Created on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 Written by NATE SMITH
A defendant pleaded guilty Monday to a pair of charges before Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor and was sentenced to six months’ in the local jail.
After accounting for jail credit, Michael Caldwell, 57, of Columbus, has little more than a month left to serve for two counts of receiving stolen property, fifth-degree felonies.
He must also pay court costs as part of his sentence.
The defendant has been in jail since his November arrest for stealing trailers from Turner Trailer Sales, 3538 S. U.S. Route 68.
Officers of the Bellefontaine Police Department interrupted the defendant in the early morning hours of Nov. 3 as he was attempting to affix a stolen license plate onto a trailer the defendant knew had been stolen from Turner Trailer Sales.
The owner of the trailer sales store told law enforcement the trailer is valued at $4,000.
According to police reports, the vehicle the defendant was driving that night — a 2003 gray Ford Expedition — was registered to a Clarence Collins of Willard.
Also recovered at the scene were two sets of bolt cutters, two cut padlocks from Turner’s and a bag containing wiring, parts and tools for connecting the electronics of a trailer to a tow vehicle.
Two others plead to burglary-related charges
A defendant with multiple cases pending against him resolved both charges with a single plea Monday before Judge O’Connor.
Nathan Beach, 27, of Bellefontaine, pleaded guilty to burglary, a third-degree felony.
In exchange, Logan County prosecutors will not pursue a charge of grand theft, a third-degree felony charged in an October indictment handed up by a Logan County grand jury. He will, however, owe restitution from that case, according to a plea agreement spelled out by prosecutors.
The defendant admitted to burglarizing a Zanesfield-area residence last July, conspiring to take DVDs, assorted change and a guitar.
He will be sentenced May 5, following a presentence investigation.
• Stephanie McClain, 29, of Lima, pleaded guilty Monday to complicity to commit burglary, a third-degree felony.
She admitted to conspiring to burglarize a residence at 4000 Alpine Parkway, Lot H-2, in February 2013.
A television, laptop computer and multiple firearms were taken from the residence, prosecutors said.
Deputies from the Logan County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case for several months before getting a tip from a confidential informant that the defendant may have been involved.
The confidential informant wore a recording device and taped a conversation with Ms. McClain — a discussion wherein the defendant offered a description of the firearms that matched the description of the ones taken.
In a September interview with law enforcement, the defendant said at least one of those guns had been traded for drugs.
Trial of former law enforcement officer continued
Trial of a former West Liberty Police Officer and Champaign County Sheriff’s dispatcher was continued Monday as the court recognized a special prosecutor in the case.
Scott D. Phillips, 37, of 2397 County Road 18, is now due to be tried May 6 and 7 on four charges including felonious assault, a second-degree felony, with the specification that he is a repeat violent offender; third-degree felony abduction; fourth-degree felony domestic violence; and resisting arrest, a second-degree misdemeanor.
Hardin County Prosecutor Bradford W. Bailey will prosecute the case for the state of Ohio.
Mr. Phillips filed a petition with the court requesting Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee recuse himself from the case because he has previously represented the defendant.
The judge denied the defendant’s request to be released from jail, or at least have his $50,000 cash or surety bond reduced.
Mr. Phillips has undertaken as many anger management classes and as much counseling as is available to him in jail, his attorney said.
He also supplied the court with a list of defendants with whom he shares similar charges who are either out of jail or have a lower bond than he does.