The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

4 sentenced in VW Common Pleas Court

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Four people were sentenced during hearings held this past week in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

Those sentenced include the following:

Caleb Mendez, 23, of Decatur, Indiana, was sentenced to 24 months each on two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, each a felony of the third degree, and 12 months in prison on one count of trafficking in a Fentanyl-related substance, a felony of the fourth degree. All four sentences are to run concurrent to each other, with a net sentence of 24 months in prison. Judge Martin D. Burchfield also gave Mendez credit for 22 days already served.

Robert Ericson, 57, of Van Wert, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, with credit for 116 days already served, on one count of domestic violence, a felony of the fourth degree.

Valerie Parent, 38, of Delphos, was given three years community control after she pleaded guilty to one count each of tampering with records, a felony of the third degree, and Medicaid eligibility fraud, a misdemeanor of the first degree. She must also perform 50 hours of community control, undergo substance abuse and mental health assessments and any treatment recommended, and pay restitution of $3,759 to the Van Wert County Job and Family Services food program.

Doniven Helm, 22, of Van Wert, was given two years of community control on a charge of domestic violence, a misdemeanor of the first degree. The community control sentence includes 60 days in jail, with work release, 50 hours of community service, and substance abuse and mental health assessments, and any treatment recommended.

A jury also found Thomas Rupert, 65, of Van Wert, guilty of two counts of gross sexual imposition, each a felony of the third degree, following a three-day trial in Common Pleas Court. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, December 18.

Curtis Coleman, 48, of Lorain, pleaded not guilty to one count each of aggravated possession of drugs and having weapons under disability, each a felony of the third degree; two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, each a felony of the fourth degree; and one fifth-degree felony count of aggravated trafficking in drugs.

He was released on an unsecured personal surety bond and will appear for a pretrial conference at 11 a.m. Thursday, November 14.

Two people entered changes of plea this week.

Sarah Stephenson, 44, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, changed her plea to guilty to one count of aggravated possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. She then requested, and was granted, intervention in lieu of conviction and her case was stayed pending successful completion of a substance abuse treatment program.

Stephen Davies, 39, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to one count each of possession of cocaine, a felony of the fifth degree, and assault, a misdemeanor of the first degree. A presentence investigation was ordered and Davies will appear for sentencing at 9 a.m. December 18.

Two violation hearings were also held in Common Pleas Court.

Austin Clark, 21, of Van Wert, admitted to violating his community control by failing to report to probation. He was sentenced to 47 days in jail, with credit for seven days already served, and fined $250.

Alexander Chorvas, 24, of Van Wert, admitted to violating his surety bond by failing to report to probation. A new $25,000 cash bond was set in the case. A trial date will also be set later on the underlying charge against Chorvas.

POSTED: 11/08/19 at 4:30 pm. FILED UNDER: News