Batavia man pleads guilty day before trial in Highland County Common Pleas Court


A Batavia man with an extensive criminal record in nearby counties was sentenced to prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to receiving stolen property the day before his jury trial was set to take place in Highland County Common Pleas Court.

Jarrod Messer Jr., 28, pled guilty on Tuesday to the crime, a fourth-degree felony, and was sentenced to one year in prison, to be served in addition to prison sentences from Brown County, Clermont County and Clinton County.

According to court documents, Messer fled from law enforcement last July in a stolen car.

Law enforcement had attempted to stop the vehicle for not having license plates, and it “sped away from the trooper at a high rate of speed,” according to court documents.

The vehicle was located in a private driveway, still running, but with no key in the ignition and significant damage to the steering column, court documents said.

Witnesses told law enforcement that the driver and a passenger ran on foot after exiting the vehicle and were picked up by a lawn care truck, according to court documents.

When the truck driver was located, she said Messer had told her he had the vehicle for about a week, and that it was stolen, court documents said.

Messer was later arrested. He was indicted in February.

Messer’s case was scheduled for a jury trial on Wednesday, but the defendant entered his plea Tuesday and was immediately sentenced.

Court records in surrounding counties show Messer has an extensive criminal record with several felony charges related to stolen vehicles.

According to a court clerk, Messer was sentenced in Brown County in June 2011 to seven years in prison after he pled guilty to failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer and receiving stolen property. He was granted judicial release in January 2016 and placed on community control, but later violated his supervision conditions and was sent back to prison in February with nearly two years left on his sentence, the clerk said.

In April, Messer was sentenced in Clermont County to 18 months for grand theft of a motor vehicle, according to a clerk. The sentence was ordered to be served simultaneously with his Brown County sentence.

In May, Messer was sentenced in Clinton County to 18 months in prison for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to another clerk. That sentence was also ordered to be served simultaneously with his Brown County sentence.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

Receiving stolen property charge leads to prison time

By David Wright

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