Offices states that Mahan later attempted to physically coerce the victim into recanting her story about the assault.
Defense attorney Brian Muenchenbach asked for leniency, citing Mahan’s remorse for his actions and his recent participation in anger management therapy.
“[The victim] was engaging in behavior that could harm herself and, more importantly, her unborn child,” Muenchenbach said of the defendant’s motives, asking that his client be allowed to remain free so he could continue supporting the child.
Judge Bruns sentenced Mahan to six months of incarceration, with all but four days suspended and four days of credit for time already served. Mahan was also placed on community control for a period of one year.
Eric S. McDermitt, 50, failed to appear for a hearing on charges of community control violation. McDermitt was sentenced to community control on charges of breaking and entering, petty theft, and escape. According to court documents, McDermitt allegedly stole three puppies after breaking into the Preble County Humane Society in June 2019; he was charged with escape after failing to return to court after being granted a temporary two-hour release to secure bail money.
McDermitt’s attorney, Jim Van Zant, asked for a continuance in the case to allow the probation violation to be resolved alongside other charges currently pending against his client. McDermitt’s next court appearance will take place Wednesday, Sept. 23.
Robert M. White, 30, of Camden, appeared for sentencing on charges of ILC violation. White was previously ordered to pursue substance abuse treatment in lieu of conviction on charges of aggravated possession of drugs, illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to comply with order or signal of a police officer, and menacing by stalking.
According to court documents, White “knowingly engaged in a pattern of conduct which caused the [alleged] victims in the case to fear that he would cause them mental distress or physical harm.” He also “unlawfully [operated] a motor vehicle so as to willfully elude or flee a police officer” who attempted to pull him over in Jan. 2019.
Under the terms of his ILC agreement, convictions on these charges would have been expunged from White’s record upon successful completion of a treatment program. White pleaded guilty to the charges in Jan. 2019; he was charged with violating the terms of his ILC agreement in June 2020.
Judge Bruns sentenced White to three years of community control. White was also ordered to pay court costs and court-appointed attorney fees and perform 100 hours of community service. A reserved sentence of 12 months of incarceration could be imposed if White fails to abide by the terms of his probation.
John C. Little, 46, of Camden, was scheduled to enter a guilty plea to charges of vandalism. Little’s attorney, Edmund Khalil, asked the court for a continuance, however, citing a recent increase in the amount of restitution his client would be expected to pay.
According to court documents, Little “knowingly caused physical harm” to property owned by a Miamisburg, Ohio-based electrical contractor in May 2020. Little’s hearing was continued until Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Finally, Brian M. Grubb, 33, initially failed to appear for a hearing on charges of community control violation. Grubb was previously sentenced to community control on a charge of tampering with coin machines; according to court documents, Grubb was caught on video stealing from a coin machine in a video arcade in Nov. 2017; his DNA was found on tools allegedly left at the scene.
Grubb arrived late for court, prompting a stern admonition from Judge Bruns.
“It’s frustrating when Mr. Garrett’s in my office telling me all these great things about you, and then you don’t show up,” Bruns said.
Grubb’s probation officer, Jamie Garrett, indicated he was still inclined to ask that the defendant’s violation be dismissed, which the judge agreed to.
“I’m a little ticked at you today, but that doesn’t offset the good work you’ve been doing for the last 60 days,” Bruns said. “So keep it up and get us out of your hair.”
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook or Instagram @mproperenglish