The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, May. 16, 2022

Man accused of rape fires second attorney

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A Van Wert man fired his second attorney during a hearing held in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday.

Moses Wilder appears in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
Moses Wilder appears in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Moses Wilder, 31, who is charged with rape, a first-degree felony, and domestic violence, a felony of the third degree, told Judge Kevin Taylor he wanted to replace Lima attorney William Kluge, who had been appointed to defend him after he had first fired local attorney Scott Gordon back in February.

Wilder had claimed that both Gordon and Kluge had lied to him about rape kit results he had asked for.

Kluge said that he had asked Assistant County Prosecutor Eva Yarger for a copy of the results, which he then gave to Wilder.

“And, apparently, he’s still not satisfied,” the Lima attorney told the judge.

Judge Taylor accepted Kluge’s dismissal from the case and appointed the County Public Defender’s Office to defend Wilder.

Unfortunately, the person appointed to the case will have only about two weeks to prepare a defense, since Wilder is also insisting that his trial be held on its original date of March 16.

Kluge, a veteran attorney with three decades of experience, said that would have been impossible for him, let alone an attorney taking over the case at this point.

“No one would be prepared to try this case by the middle of March, which is exactly what I told Mr. Wilder,” Kluge said on Wednesday.

Wilder also asked that the NAACP be called as well, but Judge Taylor told him that he could call that agency himself.

Wilder is currently being held in the Van Wert County Correctional Facility on a $100,000 bond.

Another defendant was unhappy on Wednesday about being sentenced to a term in the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation (WORTH) Center in Lima.

Tawnie Johnson, 25, of Van Wert, was given three years of community control, including up to six months in the WORTH Center, but requested that she be assigned to the Van Wert County Drug Court instead.

Judge Taylor denied the drug court request and told Johnson that her options were, basically, either to go to the WORTH Center or to prison.

Johnson, who was convicted of possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree, had a 12-month prison term deferred pending her successful completion of community control.

Three others were sentenced to prison after violating the terms of their probation.

Ashley Burk, 26, of Van Wert, had a nine-month prison term invoked after she admitted to violating her community control program by testing positive for drugs and not completing counseling at Westwood Behavioral Health Center in Van Wert. Judge Taylor gave Burk credit for 218 days already served.

Taylor Agler, 22, of Van Wert, was given nine months in prison after she admitted to violating her probation by testing positive for marijuana use. She was given credit for 184 days served.

Michael Coombs Jr., 21, of Van Wert, admitted to violating his probation by testing positive for marijuana, and a 12-month prison term originally handed down in the case was invoked by Judge Taylor, with 192 days credit.

Joshua Sargent, 33, of Van Wert, was resentenced to three years of community control, including 60 days in jail, after he admitted to violating his probation by being arrested for theft and for buying beer, as well as failing to report to his probation officer.

Darren Stutz, 26, of Van Wert, was given three years of community control, including up to six months in the WORTH Center, following his conviction on a charge of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.

Donald Thacker Jr., 41, of Thurman, was given two years of community control, including 60 days in jail, after being convicted of vandalism, a felony of the fifth degree. Thacker must also make restitution in the amount of $6,604.09 to Bolt Express LLC, the victim in the case.

Dion Kantner, 41, of Lima, pleaded guilty to a prosecutor’s bill of information charging him with two counts of possession of cocaine, both fifth-degree felony offenses. Judge Taylor ordered a presentence investigation in the case and scheduled sentencing for 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 8.

Tiffany Riley, 25, of Van Wert, admitted to violating her bond by failing to report to probation and failing to provide a proper address to her probation officer. She was ordered held without bond.

POSTED: 02/26/15 at 8:55 am. FILED UNDER: News