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UPDATE: Criminal cases on pace to climb in 2013

Foreclosure filings leveling off

court-records-614Deputy Clerk Janie Summers processes a stack of criminal cases Thursday in the office of the Logan County Clerk of Courts at the Carnegie Building. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

Prosecutors open about five new felony cases per week, according to statistics from Logan County Common Pleas Court.

Through May 31, there were 121 new felony cases filed in the court. At the current pace of approximately 24 new criminal cases per month, the court will see about 290 new criminal cases this year.

There were 271 new criminal cases filed in 2012, 218 cases in 2011 and 193 in 2010.

 Officials don’t take inventory of how many cases involve specific crimes. An Examiner review of all criminal cases handled last year and so far this year showed the majority of crimes involved property or drug/alcohol offenses.

Property offenses, for the purpose of the review, included alleged crimes such as theft, burglary and breaking and entering. Felonies of all degrees were lumped together in each category that also included sex and violent offenses; and an “other” designation composed mostly of non-support of dependent cases, but also included crimes such as fleeing and eluding, and identity theft.

Among the new cases filed this year, 57 have been property offenses and 45 involved either alcohol or drugs. Nine cases involved a sex crime and eight were considered violent offenses — most of those were domestic violence charges.

Among cases filed in 2012, 96 involved drugs or alcohol and 105 were considered property offenses. There were 21 sex offenses and 40 violent crimes.        

About half of those new felony cases will result in the defendant entering a guilty or no contest plea to a reduced charge. So far, 71 defendants have pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Last year, 139 defendants took a plea bargain from prosecutors.    

Between civil, domestic and criminal, the court saw 1,154 cases last year, reports show. Thus far, it has seen 649 total cases.

The reports also show that while there remains no shortage of foreclosures, they’re starting to level off. In all, 84 foreclosures have been filed in court through May. There were 267 foreclosure cases in 2012 — a decrease from 289 in 2011 and 335 in 2010.

Examiner Staff Writer Reuben Mees contributed to this story.

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