The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022

10 defendants in court for various hearings

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

10 people appeared in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court this week for various criminal hearings.

Four of those people were sentenced during the week.

Rodney Knauss, 32, of Scott, was sentenced to five years in prison for gross sexual impositition.

Knauss entered a plea of no contest to the charge in August. In exchange, a first degree felony charge of rape was dismissed. The charges were tied to an early 2016 incident between Knauss and a four-year-old child.

He was given credit for 117 days served and was labeled as a Tier II sex offender, meaning once released from prison he’ll have to register his address every 180 days for 25 years.

Rae’Quaun Thomas, 19, of Lima, was sentenced to 16 months in prison for aggravated assault, a felony of the fourth degree.

Thomas was originally charged with felonious assault, a second degree felony, in connection with shots fired at a party in rural Van Wert County. That charge was dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to the aggravated assault charge.

He was given credit for 164 served and was assessed court costs.

Zachary Dominique, 33, of Van Wert, was sentenced to three years of community control for possession of drugs, a fifth degree felony. He was also sentenced to two years of intensive probation, was ordered to have no alcohol or drugs without prescription, undergo substance, social work and mental assessments and treatment, drug court, and was ordered to pay partial appointed attorney fees and court costs.

Jacob Weir, 24, of Lima, was sentence to two years of community control, 30 days in jail at a later date and 200 hours of community service for aggravated possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. In addition he was ordered to undergo substance abuse and mental assessment and treatment, serve one year of intensive probation and was ordered to pay costs, monthly probation fee and partial appointed counsel fees.

Three people changed their pleas during hearings this past week.

Sonny Metzger, 46, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to an amended charge of corrupting another with drugs, a felony of the fourth degree, and to a prosecutor’s bill of information charging him with marijuana trafficking, a fifth degree felony. The Court ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for 3 p.m. December 7.

Christian Stickney, 30, of Van Wert, entered a guilty plea to a prosecutor’s bill of information charging him with possessing drug abuse instruments, a second degree misdemeanor. He was sentenced to one year of community control, 50 hours of community service, 30 days in jail at later date and was ordered to pay monthly probation fee, costs, and partial appointed counsel fees.

Sam Whisman, 30, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to theft and forgery, both fifth degree felonies. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and sentencing was scheduled for 10 a.m. December 22.

In addition, two defendants appeared for bond hearings and another admitted to a probation violation.

Josh Sargent, 40, of Van Wert, denied violating his bond by having contact with the victim in this case in violation of a specific bond order. A hearing set for 10:30 a.m. November 1.

Sam Whisman, 30, of Van Wert, admitted violating his bond by failing to appear for a court hearing. Bond was set at $10,000 cash or commercial surety and a pretrial conference was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. November 3.

Shane Zartman, 36, of Convoy, admitted violating his probation by failing to report to probation. He was sentenced to 60 days jail with credit for 16 days served and was ordered to pay partial appointed counsel fees and costs.

POSTED: 11/04/21 at 3:55 am. FILED UNDER: News