Hillsboro man sentenced to almost two years


A Hillsboro man sentenced to nearly two years in prison for theft was among three people sentenced recently in Highland County Common Pleas Court.

John Jennings, 53, was sentenced to 12 months on one count of theft from a person in a protected class, a fourth-degree felony, which was ordered to be consecutive to a sentence of nine months on one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, a fifth-degree felony. Jennings was also given eight days of jail-time credit.

According to court documents for the first count, on or around Feb. 1-21, 2023, Jennings stole $1,225 from the victim.

According to court documents for the second count, on or around Feb. 8-21, 2023, Jennings operated a 2007 Hyundai without the owner’s consent and kept possession of it for more than 48 hours.

In other sentencings, Joann Shapley, 44, Greenfield, was sentenced to three years of community control on one count of aggravated possession of methamphetamine, a third-degree felony. Shapley was accepted into the New Way to Recovery Drug Court Docket.

According to court documents, on Dec. 17, 2022, two officers saw a white Mercury SUV in the alley behind a fast food restaurant. The sergeant got behind the SUV and read the license plate in the back window, which came back to a 2007 Chevrolet Station Wagon. Because the plate did not match the vehicle, the sergeant performed a traffic stop and identified the driver as Shapley.

The defendant gave over their license but couldn’t provide proof of insurance or vehicle registration. While the sergeant was running their information, the officer saw Shapley duck her head between the seats, and appeared to be looking for something. The sergeant asked her about what she was doing and she said she dropped something “but could not identify what she had dropped.”

The sergeant walked a K9 around the vehicle where it made a positive alert on the driver’s side door. The sergeant told the two people inside the vehicle to step outside because a probable cause search was about to be started. During that search, the sergeant found a black purse between the front seats which held items belonging to Shapley.

The sergeant found a baggie of suspected meth inside a purse pocket, with the passenger of the vehicle saying they would “take the charges” for it. Shapley was then placed in handcuffs, given Miranda Rights, and said that the purse belonged to her but denied knowledge of the drugs inside.

During a following conversation, Shapley was “adamant” that she wasn’t trafficking in meth and that she was only using it. The substance found in the purse was sent to BCI for analysis and tested positive for 6.86 grams of meth.

Kendra Ward, 51, South Salem, was sentenced to three years of community control on one count of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony.

Court records stated that Ward must successfully complete ACM residential treatment and recommended aftercare.

According to court documents, on or around Feb. 20, 2023, while on patrol in a marked cruiser, a patrol officer entered a specific block of Second Street from Jefferson Street in Greenfield when they saw a black Cadillac make a right turn onto Lafayette Street without using a turn signal. The vehicle made a right turn onto McArthur Way without using the turn signal again. When the patrol officer got to McArthur Way to try and begin a traffic stop, the vehicle turned left onto Jefferson Street and drove towards the bridge on S.R. 28.

The patrol officer sped up to make a traffic stop on the vehicle, but the other vehicle had already made it across the bridge. The patrol officer reached a speed of 101 mph trying to catch up to the Cadillac. The area was also “extremely dark” because of it being after 2 a.m. and no ambient light in the area. A short time after passing Blain Lane, the driver turned off the headlights and taillights while continuing to maintain a high rate of speed.

The vehicle made an abrupt stop prior to taking Lyndon-Salem Road. While on the road, the vehicle stopped abruptly again and swerved into a ditch in front of a house. It again stopped in the middle of the road near another home on Lyndon-Salem Road where the driver started screaming. The patrol officer approached the vehicle and saw someone in the driver’s seat with blood on their face and hands. The patrol officer also saw that the windshield looked like it had been caved in.

The patrol officer relayed the location to dispatch and also requested a squad to check on the driver’s injuries. The patrol officer asked them what caused the damage to the windshield, with them saying “I don’t know, my lights were off so I couldn’t see.” The patrol officer assisted the two out of the vehicle and they were then placed in the rear of a patrol vehicle.

A small plastic baggie that contained white powder dropped to the ground while they were taking items out of the inner pocket of their coat. The driver was then identified as Ward.

Ward indicated that the plastic baggie contained fentanyl and that there was also a set of digital scales inside the vehicle. She, however, also said she wasn’t sure of the exact location. Paint Creek EMS transported Ward to the Adena Greenfield emergency room to be checked by medical staff “regarding her complaints of physical pain.” An was then advised by dispatch that Ward had a suspended license.

A company was contacted to tow the vehicle away as a different patrol officer remained with the vehicle while the first patrol officer went to the Adena ER to speak to Ward. While they were speaking to Ward, she said that she started the pursuit because of her suspended license status. She also said that “I just knew you were gonna take the car, my boyfriend would kill me.”

While the patrol officer was still at the hospital, the other patrol officer got there and said that during an inventory of the vehicle, they found miscellaneous smoking pipes and a digital scale with powder residue. Also, one of the smoking pipes found inside the vehicle had a folded piece of paper attached to it with a rubberband with a crystallized substance inside the paper.

The patrol officer that searched the vehicle told the other patrol officer that a large metal mailbox was found on the side of the road near where Ward stopped, with the damage to the vehicle “likely” caused by her hitting it.

The suspected narcotics were then sent to BCI for testing. The plastic baggie that contained white powder was found to contain a fentanyl-related compound, a Schedule II controlled substance. The paper fold that contained a crystallized substance that was found inside the vehicle was found to contain meth.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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