Russia man pleads guilty to amended charge


By Jim Painter - For the Sidney Daily News



SIDNEY — A Russia man has pleaded guilty to an amended charge regarding his causing serious injury to a passenger on his motorcycle.

On Tuesday, Stephen Jeffrey Vennemeyer, 52, 3815 Russia-Versailles Road, Russia, entered a guilty plea to a charge of aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony, through a Bill of Information filed Monday. He also pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle with a specified concentration of alcohol, a first-degree misdemeanor.

It was one of several cases taken before the Shelby County Common Pleas Court Judge James Stevenson this week.

The Bill of Information bypasses the grand jury process as agreed upon by prosecutors and Vennemeyer.

According to online court records, the Bill states Ohio law outlines, in part, that Vennemeyer “while under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden fit of rage, either of which is brought on by serious provocation occasioned by the victim that is reasonably sufficient to incite the person into using deadly force, did cause serious physical harm to another,”.

Vennemeyer was originally charged with aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony, regarding the motorcycle accident on May 5.

According to records, Vennemeyer was traveling on Russia-Versailles Road when he lost control of his motorcycle. He overturned seriously injuring his passenger. Authorities claim Vennemeyer had a blood alcohol level of .176 following the accident.

He faces a maximum of 18 months in prison and a $6,075 fine when sentenced.

The taste for alcohol has factored into a Sidney woman being returned to jail for a probation violation.

Ashley N. Eichelberger, 33, at large, was ordered to report to the Shelby County Jail on Sept. 11 to serve 90 days through the work release program due to violating the guidelines of her probation. She was originally found guilty of grand theft, a fourth-degree felony in 2015.

It wasn’t the first such interaction for Eichelberger.

On Dec. 1, 2015, Eichelberger was indicted on charges relating to the theft of $7,500 from the Lawyer’s Title Agency for over a year. On Jan. 20, 2016, she was sentenced to 60 days in jail, ordered to pay restitution, fined $500, and assessed court costs, as part of her community control sanctions.

On Oct. 19, 2017, Eichelberger was found guilty of probation violations when she was found to have consumed alcohol and resisted arrest. The original sentence of 18 months in prison at the Marysville Reformatory for Women was re-imposed.

On Jan. 31, the court approved a plan to provide psychological counseling allowing Eichelberger being released from prison. Soon after she was admitted to the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation (WORTH) Center in Lima for counseling. She was later released and placed on probation again.

On July 26, Eichelberger tested positive for consuming alcohol again and found guilty of the probation violation on Tuesday.

In other cases:

• James Moses, 44, 1334 Logan Court, was ordered to serve six months in the county jail due to a probation violation. He will report on Sept. 4 serving through the work release program.

Moses was found guilty of aggravated possession of drugs, and possession of criminal tools, both fifth-degree felonies.

• Megan R. Caskey, 28, 314 Wall St. Port Jefferson, was sentenced to 30 days in the county jail being found guilty of a probation violation. She will participate in the jail’s work release program beginning Sept. 11.

Caskey was originally found guilty of one count of forgery, a fifth-degree. She was found forging the signature of another on stolen checks. Probation authorities found Caskey tested position for alcohol and drug use.

• Logan W. Thompson, 23, Piqua, was sentenced to five years of community control on a charge of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. She was also ordered to complete drug and alcohol counseling and assessed court costs.

Thompson was arrested in possession of cocaine.

• Thomas S. Doak, 40, 13000 Lochard Road, Anna, was sentenced to five years of community control one a charge of domestic violence, a fourth-degree felony. He was also ordered to complete anger and rage counseling and parenting classes. He was also assessed court costs.

He was found guilty of slapping his 12-year-old son and pulling his hair causing injury. The court noted Doak has prior domestic violence convictions.

• Austin James Depinet, 21, 514 Second Ave., was placed on five years of community control on a charge of attempted theft, a first-degree misdemeanor. He was also ordered to obtain drug and alcohol counseling, pay $1,156 in restitution, and, was assessed court costs.

He was found guilty of stealing a safe, cash and jewelry from a residence at 311 ½ Maple St. on March 1.

• James Oliphant, 42, at large, was placed on five years community control on a charge of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. He was also fined $300 and assessed court costs. He was ordered to be incarcerated at the county jail until he is accepted into the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation program in Lima.

He was found guilty of having Methamphetamine when arrested on Aug. 12.

By Jim Painter

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.