6-month jail sentence imposed; homicide consideration to go to grand jury
The 20-year-old man responsible for firing the shot that killed a 16-year-old boy Sunday admitted he was operating a party-for-hire scheme out of his Bloom Center home and was promptly sentenced to six months in the Logan County Jail.
Evan J. Hoffman, 20, is led out of Bellefontaine Municipal Court by Bailiff Mick Lile after pleading guilty Tuesday to and being sentencedto six months in jail on seven counts of furnishing alcohol to underage persons. A grand jury will be asked to consider whether the stateshould prosecute a homicide charge against Mr. Hoffman in connection with the Sunday shooting death of 16-year-old Branden Doseck. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)
Evan J. Hoffman appeared Tuesday in Bellefontaine Municipal Court to be arraigned on seven misdemeanor counts of furnishing alcohol to underage persons.
He was charged in connection with an underage drinking party at his 6089 County Road 21 home where Branden Doseck, 16, of Jackson Center, was shot dead shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday.
Charges relating to the homicide have not yet been filed as authorities weigh whether it could be considered a justified shooting.
Judge Ann E. Beck advised Mr. Hoffman of his rights, including his rights not to testify against himself and to have an attorney present, but the defendant waived his right to a lawyer, proceeded to plead guilty to the charges and commented on the case in open court.
“As I read the officer’s report, this appears to be a money-making venture for you,” Judge Beck commented as she proceeded to consider a sentence. “You make it a business to host underage parties and make a profit from it.”
Mr. Hoffman acknowledged the truth of the allegation and when asked if he had a job, commented further.
“No,” he said. “That is why I concocted this scheme — to pay my bills.”
He indicated he would usually drink with the juveniles and drive them home the following day.
He justified his underage parties by stating the participants sought out his services.
“It was their intent — as stated in the texts — to party already,” Mr. Hoffman said.
Judge Beck, clearly not pleased with his demeanor, sentenced the 20-year-old to the maximum consecutive sentence of three-and-a-half years in jail with $7,000 in fines. She then suspended all but six months of the jail sentence and all but $3,850 in fines.
If he incurs further criminal charges in the coming two years, the balance of the sentence could be imposed, Judge Beck said.
Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee has said a grand jury will consider whether a homicide charge should be filed in connection with the shooting death.
Mr. Hoffman briefly addressed the shooting in court, against the warnings of Judge Beck who reminded him that anything he said could be used as evidence against him at trial.
He maintains that he was justified in shooting the teen, who he said had forced his way into the home through a side door.
“I had told him to walk home and he came back,” Mr. Hoffman said before the judge interrupted with an admonition about not speaking without consulting an attorney.
“He was trespassing on my grounds, ma’am,” Mr. Hoffman finished.
The prosecutor’s office will also be involved with determining how others at the underage party will be handled, Logan County Sheriff Andrew Smith said.
The seven municipal court complaints, filed by Sheriff’s Det. Tom Watson, name six juveniles and an 18-year-old adult. Mr. Hoffman admitted supplying alcohol to them. It says the seven teens gave him money Dec. 17 and he acquired 90 cans of beer for them to drink on the night of the party.
It goes on to state that it was an ongoing pattern of activity.
“In a recorded statement, Evan admitted he collected the money, facilitated the purchase of alcohol for individuals he knew to be under the age of 21 to include numerous juveniles. He admitted that he routinely hosts underage parties and he uses it as an income source by collecting more money than the alcohol costs as he did on this night,” the complaints read.