Suspect in car theft waives preliminary hearing


Defendant later pleads guilty by bill of information in common pleas court

By Sarah Allen - [email protected]



After waiving his preliminary hearing in municipal court, Seth Smith appeared in Highland County Common Pleas Court and pled guilty by a bill of information. Above, he is pictured during those proceedings with defense attorney Lee Koogler.


Sarah Allen|The Times-Gazette

A Leesburg man who was reportedly a suspect in a Fayette County car theft entered an agreement in the Hillsboro Municipal Court on Thursday.

The Times-Gazette previously reported that Seth Smith, 25, Leesburg, was arrested earlier this month after a deputy with the Highland County Sheriff’s Office observed the reportedly stolen car in Rainsboro.

Smith was charged with receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony; failure to comply with an officer and theft, both first-degree misdemeanors; and driving under a suspension, an unclassified misdemeanor.

On Thursday, Smith entered an agreement and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. In exchange, the state agreed to continue his bond and dismiss the misdemeanor charges.

According to a deputy in the courtroom, a previous holder from the Adult Parole Authority (APA) had been lifted.

The Times-Gazette previously reported that Smith is currently under APA supervision on convictions for burglary and intimidating a victim/witness, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Defense attorney Lee Koogler said that Smith was scheduled to enter a bill of information later that day in Highland County Common Pleas Court.

When Smith appeared in common pleas court Thursday, he pled guilty by a bill of information to fourth-degree felony receiving stolen property. The state and defense jointly recommended a six-month prison sentence.

Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins said that the state appreciated Smith taking responsibility and saving the county both time and money by resolving the case on Thursday. She added that there was no restitution and that the involved vehicle had been returned, undamaged.

Koogler also said Smith was “taking accountability.” Koogler added that Smith has said he faces a “drug issue” and wants to get clean.

Smith was sentenced to six months in prison. He was given credit for seven days in jail. He was also ordered to serve out the remaining time on his post-release control, which totaled 964 days, according to Highland County Common Pleas Judge Rocky Coss.

In other municipal court cases, Nicholas Biscardi, 19, Lynchburg, appeared for an arraignment. He pled guilty to first-degree misdemeanor underage consumption. He also pled guilty to a minor misdemeanor for an open container.

When asked, Biscardi told the court, “I like to drink some alcohol occasionally.”

“What other crimes do you like to commit occasionally?” asked Hillsboro Municipal Court Judge David H. McKenna. He added that underage consumption is “breaking the law.”

“I didn’t look at it that way,” Biscardi said.

McKenna asked Biscardi if he would pass a drug screen. Biscardi said he would fail for marijuana.

All but five days of a 60-day jail sentence were suspended. If Biscardi passes a drug screen for everything but marijuana, he can be furloughed on Friday.

McKenna told him, “You just don’t seem to think this is any big deal.”

Biscardi said that he did, and the judge said, “You do now. You’re going to jail.”

Biscardi must also pay $100 of a $500 fine. He was placed on reporting probation. He must complete 60 hours of community service and the “Thinking for a Change” class.

He was fined $30 on the open container case.

Also on Friday, Olivia Hayslip, 31, Hillsboro, appeared on a bench warrant.

According to records, she failed to appear for an arraignment on first-degree misdemeanor operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) earlier this week. Hayslip also faces a minor misdemeanor left of center violation, records add.

Her bond is set at $5,000. While her case is pending, Hayslip is to have no contact with a reportedly involved party. She must also observe a curfew and is prohibited from driving, according to records. A pretrial is set for next month.

A charge of first-degree misdemeanor telephone harassment was dismissed for Charles Collett, 46, Pineville, Ky. The Times-Gazette previously reported that he was scheduled for a jury trial. On Thursday, the charge was dismissed after the state could not make contact with the alleged victim.

Reach Sarah Allen at 937-393-3456, ext. 1680, or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.

After waiving his preliminary hearing in municipal court, Seth Smith appeared in Highland County Common Pleas Court and pled guilty by a bill of information. Above, he is pictured during those proceedings with defense attorney Lee Koogler.
http://timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_SethSmithCPC.jpgAfter waiving his preliminary hearing in municipal court, Seth Smith appeared in Highland County Common Pleas Court and pled guilty by a bill of information. Above, he is pictured during those proceedings with defense attorney Lee Koogler. Sarah Allen|The Times-Gazette
Defendant later pleads guilty by bill of information in common pleas court

By Sarah Allen

[email protected]

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