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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2017

Van Wert independent news

Five people changed their pleas to guilty and another waived his constitutional right to a speedy trial during hearings held Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

Those entering plea changes include the following:

Ronald E. Smith, 26 of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to possession of chemicals for the illegal assembly of drugs, a felony of the second degree. A second charge of illegal manufacturing of drugs, a first-degree felony, was dismissed as part of a plea negotiation.

Judge Martin D. Burchfield ordered a presentence investigation in the case and scheduled sentencing for 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 29. His bond was continued.

Courthouse statue 5-2012Abby Thatcher, 25, of Van Wert, changed her plea to guilty to a charge of complicity in possession of chemicals for illegal assembly of drugs, a felony of the second degree, and endangering children, a third-degree felony. A first-degree felony count of complicity in possession of chemicals for illegal assembly of drugs was dismissed as part of a plea negotiation.

Judge Burchfield ordered a presentence investigation and set sentencing for 11 a.m. March 29. Her bond was downgraded to a personal surety bond.

Tiffany Shuler, 30, of Van Wert, changed her plea to guilty to two counts of trafficking in cocaine, both felonies of the fifth degree. Two similar counts were dismissed in exchange for her guilty pleas.

Judge Burchfield ordered a presentence investigation for 9 a.m. March 29.

Jody Matthews, 53, of Payne, changed his plea to guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor theft charge. A fifth-degree felony theft count was dismissed as part of a plea negotiation.

Chad Kouts, 27, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to two counts of theft, both felonies of the fifth degree (amended from two counts of grand theft, both third-degree felonies.

Judge Burchfield ordered a presentence investigation and Kouts will appear for sentencing at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 15.

Also Wednesday, Kyle Goodwin, 28, of Van Wert, signed a waiver of his right to a speedy trial to allow more time for preparation of his case. A pretrial conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday, February 22.

POSTED: 02/16/17 at 8:27 am. FILED UNDER: News