SIDNEY – A Minster man pleaded guilty to sex charges in Shelby County Common Pleas Court recently that could result in him registering as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
In other cases, an imprisoned Union City man receives additional incarceration time, and, a Sidney man takes a plea deal in a burglary netting him a $1 flower pot with his foot bunion being a key piece of evidence.
Paul A. Heiser, 41, 12820 Luthman Road, Minster, entered a guilty plea to two counts of gross sexual imposition, both third-degree felonies. Prosecutors dropped two additional charges to garner the guilty plea.
According to authorities, Heiser made sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl between Oct. 17 to Dec. 4, 2017. When sentenced he faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each count.
Once sentenced, Heiser will be ordered to register with the county sheriff as a Tier III sex offender. He will be required to register for the balance of his life.
Jason D. Amspaugh, 32, Union City, Ohio, was sentenced to 11 months on each count of breaking and entering and theft, both fifth-degree felonies. The sentences will be served concurrently, or at the same time. They will also run concurrently with prison terms from other counties.
Amspaugh is currently serving a 30-month sentence with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction on two counts of theft in an Auglaize County case.
He was found guilty of breaking into the Arrowhead Golf Course three times between Sept. 18 and Dec. 24. He took a golf cart and other items. He was also ordered to pay $13,730 in restitution.
Barefooted flower pot thief takes plea agreement
A burglary case against Tony R. Blankenship, 53, 701 W. North St., avoided a jury trial set to commence Aug. 14, when attorneys were able to work out a plea negotiated agreement.
According to online court records, Blankenship was originally indicted for burglary, a second-degree felony. He was accused of breaking into a home at 726 W. North St. on May 20 while the occupants were home.
The reports states that Blankenship, who was dressed in black, entered the home barefooted then ran out a backdoor when the occupants discovered him. A witness then saw Blankenship running and trying to break into cars.
He reportedly emptied his pockets by one of the cars and ran to his residence hiding from police in the bathroom. Blankenship told police he had been napping downstairs and was preparing to take a shower.
A footprint was discovered at 726 W. North St., as Sidney Police noted a “distinctive footprint” was found. Police checked the bottom of Blankenship’s feet noting a large bunion on his left foot that matched the footprint. The report notes that witnesses later saw Blankenship using a file on the bottom of his feet.
Police indicated Blankenship made off with a flower pot valued at $1. They also confiscated the items discarded from his pockets which were a letter, energy pills, a lottery ticket and a one-dollar bill.
On Aug. 13, Andrew Venters of the Shelby County Public Defender’s office, filed a motion asking the court to deny late evidence presented involving the footprint. At 9:28 a.m. the next day, the court agreed the evidence was filed late and ordered the jury trial be rescheduled. At 2:58 p.m. that afternoon, Blankenship pleaded no contest to one count of trespassing in a habitation, a fourth-degree felony.
The attorneys agreed to recommend community control at his Oct. 3 sentencing. He is facing a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. He remains free on a $2,500 bond.
Other case rulings
In other cases, ruled upon by Judge James Stevenson, include:
• Eric D. Burton, 45, Celina, pleaded guilty to possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony, during a recent status conference. He was found to have cocaine when arrested on Aug. 4. He faces a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine.
• Catie Jo Donson, 22, at large, had her bond set at $5,000 for a probation violation. She was found guilty of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. She was found with Methamphetamine during a Jan. 30 arrest.
• Buddy A. Miller, 37, Kenton, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, during his status conference. Prosecutors will recommend Miller be permitted with participated in the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation Center program.
When sentenced he faces a maximum 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine. He was arrested May 9 with heroin.
• Brandy L. Austin, 47, New Paris, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted possession of drugs, a first-degree misdemeanor. She faces a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. She was arrested March 31 in possession of heroin.
• Matthew A. Roe, 28, 14175 Sidney-Freyburg Road, Anna, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of drugs, a first-degree misdemeanor, during a recent hearing. He faces a maximum sentence of 180 days in prison and a $1,000 fine.
• Carl T. Crawford, 23, at large, had his bond set at $2,500 when he pleaded guilty to a charge of failure to provide change of address, a fifth-degree felony during a bond hearing. He faces a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
On March 20, he did not notify the sheriff’s department of his new address. He has a previous conviction in Miami County.
• Adam Pitcock, 38, 818 Wapakoneta Ave., pleaded guilty to a plea negotiated count of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. Prosecutors will recommend community control sanctions at sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine.
He possessed Carfentanil when he was arrested on April 12.
• Joshua A. Liette, 31, at large, was sentenced to five years of community control on two counts of aggravated possession of drugs and possession of drugs, and one count of possessing criminal tools, all first-degree misdemeanors. He was ordered to complete the Refuge Ministries program, was fined $200, and assessed court costs.
He was arrested Oct. 16 in possession of fentanyl, Carfentanil, heroin, and cocaine.
• Brian Wood, 33, 219 ½ E. Court St., pleaded guilty to one count of attempted illegal conveyance of a prohibited item onto the grounds of a detention facility, a third-degree felony, during a final pretrial. He faces a maximum sentence of 36 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Fentanyl was found on him when arrested April 30.
Part of the plea negotiation was that Wood would plead no contest to charges of possession of drugs and possession of criminal tools, both fifth-degree felonies, in a second case.
He will be sentenced on Sept. 28.
County jail time ordered
• Dekodda Goings, 25, at large, was ordered to 103 days in the Shelby County Jail work release program back to jail for probation violation. She had been convicted of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.
• Stephen E. Cheek, 47, at large, was ordered to serve 57 days in the county jail for a probation violation. He had been convicted of attempted grand theft auto, a fifth-degree felony.
• Kassie R. Brocker, 19, Grand Rapids, Michigan, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted aggravated possession of drugs, a first-degree misdemeanor, during a status conference. She faces a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
She was arrested on May 15 in possession of Adderall.
• Steven Hilleary, 32, 612 N. Miami Ave., pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, during a status conference. He faces a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine.
He was arrested June 24 in possession of heroin.
• Christian Mackson, 25, Dayton, pleaded guilty to one count of failure to comply with the signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony, and two counts of forgery, both fifth-degree felonies, in a plea negotiated case during his final pretrial.
He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $15,000 fine when sentenced on Oct. 5. He remains free on a $10,000 bond.
According to online court records, Mackson was passing counterfeit bills to nine Sidney businesses. Mackson attempted to flee Sidney Police officers in his 1995 Toyota Tercel at a high rate of speed through residential streets and a busy parking lot.
During the chase, Mackson threw a backpack containing evidence from his car near the intersection Fourth Avenue and Grove Street before being apprehended.
• Skyler Dougherty, 21, 23 N. Jefferson St., Minster, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, during his final pretrial. He faces a maximum of 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine when sentenced.
• Larry A. Epley, 49, at large, will be sentenced on Oct. 5 for the two cases he reached plea agreements with prosecutors on Aug. 13.
He pleaded guilty to attempted failure to comply with the order of a police officer, a fourth-degree felony. He fled from police driving at a high rate of speed during a drug investigation.
He faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
In the second case, Epley pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. He faces 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine when sentenced.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.