January Grand Jury returns indictments


Staff Report



POMEROY — Eight people were indicted on criminal charges this week in Meigs County Common Pleas Court.

Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney James K. Stanley announced that the Meigs County Grand Jury returned indictments against eight individuals. Those indicted include the following:

Austin Bailey, 22, of Reedsville, Ohio, was indicted for Rape, a felony of the first degree, and Gross Sexual Imposition, a felony of the third degree. Bailey is alleged to have engaged in sexual conduct and sexual contact with a minor female. The Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office investigated this matter.

Truit Bell, 49, of Syracuse, Ohio, was indicted for Tampering with Evidence, a felony of the third degree, and Violating a Protection Order, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Bell is alleged to have violated a protection order by contacting the protected party and by being in possession of a firearm. Bell is alleged to have tampered with evidence by hiding that firearm along the bank of the Ohio River in Syracuse. The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources investigated this matter.

Bell was separately indicted for Domestic Violence, a felony of the fourth degree. Bell is alleged to have caused physical harm to a family member. Bell was previously convicted of a domestic violence offense in Tarrant County, Texas, and that prior conviction elevates this alleged offense from a first degree misdemeanor to a felony of the fourth degree. The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office investigated this matter.

Taylor Burge, 27, of Racine, Ohio, was indicted for Possession of Drugs (Heroin), a felony of the fifth degree, and Possession of Drugs (Methamphetamine), a felony of the fifth degree. Burge is alleged to have been in possession of heroin and methamphetamine, which was discovered while Burge was being taken into custody pursuant to an arrest warrant issued out of Athens County, Ohio. The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and the Gallia-Meigs Major Crimes Task Force investigated this matter.

Christopher Diddle, 48, of Racine, Ohio, was indicted for Possession of Drugs (Heroin), a felony of the fifth degree, Possession of Drugs (Fentanyl), a felony of the fifth degree, and Tampering with Evidence, a felony of the third degree. Diddle is alleged to have been in possession of heroin and fentanyl while law enforcement investigated a possible drug overdose at a residence near Racine. Diddle is alleged to have tampered with evidence by hiding the drugs. The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and the Gallia-Meigs Major Crimes Task Force investigated this matter.

Carl Heil, 43, of Langsville, Ohio, was indicted for three counts of Gross Sexual Imposition, each a felony of the third degree, and Sexual Battery, a felony of the third degree. Heil is alleged to have engaged in sexual conduct with a minor female. The Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office investigated this matter.

Donald Shaffer, Jr, 37, of Athens, Ohio, was indicted for Burglary, a felony of the third degree, and Obstructing Official Business, a misdemeanor of the second degree. Shaffer is alleged to have trespassed in an occupied structure in Pageville with purpose to commit a criminal offense inside. When law enforcement attempted to take him into custody, Shaffer is alleged to have obstructed official business by breaking detention and fleeing the scene on foot. The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office investigated this matter.

Denver Stonestreet, 49, of Shade, Ohio, was indicted for Having Weapons While Under Disability, a felony of the third degree. Stonestreet is alleged to have been in possession of a shotgun during a traffic stop after having been disqualified from possessing firearms following a trafficking conviction in Columbiana County, Ohio. The Pomeroy Police Department investigated this matter.

Nathanial Young, 23, of Pomeroy, Ohio, was indicted for Domestic Violence, a felony of the fifth degree. Young is alleged to have caused or attempted to cause physical harm to a family member he knew to be pregnant at the time. The Pomeroy Police Department investigated this matter.

All cases will proceed in the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas before Judge Linda R. Warner.

For informational purposes, possible penalties for felony offenses include: felonies of the first degree- 3-11 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine; felonies of the second degree- 2-8 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine; felonies of the third degree- 9-36 months in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; felonies of the fourth degree- 6-18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine; felonies of the fifth degree- 6-12 months in prison and up to a $2,500 fine. For most felonies of the fourth and fifth degrees, sentencing guidelines found in the Ohio Revised Code require first-time offenders to be sentenced to community control unless certain conditions exist permitting the imposition of a prison sentence.

Information provided by the Meigs County Prosecutor’s Office.

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Staff Report