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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Oct. 23, 2017

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Six people were arraigned on criminal indictments and another six appeared for a variety of criminal hearings on Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

Jeremy Paige, 33, of Van Wert, entered a not guilty plea to one count of burglary, a felony of the second degree. Paige was released on a personal surety bond, with an order to have no contact with the alleged victim in the case. A pretrial conference was scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, November 1.

Charles Thompson, 25, of Paulding, pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. He was released on a surety bond and a pretrial conference was set for 8 a.m. November 1.

Rickie Welker, 35, of Van Wert, entered a not guilty plea to one count of domestic violence, a felony of the fourth degree. He was ordered held on a $10,000 cash or commercial surety bond and will appear for a pretrial conference at 10 a.m. Thursday, October 12.

Chandler Roy Conley, 21, of Van Wert, pleaded not guilty to a charge of domestic violence, a felony of the fourth degree. He was released on a surety bond, with an order to have no contact with the alleged victim in the case. He will appear for a pretrial conference at 8 a.m. November 1.

Dwayne Samuel Watts, 31, of Ottawa, entered a not guilty plea to one count each of aggravated possession of drugs and possession of cocaine, both felonies of the fifth degree. He was released on a surety bond and will appear for a pretrial conference at 8 a.m. Wednesday, October 25.

James Freeman, 68, of Williamsburg, Kentucky, pleaded not guilty to one count each of driving while under a license suspension and failure to reinstate a driver’s license, both misdemeanors of the first degree. He was released on a surety bond and will appear for a trial on Monday, November 6. He also waived his right to a jury trial and asked that his November 6 trial be heard by a judge and no jury, which was granted.

Also Wednesday, two people entered changes of plea during hearings held in Common Pleas Court.

Dan Swoveland, 64, of Ohio City, changed his plea to guilty to a charge of illegal manufacture of drugs, a felony of the first degree, and illegal assembly of drugs in the vicinity of a juvenile, a felony of the second degree. Judge Martin Burchfield ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for 9 a.m. Wednesday, November 29.

Swoveland was released on a surety bond, with electronically monitored house arrest, and strict conditions until sentencing.

Travis Rhinesmith, 38, of Elida, changed his plea to guilty to two counts of aggravated possession of drugs, both felonies of the fifth degree. He then requested, and was granted, treatment in lieu of conviction and his case was stayed pending successful completion of a substance abuse treatment program.

Three people were sentenced, two on Wednesday and one on Tuesday.

Justin Murphy, 29, of Van Wert, was sentenced to 180 days in jail on each of two counts of assault, both first-degree misdemeanors, to run concurrently. Murphy was also given credit for 75 days already served while awaiting sentencing.

Joshua Dorsten, 36, of Mendon, was sentenced to three years in prison for felonious assault, a felony of the second degree, and 180 days in jail on a charge of violating a civil protection order, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Both sentences will run concurrently to each other and to a prison sentenced now being served from Mercer County.

Dustin Cooper, 33, of Van Wert, was given five years of community control on one count each of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree; and aggravated possession of drugs and obstructing justice, both fifth-degree felony offenses. The sentences are to run concurrently, and Cooper must also spend up to six months at the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation (WORTH) Center in Lima, as well as undergo a substance abuse assessment and treatment and a drug court assessment.

POSTED: 10/12/17 at 7:28 am. FILED UNDER: News