POMEROY — A Long Bottom woman was sentenced to 22 years behind bars for the assault and kidnapping of another woman.
Brooke Watson, 30, of Long Bottom, was sentenced on charges from two separate cases after entering a guilty plea on Tuesday.
Watson was convicted of Felonious Assault, a felony of the second degree, and Kidnapping, a felony of the first degree, for an incident that occurred on March 7, 2018.
Watson was additionally convicted of Illegal Conveyance of Drugs onto the Grounds of a Detention Facility, a felony of the third degree, and Possession of Drugs (Heroin), a felony of the fifth degree, for an incident that occurred on March 28, 2017, in which Watson was found in possession of heroin and conveyed alprazolam into the Middleport Jail.
According to Prosecutor James K. Stanley, on March 7, 2018, Watson was the “ring-leader” of the assault, kidnapping and attempted murder of a woman at a residence on Bald Knob Stiversville Road in Long Bottom.
“Watson assaulted the victim with the intent to cause serious physical harm. Watson then transported the victim, who was blindfolded, from the residence in a motor vehicle to Forked Run State Park near Reedsville, Ohio. The victim was removed from the motor vehicle, was forced to walk to a cliff near the dam, and then Nathan Grimm, Watson’s co-defendant, pushed the victim off the cliff with the intent to kill her. The victim suffered serious injuries but survived,” stated Stanley.
Judge I. Carson Crow heard arguments from Stanley and defense attorney Michael Huff on Thursday afternoon regarding the sentencing of Watson.
Stanley argued at length for the maximum sentence on each offense to run consecutive to each other for a total of 23 years in prison.
Huff argued that Watson’s sentence should be in the same range to that of co-defendant Nathan Grimm who was sentenced to 15 years. Huff argued that the statements of the defendants show that Grimm was likely the one to commit the “most serious” of the offenses in pushing the victim off the dam.
Crow asked both attorneys if, after the victim was pushed off the dam, anyone went down to check on her. Both said it did not appear that anyone checked on the victim.
Judge Crow sentenced Watson to 11 years in prison for kidnapping, eight years in prison for felonious assault, three years in prison for illegal conveyance of drugs onto the grounds of a detention facility, and 12 months in prison for possession of drugs (heroin), which were the maximum sentences. Judge Crow ordered the 12-month prison sentence concurrent to the three-year prison sentence, which was ordered consecutive to the 11-year prison sentence and the eight-year prison sentence for a total of 22 years in prison.
The victim was consulted regarding the resolution in this matter and agreed with the state’s recommendation.
“The victim is a very strong and brave person,” Stanley said. “I am sorry this happened to her, but I am very thankful she survived. Such crime will not be tolerated in Meigs County. If you harm others, you will go to prison for a long time.”
Stanley thanked the good samaritan who aided the victim near the scene, the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of State Parks and Watercraft, the Middleport Police Department, the Racine Police Department, the Meigs County Dog Warden, Meigs County EMS, MedFlight, the Meigs County Victim Assistance Program, and staff at the Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this matter.
Grimm was previously sentenced to 15 years in prison for kidnapping and attempted murder. Merissa Starcher, Watson’s second co-defendant, was also charged with multiple felonies out of this incident and awaits trial.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.