The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Michael Closson (right) appears with attorney Dillon Staas for a change of plea hearing held Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Seven people were arraigned and 13 others appeared for a variety of hearings Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

As part of a plea negotiation, Michael Closson, 62, of Delphos, pleaded guilty to a charge of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony offense. A second count of gross sexual imposition was dismissed as part of the plea bargain.

According to information presented in court, Closson had sex with a young girl under the age of 13 in February of this year. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 60 months in prison. Judge Charles D. Steele also ordered that Closson be classified as a Tier 3 sex offender, which means he must register with the county sheriff’s office every 90 days for life.

Judge Steele also ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Wednesday, June 27, at 9 a.m. A personal surety bond was continued, with the stipulation that Closson have no contact with the victim in the case.

Those arraigned include the following:

  • Samuel Whisman, 20, of Van Wert, entered a not guilty plea to two counts of trafficking in drugs, both fifth-degree felony offenses. He was released on a personal surety bond and a pretrial conference was scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 23.
  • Allen McMillen, 28, of Van Wert, pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft, a fourth-degree felony. He was ordered held on a $25,000 cash bond and a pretrial conference was set for 8 a.m. May 23.

  • Emily Leasure, 23, of Vann Wert, entered a not guilty plea to a charge of receiving stolen property, a fifth-degree felony. She was released on a personal surety bond and will appear for a pretrial conference at 8 a.m. May 23.
  • Michael Speakman, 20, of Van Wert, pleaded not guilty to a fifth-degree felony theft charge. He was released on a personal surety bond, with the specification that he have no contact with the alleged victim in the case. A pretrial conference was scheduled for 8 a.m. May 23.
  • Shane Chestnut, 35, of Defiance, entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of violation of a civil protection order, a fifth-degree felony. A $10,000 cash bond was set in the case and a pretrial conference scheduled for 8 a.m. May 23.
  • Anthony Pavlides, 30, of Van Wert, pleaded not guilty to two counts of trafficking in drugs. He was released on a personal surety bond and will appear for a pretrial conference at 8 a.m. May 23.
  • Nathaniel Diltz, 28, of Delphos, entered a not guilty plea to one count of trafficking in drugs, and one count of trafficking in counterfeit drugs, both fifth-degree felony offenses. He was released on a personal surety bond and a pretrial conference set for 3 p.m. Monday, May 21.

Also Wednesday, Nicole Wells, 34, of Convoy, changed her plea from not guilty to guilty on a charge of importuning, a felony of the fifth degree. Wells was originally charged with unlawful sexual contact with a minor, a third-degree felony, for allegedly having sex with a boy between the ages of 13 and 16 years old.

A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing set for 9 a.m. June 27. She will also be classified as a Tier 1 sex offender, which means she must register every 90 days for 15 years.

Mindy Kremer was sentenced to prison after she admitted violating the terms of her community control program. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Mindy Kremer, 28, of Van Wert, had a two-year prison term imposed after she admitted to violating her probation by testing positive for the use of heroin. Judge Steele also gave her credit for 550 days already served.

Nicholas Spencer, 20, of Hicksville, pleaded guilty to attempted trespass in a habitation, a fifth-degree felony, and then petitioned for treatment in lieu of conviction, which Judge Steele granted. The case was put on hold until he successfully completes treatment.

Kyle Barnes, 24, of Van Wert, was given three years of community control on two counts of trafficking in marijuana, both fifth-degree felonies. His community control sentence also includes a 60-day jail sentence, while he must also complete a substance abuse assessment and undergo any treatment recommended. His driver’s license was also suspended for six months.

Jessica Thompson, 26, of Van Wert, was given three years of community control for her part in a case of theft and falsification, both fifth-degree felony offenses. She must also spend 60 days on electronically monitored house arrest and pay restitution of $1,978.99 along with several co-defendants.

Steven Diltz, 27, of Delphos, entered a guilty plea to a charge of trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony. Sentencing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 13. Judge Steele also ordered that he be released on electronically monitored house arrest, if he qualifies and makes payments.

Phillip Cross, 23, of Delphos, entered a guilty plea to one count of trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony. A second drug trafficking count was dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing set for 9 a.m. June 27.

Rita Jones, 42, of Lima, admitted to violating her community control program by not paying child support. She was resentenced to three years of community control, with an additional stipulation that she spend 60 days in jail, starting Wednesday.

Kasey Schisler, 23, of Van Wert, denied allegations that he violated his community control program and a hearing was set for 8 a.m. today in Common Pleas Court. He was ordered held in jail until the hearing, although work release was an option if he qualifies.

Dennis McGinnis, 28, of Lima, denied violating his community control and a hearing will be scheduled in the case at a later date.

Christopher Blue, 33, of Van Wert, admitted violation the conditions of his bond, and was again released on bond, but not without a warning that bond conditions must be strictly followed.

POSTED: 05/10/12 at 6:15 am. FILED UNDER: News