Preble County Common Pleas Court hears drug, competency cases


By Anthony Baker - abaker@aimmediamidwest.com



Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving drugs and violating a protection order on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving drugs and violating a protection order on Wednesday, Nov. 18.


Anthony Baker | The Register-Herald

EATON — Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving drugs and violating a protection order on Wednesday, Nov. 18 with Judge Stephen R. Bruns presiding.

Michael L. Hargis, 51, of Lewisburg, appeared for a hearing to determine his competency to stand trial on multiple counts of violating a protection order. Hargis was indicted in August and ordered to undergo evaluation at a forensic services facility in Hamilton in September, and again in late October, after his competency was called into question.

Judge Bruns cited a report from Dr. Carla Dreyer which indicated that Hargis was determined to be competent to stand trial. He then asked prosecution and defense counsel if either had further evidence to submit.

“Not at this time, Your Honor,” defense attorney Bridget Woolum replied.

“Well, this would be the only time,” Bruns said. In the absence of further evidence, Bruns ruled Hargis to be competent. His next court appearance is a pre-trial conference, to be held Jan. 14; his trial is slated to begin on Jan. 25.

Benjamin J. Pruitt, of Lewisburg, appeared for a competency hearing on charges of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer. Pruitt was also found competent; his next appearance is a pre-trial conference, to be held Dec. 10, and his trial is slated to begin Dec. 21.

Also in court Wednesday:

Miranda C. Crowe, 31, of Eaton, was scheduled to appear for sentencing on charges of aggravated possession of drugs and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Defense attorney Woolum indicated that her client was not present due to fear that she had been exposed to the coronavirus.

Judge Bruns seemed dubious, however.

“Miss Crowe has had some problems showing up in the past,” Bruns said.

Bruns issued a warrant for Crowe’s arrest, but indicated he would lift the warrant if evidence “either medical or authoritative in nature” was presented to the court within 24 hours in support of Crowe’s claim.

“I would think that would take no time at all if her story’s accurate,” Bruns said.

Samuel A. Spice, 26, of Lewisburg, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated possession of drugs and possession of drug abuse instruments. Spice indicated he is currently enrolled in a substance abuse treatment program. Judge Bruns ordered a pre-sentencing investigation to be carried out in the case.

Spice’s next court appearance is a final disposition hearing, to be held Jan. 12.

Preble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving drugs and violating a protection order on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/11/web1_Courthouse-1.jpgPreble County Common Pleas Court heard cases involving drugs and violating a protection order on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Anthony Baker | The Register-Herald

By Anthony Baker

abaker@aimmediamidwest.com

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

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