Deal in gunfire case


Heilman fired shot in direction of prosecutor, husband

By Sarah Allen - [email protected]



John Heilman is pictured with defense attorney J.D. Wagoner in the Hillsboro Municipal Court on Friday.


Sarah Allen|The Times-Gazette

A Hillsboro man who was charged last month after an incident involving the county prosecutor and her husband entered an agreement in the Hillsboro Municipal Court on Friday.

The Times-Gazette previously reported that John Heilman, 60, discharged a weapon in the direction of Joshua Collins. His wife, Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins, was also reportedly at the scene.

An affidavit stated that the incident occurred when the Collinses went to Heilman’s driveway to get their dogs that had traveled on to his property.

Heilman originally faced a charge of first-degree misdemeanor aggravated menacing.

According to the court entry, Heilman pled no contest and was found guilty of an amended and reduced charge of fourth-degree misdemeanor menacing.

A 30-day jail sentence was suspended on the condition that Heilman stay away from the Collinses. He was also ordered to get an evaluation and any follow-up counseling at the Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center. Heilman was placed on reporting probation.

The entry added that a rifle will remain with a relative.

Defense attorney J.D. Wagoner said that Heilman’s case had been discussed in a chamber meeting.

Brown County Municipal Court Judge Joseph M. Worley presided over the case, as Hillsboro Municipal Court Judge David H. McKenna previously recused himself.

In other cases, a 143-day jail sentence was scheduled for Haley Claibourne, 26, Hillsboro, after she was found guilty of a probation violation.

Claibourne entered an agreement, pleading guilty to second-degree misdemeanor possession of drug abuse instruments. An accompanying charge of obstructing official business was dismissed.

The state recommended a suspended sentence on the condition that Claibourne get an assessment and any recommended counseling at the Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center.

Claibourne told the court, “I’m just ready to get my life together … It’s time to grow up.”

The judge said, “I’ve been trying to get you to make that decision for years.”

A 90-day jail sentence was suspended. Claibourne must pay $250 of a $750 fine. She was placed on reporting probation. Her license was suspended for two years.

This case was also a probation violation. According to records, Claibourne has two past convictions for driving without consent. She pled guilty to those charges in 2012.

A 156-day jail sentence is set for January, records added. She was given credit for 13 days, bringing the total to 143. Her probation was extended for an additional year.

Also on Friday:

• Jason Snider, 34, Hillsboro, appeared for a deferred sentencing on a charge of endangering children. The Times-Gazette previously reported that he was charged after allegedly kicking a cell phone that injured an infant. As of Friday, Snider had completed anger management classes. As such, the charge was amended and reduced to fourth-degree misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Snider told the court that the involved infant did not seem to have suffered any long-term effects. A 30-day jail sentence was suspended. Snider was fined $250.

• Brian Swango, 47, Peebles, and Bryce Swango, 22, Hillsboro, entered agreements on charges of first-degree misdemeanor assault. The Times-Gazette previously reported that the father and son were charged after an argument concerning a personal family matter “got heated,” as stated in an affidavit. On Friday, they pled guilty to amended and reduced charges of fourth-degree misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Thirty-day jail sentences were suspended. Both were fined $250. They were ordered to have no contact with the victim.

• Melody Pennisten-Jones, 50, Hillsboro, also entered an agreement. She pled guilty to an amended and reduced charge of fourth-degree misdemeanor reckless operation. She originally faced first-degree misdemeanor physical control. Charges for fictitious plates and consuming alcohol in a vehicle were dismissed. A 30-day jail sentence was suspended, as was a $250 fine. Pennisten-Jones was ordered to obtain FRS counseling and to possess no alcohol. Her probation on a past OVI conviction was extended for a year. She was released from custody Friday.

• Also entering an agreement was Randy Smith, 29, Leesburg. He pled guilty to possession of drug abuse instruments. The state recommended a suspended sentence on the condition that Smith obtain FRS counseling. The judge followed that agreement, suspending a 90-day jail sentence. A $750 fine was also suspended. His license was suspended for two years. According to records, Smith is currently serving a 126-day jail sentence on a revoked furlough.

• An agreement was also reached for Henry Bergfeld, 62, Hillsboro. He pled guilty to first-degree misdemeanor operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), which the state agreed to treat as a low test. Speeding and seatbelt violations were dismissed. As per the agreement, 87 days of a 90-day jail sentence were suspended. Credit will be given for Bergfeld’s time in a three-day driver intervention program. He must pay a $500 fine. Bergfeld is prohibited from possessing alcohol.

• George Hazelbaker, 63, Leesburg, also appeared on an OVI. He entered an agreement and pled guilty to an amended and reduced charge of third-degree misdemeanor failure to maintain control. An open container charge was dismissed. Thirty days in jail were suspended. He must pay a $375 fine and obtain an FRS assessment.

• Sentencing was deferred until December for Ashley Woodgeard, 29, Leesburg. As per an agreement, she pled guilty to second-degree misdemeanor attempted illegal purchase of pseudoephedrine. If Woodgeard gets an assessment and recommended counseling at FRS, her case will be dismissed.

• A charge of assault was dismissed for Ernest Jones, 51, Hillsboro. According to the judge, the state had been unable to connect with the prosecuting witness.

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

John Heilman is pictured with defense attorney J.D. Wagoner in the Hillsboro Municipal Court on Friday.
http://timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_JohnHeilmanPlea.jpgJohn Heilman is pictured with defense attorney J.D. Wagoner in the Hillsboro Municipal Court on Friday. Sarah Allen|The Times-Gazette
Heilman fired shot in direction of prosecutor, husband

By Sarah Allen

[email protected]

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