The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, May. 20, 2022

Robbery suspect given prison terms

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A total of 13 people appeared in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court for hearings held Wednesday.

Van Wert resident Trent Webster was given a prison term Wednesday during his sentencing hearing on charges related to a robbery at the Rambler’s Roost on December 15, 2011.

Trent Webster was sentenced Wednesday on charges related to a robbery at the Rambler's Roost last December. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
Trent Webster was sentenced Wednesday on charges related to a robbery at the Rambler’s Roost last December. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

During his sentencing, Webster claimed that a Fort Jennings man also charged in connection with the Rambler’s Roost robbery, James R. Reynolds, coerced him into going into the restaurant to demand money from employees. Webster told Judge Charles D. Steele that Reynolds, who also faces charges for a Grover Hill robbery, said he was going to “shoot up the place” if Webster didn’t go inside, which he said he did because, as a former Rambler’s Roost employee, he didn’t want to see anyone get hurt.

However, the judge seemed more swayed by Webster’s lengthy criminal record, which began nearly 20 years ago. Judge Steele read off a list of offenses, most of which were bad check charges, along with misuse of a credit card, theft, and obstructing official business.

The judge then handed down concurrent prison sentences of 18 months on a charge of grand theft, a fourth-degree felony, and 24 months on a charge of robbery, a felony of the third degree. Judge Steele granted Webster 163 days credit for time already served in the case, while also ordering him to pay $550 in restitution to Rambler’s Roost.

Three people also appeared Wednesday on prosecutor’s bills of information.

Todd Hundley, 41, of Van Wert, entered a plea of guilty to a bill of information charging him with failure to register as a sex offender, a fourth-degree felony offense. Hundley was given six months in prison, with credit for 107 days already served.

Chad Neal, 27, of Bluffton, pleaded guilty to a bill of information charging him with aggravated assault, a felony of the fourth degree. He had been previously indicted on a charge of felonious assault. No bond was set, due to a holder from Kentucky, and sentencing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 11.

Erin Bradford, 21, of Celina, entered a guilty plea to a bill of information charging her with obstructing official business, a misdemeanor of the second degree. One count of felony obstructing official business was dismissed in exchange for her guilty plea. She was given one year of community control and was fined $500, with $250 of that suspended.

Also Wednesday, four people appeared on probation violations.

Adam Partin, 21, of Delphos, admitted to violating his probation by being terminated from the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation (WORTH) Center in Lima. He was given nine months in prison, with 88 days credit for time served.

Ford Wilson, 30, of Van Wert, admitted violating his probation and was resentenced to three years of community control, with up to six months in the WORTH Center added as part of his sentence.

Robert Seibert, 27, of Van Wert, admitted violating his probation and was resentenced to three years of community control under the same conditions as before.

Nathan Wappelhorst, 32, of Van Wert, admitted to violating his probation and was resentenced to community control, with an additional 159 days in jail, although work release is a possibility if he qualifies.

Two people changed their pleas from not guilty to guilty during hearings Wednesday in Common Pleas Court.

Matthew Southerland, 31, of Van Wert, pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 9.

Robert Spooner, 38, of Fort Wayne, Ind., changed his plea to guilty to three counts of breaking and entering and one count of safecracking, all felonies of the fifth degree. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison on each count, to run concurrently with each other and also with a prison sentence he is now serving in Indiana.

Seth Bireley, 25, of Rockford, entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of failure to appear, a fourth-degree felony, during an arraignment hearing held Wednesday. He was ordered held on a $5,000 cash bond and a pretrial conference was scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 11.

Two people also appeared for treatment in lieu of conviction violations.

Jesse Blackburn, 22, of Delphos, admitted to violating his treatment plan by failing to report to probation and by not attending treatment sessions at Westwood Behavioral Health Center in Van Wert. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing set for 9 a.m. July 9.

Zachariah Young, 27, of Van Wert, who was accused of violating his treatment program by drinking alcohol and being involved in a domestic violence incident, had his case continued until August 1 to give him a chance to continue his treatment program ad pay court costs.

POSTED: 05/29/14 at 6:31 am. FILED UNDER: News