The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019

MP man given prison term on drug count

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Three people were sentenced, three people arraigned, and seven people changed their pleas during hearings held recently in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

Christopher Knuth, 35, of Middle Point, was sentenced on one count of failure to provide notice of a change of address, a felony of the fifth degree, and one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a third-degree felony, after he changed his plea to guilty on the trafficking charge on Tuesday. Judge Martin D. Burchfield sentenced Knuth to 11 months in prison on the first count, with credit for 26 days served, and 24 months on the trafficking charge, with no credit for time served. The sentences are to run at the same time, for a total prison term of 24 months.

Samuel Hyndman, 29, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was sentenced to 75 days in jail, with credit for 41 days already served, on a charge of trespass in a habitation, a felony of the fourth degree. 

Bobby Panning Jr., 22, of Cloverdale, was given three years of community control on a charge of aggravated possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. He was also ordered have no illegal drugs or alcohol without a prescription, to undergo a substance abuse assessment and any treatment recommended, and to undergo random drug tests. 

Three people were also arraigned this week. They include:

Sherri Devaughn, 55, of Van Wert, entered not guilty pleas to two counts of theft of drugs and two counts of illegal possession of drug documents, each a felony of the fourth degree; and two counts of aggravated possession of drugs, each a fifth-degree felony. She was released on an unsecured personal surety bond and will appear for a pretrial conference at 9 a.m. Wednesday, October 16.

Jeremy Wilson, 26, of Galloway, pleaded not guilty to one count each of illegal conveyance into a jail, a felony of the third degree; one count of possession of drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor; possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; and driving while under a license suspension; an unclassified misdemeanor. No other information was released on this case.

Amanda Labounty, 36, of West Unity, entered not guilty pleas to two counts of tampering with records, each a felony of the third degree; and two counts of falsification, each a misdemeanor of the first degree. She was released on a personal surety bond and will appear for a pretrial conference at 8 a.m. October 16.

Six others making changes of pleas include:

Austin Ladd, 19, of Delphos, changed his plea to guilty to one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a felony of the third degree, and two related specifications: $32 in cash and real estate located at 501 Cherry St. in Delphos were used in the commission of the offense. Other charges against him were dismissed in exchange of his guilty plea. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, October 30.

Jayson Foppe, 19, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to one count of assault, a felony of the fourth degree. A presentence investigation was ordered and Foppe will appear for sentencing at 9 a.m. October 30.

Ciera Miller, 32, of Van Wert, pleaded guilty to a prosecutor’s bill of information charging her with obstructing official business, a misdemeanor of the second degree. She was then sentenced to three days in jail, with credit for three days already served.

Phillip Vickery, 29, of Decatur, Indiana, changed his plea to guilty to two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, each a felony of the third degree, and one count of trafficking in a Fentanyl-related compound. He also agreed to a specification stating that he used $60 in currency in the commission of the crime. A presentence investigation will be conducted and Vickery will appear for sentencing at 9 a.m. October 30.

Danny Mullins, 61, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to one count each of aggravated trafficking in drugs and trafficking in heroin, each a felony of the fifth degree. A presentence investigation will be conducted and Mullins will appear for sentencing at 9 a.m. October 30.

Jason Ross Allen Fricke, 46, of Va Wert, changed his plea to guilty to one count of operating a vehicle while impaired, his third offense in 10 years, which is an unclassified misdemeanor. Sentencing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, September 25.

One person also appeared for a probation violation hearing, and three others were in court for bond violation hearings.

Ernest Vasconcellos, 50, of Van Wert, admitted to violating his probation by testing positive for drugs. He was sentenced to 132 days in jail, with credit for 72 days already served.

Jared Shaffer, 20, of Van Wert, admitted to violating his bond and his treatment in lieu of conviction program by consuming alcohol and being convicted of underage consumption. Shaffer requested immediate sentencing and was given two years of community control, was banned from having illegal drugs or alcohol without a prescription, must undergo random drug screens, and a substance abuse assessment and any treatment recommended. He must also perform 100 hours of community service.

Corey Elston, 29, of Van Wert, admitted to violating his bond and his treatment in lieu of conviction program by failing a drug test. He was released on a surety bond, with sentencing scheduled for 9 a.m. October 30 after a presentenced investigation is completed.

April Ladd, 37, of Convoy, admitted to violating her bond by failing to appear for court hearings. A new bond was set at $10,000 and a pretrial conference will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, September 24.

In addition, Caleb Geise, 27, of Delphos, waived his constitutional right to a speedy trial in open court and requested, and was granted, more time to prepare his case. A pretrial conference was set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, October 15.

POSTED: 09/18/19 at 10:33 pm. FILED UNDER: News