The Van Wert County Courthouse

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3 cases in CP Court; 2015 stats released

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

One person was sent to prison while two others were arraigned in a brief end-of-the-year session held Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court. The court also released information on criminal cases heard during the year.

Common Pleas stats 2014-2015In cases heard Wednesday, Brandon Potter, 30, of Van Wert, admitted to violating his probation by having a positive drug test.

County Probate-Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Taylor sentenced Potter to serve his previously deferred prison sentence of 11 months, while giving him credit for 175 days already served.

Two people were also arraigned in front of Judge Taylor.

Amanda Buzard, 32, of Van Wert, pleaded not guilty to one count each of possession of heroin and aggravated possession of drugs, both felonies of the fifth degree. She was released on a personal surety bond and a pretrial conference was scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

Derick Liddell, 31, of Defiance, entered a not guilty plea to a charge of theft, a fifth-degree felony offense. He was also released on a surety bond and will appear for a pretrial conference at 8 a.m. January 13.

Criminal case statistics for the current year were also released by Court Reporter Michael Kirkendall. The court heard a total of 136 criminal cases in 2015, down from 168 the year before, although both of those numbers are lower than what were actually heard, since only the most serious charge is listed from multi-count indictments.

Of Common Pleas cases heard in 2015, the majority (54) were drug-related cases, continuing a trend seen for at least for the last five years. However, the number of drug-related cases this year was 33 fewer than 2014’s 87 cases, and less than half the 128 cases seen in 2012, the year cheap Mexican heroin first began flooding into the county.

Sex-related cases were significantly higher in 2015, more than doubling the six sex-related cases seen in 2014, while theft and burglary/breaking and entering cases were both lower than 2014. There were 12 theft cases this year, compared to 15 thefts in 2014, while 2015 saw 9 burglary/B&E cases, compared to 19 last year.

Domestic violence continued to be a factor, with 8 cases in both 2014 and 2015. There were three robberies in 2014, while 2015 saw two robbery cases, while assaults were down from 2014 to 2015, with 8 cases in 2014, versus 3 this year.

The number of people failing to register as a sex offender stayed the same at 5, while there was one case of vehicular assault in 2015 (see the chart at right for more offenses).

POSTED: 12/31/15 at 9:16 am. FILED UNDER: News