Fifth prison term for Greenfield man


Four defendants plead guilty, set for December sentencings

By Angela Shepherd - [email protected]



David Bennett is pictured during a hearing in Highland County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday with defense attorney J.D. Wagoner.


A Greenfield man is heading to prison for the fifth time following his plea of guilty to charges levied in an indictment that was one of an unknown number issued and sealed after two grand jury sessions in October.

David Bennett, 42, pled guilty on Wednesday to fourth-degree felony trafficking in heroin in the vicinity of a school, fourth-degree felony trafficking in a counterfeit controlled substance in the vicinity of a school, and fifth-degree felony heroin possession.

Four other similar charges were dismissed as per a plea agreement.

He was sentenced to nine months in prison on each count, a joint recommendation by the state and defense. The sentences are to run consecutively for a total of 27 months in prison.

According to the court, Bennett has served four previous prison terms.

Bennett’s first prison term out of Highland County, according to the court’s records, came in 2003. He was again sentenced to prison in 2005, again in 2008, and the last felony conviction indicated in the records came in 2010 when he was ordered to serve two years.

Bennett’s October indictment was among an undisclosed number of indictments handed down in two separate grand jury sessions last month, the majority of them sealed at the time, preventing them becoming public knowledge until after those charged had been served.

Also among those October indictments was Alixsae N. Behlke, 25, of Greenfield. Behlke on Wednesday pled guilty to fourth-degree felony trafficking in heroin in the vicinity of a school, fifth-degree felony heroin possession, and fifth-degree felony trafficking in heroin.

Three similar charges were dismissed in the agreement reached with the state.

According to Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss, the plea agreement said that the state will not oppose community control and treatment in accordance with HB 86, which dictates that any first-time, low-level felony offender must be sentenced to community control.

Behlke is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

Sentenced to prison on Wednesday was Shane A. St. Clair, 41, Hillsboro, for fifth-degree felony nonsupport. He was ordered to serve 10 months in prison for the offense. A previous prison term was also noted by the court.

According to assistant prosecutor Molly Bolek, St. Clair owes nearly $30,000 in back support. A payment made this week, Bolek said, was the defendant’s “first voluntary payment since 2013.”

Miranda J. Hester, aka Miranda Dawes, 28, Washington C.H., pled guilty to fifth-degree felony possession of heroin. She was sentenced to nine months in prison.

The defendant’s history of offenses, both misdemeanor and felony, was a basis for the prison term, Coss said.

Also sentenced this week to prison was James T. Newland, 38, Hillsboro, on two separate cases. He pled guilty to aggravated possession of methamphetamine and heroin possession, both fifth-degree felonies.

According to court records, he was sentenced to six months in prison on each offense, but the sentences were ordered to run consecutively, so he will serve a total of a year.

In other hearings, Rachael M. Russell, 26, Mowrystown, pled guilty to fifth-degree felony heroin possession and is set to be sentenced in December.

Courtney Groves, 25, Washington C.H., is scheduled for sentencing next month following her entering an Alford plea on Wednesday to fourth-degree felony domestic violence. An Alford plea does not admit guilt, but acknowledges that the evidence would likely persuade a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Arthur A. Ames, 71, Dayton, pled guilty to fifth-degree felony theft by deception and is also to be sentenced in December.

Bond was revoked from Emily N. Smith, aka Nikki Smith Howell, 39, Winchester, due to her failure to show up to probation on multiple occasions to complete her presentence investigation, and also her failure to get evaluated for treatment as she was previously ordered by the court to do.

While she was set to be sentenced on Wednesday on fourth-degree felony receiving stolen property, Coss reset sentencing for next week until the presentence investigation interview and the treatment evaluation can be completed.

In the meantime, Smith is to remain in the county jail.

James Perkins, 19, Hillsboro, was sentenced to three years of community control and ordered to undergo an evaluation, following any recommended course of treatment.

Perkins pled guilty last month to fourth-degree felony domestic violence.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

David Bennett is pictured during a hearing in Highland County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday with defense attorney J.D. Wagoner.
http://timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_cpc4Nov20151.jpgDavid Bennett is pictured during a hearing in Highland County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday with defense attorney J.D. Wagoner.
Four defendants plead guilty, set for December sentencings

By Angela Shepherd

[email protected]

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