GALLIPOLIS — A Thurman man has pleaded not guilty to the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine in the Gallia County Court of Common Pleas following an incident in February, and he may be facing additional charges following a second incident that occurred in June.
Jesse E. Bender, 41, was charged in the common pleas court on Thursday with one count of the illegal manufacture of methampethamine and one count of drug possession for the alleged possession of 17.7 grams of psilocyn (illegal hallucinogenic mushrooms).
A jury trial in this case has been scheduled for October 25.
Bender was arrested at approximately 9:30 p.m. on February 12 by deputies with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office after the suspect’s reported girlfriend, Lindsay Allen, 23, Chillicothe, was taken to the Holzer Medical Center Emergency Room for treatment for a gunshot wound to the arm. She was later flown to Grant Medical Center in Columbus, treated and released.
Reportedly, the shooting occurred in the suspect’s vehicle and deputies later recovered three live .380 caliber rounds and one spent round behind the driver’s seat of the vehicle.
Bender later appeared in the Gallipolis Municipal Court for a preliminary hearing in this case and was scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on February 21 in this matter.
According to the court docket, prior to the hearing, a subpoena for the victim, Allen, was later returned unserved and the victim reportedly failed to cooperate in the prosecution of the case.
Following the investigation into the shooting, deputies received information that methamphetamine was possibly being manufactured at the suspect’s residence on Buckeye Hills Road.
After obtaining a search warrant on February 12, deputies searched the residence, and, while no active meth lab was found in the home, officers did reportedly discover materials commonly used for the manufacture of the illegal drug.
Most recently, deputies were again dispatched to Bender’s residence on Buckeye Hills Road at approximately 8 p.m. on June 16 in reference to a domestic violence situation between Bender and Allen.
According to the police report, on the evening of the incident, Allen had called the 911 dispatch center to report the incident and was hiding in the bathroom of the residence while awaiting the arrival of the deputies.
The victim reported to deputies that Bender had been upset that evening because he could not locate some meth that he had lost/misplaced, and, when she had asked him for a divorce earlier that evening an argument ensued. The couple reportedly was married in March of this year.
The victim further stated that the suspect smacked her in the face, began yelling and screaming at her and subsequently held a .22 rifle to her head while stating that he should have killed her the last time.
Deputies later recovered the firearm in the bathroom of the residence.
Bender was arrested and transported to the Gallia County Jail. He later appeared in the Gallipolis Municipal Court on June 18 on a charge of domestic violence in relation to the incident.
He was ordered to have no contact with the victim.
A bench trial has been scheduled in this case and will be held in the municipal court on July 26.
On June 16, deputies were also requested to respond to Bender’s residence to collect evidence of a possible meth lab.
Several items that were suspected as being utilized in the manufacture of meth were seized from Bender’s residence.
The evidence has been submitted to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for chemical testing to determine if they contain a controlled substance.
Bender is currently being held in the Gallia County Jail.