A man convicted so far in three other counties on similar charges got more time tacked onto previous sentences on Wednesday after pleading guilty in Highland County Common Pleas Court.
J. Michael Warner, 52, Cridersville, pled guilty to theft by deception, a fifth-degree felony, and was sentenced to nine months in prison, which is to run consecutive to his current sentences.
According to inmate information on the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction website, Warner is currently serving a total of six years on charges out of Hancock, Warren and Allen counties. His charges include thefts and second-degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. He began serving his time in November.
Warner named a number of other counties on Wednesday in which he has pending cases.
Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins said Warner was hired by the victim to build a shed, and Warner took about half the payment in a check. She said he cashed that check, but never returned to do the work. She said the victim approved of the plea agreement.
After he pled guilty on Wednesday, he told judge Rocky Coss “I did what I’m accused of,” but not in the way that it appears. He had a business and crews working for him, he said, but the business went bankrupt. He said he “made bad decisions” and did not manage the business well.
Warner is also ordered to pay $1,579 in restitution to the victim.
Also receiving a prison sentence was Ted. A. Kayata, 35, Williamsburg. He pled guilty to third-degree felony attempted burglary and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, a term that is to be served consecutive to a current prison term out of Clinton County.
Kayata has a pending case in Clermont County, he said. That county’s records show he is charged with four second-degree felony burglary charges and a third-degree felony theft of a firearm charge.
As previously reported, Kayata and co-defendant Robert K. Wilson, 31, of Loveland, in September were the subject of numerous news stories in Cincinnati media outlets when they were indicted in connection with several burglaries in the Clermont County area.
Collins said the victim of the offense approved of the plea agreement.
In another hearing, Jacob Eddie Cowman, 22, Greenfield, pled guilty to third-degree felony grand theft, but he will not be sentenced until March after an updated presentence investigation report.
Cowman was sentenced to community control and treatment last month after pleading guilty to heroin trafficking charges.
On Wednesday, Collins said the theft offense was committed before the drug offense and was not a violation of Cowman’s community control.
According to the indictment as read by Coss, Cowman stole a number of firearms.
Defense attorney J.D. Wagoner said none of the firearms had been recovered, and when Cowman had offered the information to police that he took the guns, he said only that he had sold them in Dayton.
While the plea agreement says the state will not oppose community control, and Cowman is scheduled for a bed at the STAR treatment facility, the judge said he wanted more details before Cowman is sentenced.
Cowman is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.
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