Man captured after fleeing court


As he was being sentenced on two charges Wednesday in Highland County Common Pleas Court a Hillsboro man ran out of the courtroom and was recaptured a short time later.

Nichlas Tillard, 34, escaped from the courtroom as he was being sentenced for charges of endangering children and domestic violence.

“Nichlas Tillard came in for a sentencing hearing, and once he found out that he was going to be going to jail he ran from the courtroom,” said Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera. “We caught him about two hours later down on 73 Belfast Pike in the house.”

Tillard was being sentenced for one count of endangering children, a fourth-degree felony, and one count of domestic violence, a first-degree felony, stemming from an incident in December involving his two sons and their mother.

According to court documents, the mother of Tillard’s sons reported to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office that Tillard entered her home and choked her until she lost consciousness, causing her to drop her 2-year-old son.

The mother said Tillard banged her head on the corner of the doorway after she regained consciousness. She said he then entered the bedroom and broke a television and took a cell phone away from the older son as he attempted to call 911 before fleeing the residence on foot.

Tillard was previously convicted of endangering children in Hillsboro Municipal Court in 2021.

Barrera said Tillard came to the court from a treatment facility for sentencing and ran over a court bailiff on his way out of the courtroom. The collision broke the bailiff’s glasses, but he suffered no serious injuries and was able to finish the day at the court.

It was the second time an inmate escaped from the common pleas courtroom in less than three years.

On Sept. 22, 2020, Hillsboro resident Nicklaus Garrison, then 34, fled from the courtroom as he was about to be sentenced on a possession of methampethamine charge. He was captured in the early morning hours of Sept. 25, 2020, at a Clinton County motel.

A sheriff’s deputy who dove over a stairway railing in attempt to stop Garrison from fleeing suffered four broken ribs and a concussion.

Garrison was sentenced for that episode to 12 months each on an assault of a police officer charge and for escape.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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