Leesburg woman sentenced to six years


A Leesburg woman sentenced to six years in prison for vehicular assault was among four people sentenced recently in Highland County Common Pleas Court

Christina Cassady, 34, was sentenced to three years on one count of aggravated vehicular assault, a second-degree felony, which was ordered to be consecutive to three more years for another count of aggravated vehicular assault, also a second-degree felony. Cassady was given 83 days of jail-time credit.

The court ordered that Cassady’s driver’s license be suspended for 10 years beginning on Dec. 5, 2023. She was ordered to pay restitution of $683 to the Highland County Victim Witness Office.

According to court documents for both counts, around March 25, 2023, Cassady, while operating a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado truck, caused serious physical harm to two victims as the result of committing a violation while driving under a suspension.

In other sentencings, Scott Clay, 54, Greenfield, was sentenced to four years in prison on one count of aggravated trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound, a first-degree felony. Clay was given 24 days of jail-time credit.

According to court documents, while a patrol officer was on duty around July 6, 2023, the officer was contacted by an investigator who said that a dark green Jeep that belonged to someone with a license plate of JUA 3574 was coming towards Greenfield from S.R. 28 West. They also said that an occupant of the vehicle was transporting fentanyl.

The patrol officer had a previous traffic stop with the same vehicle on July 1, 2023, in which Clay had been driving and suspected fentanyl was found inside the vehicle. The investigator then said the Clay was heading to Dayton “on an almost daily basis” to bring fentanyl back to Greenfield.

Task force members ran surveillance on the Jeep and saw activity “consistent with drug trafficking.” They saw Clay and another person leave Greenfield in the Jeep, heading north toward Dayton. They found the Jeep later that night as it got closer to Greenfield. The patrol officer got closer to the area and found the vehicle traveling eastbound on Jefferson Street into Greenfield.

The patrol officer activated the overhead lights and siren to start a traffic stop. The Jeep stopped on Jefferson Street. The officer approached the vehicle and recognized the passenger as Clay and the driver as his accomplice. The patrol officer told the driver to turn off and exit the vehicle. They were then detained and placed in handcuffs.

The patrol officer had the driver sit down on the pavement at the back of the vehicle. The officer told Clay to exit the vehicle, as he was placed in handcuffs and told he was being detained for an investigation. The patrol officer started to walk Clay toward the cruiser.

While they did so, passing the location where the driver sat, the patrol officer slipped “and nearly fell to the ground.” After they recovered, the officer heard a thud and saw the driver, still seated with their hands behind their back, looking back and forth between the patrol officer and a bag that contained an unknown substance that sat around one foot behind them.

The driver said that Clay dropped the substance there. The officer secured Clay in the back of a patrol vehicle and returned to the driver. The driver continued to tell the officer that Clay dropped the substance from somewhere in his shorts while the patrol officer recovered their balance. A sergeant arrived on the scene.

The patrol officer photographed the dropped item, which looked to be consistent with fentanyl. It was placed in an evidence bag and secured. Clay denied having fentanyl and said “there was no reason to pull the vehicle over because they had only gone to Walmart and back.

The sergeant had K-9 Zar conduct an open-air sniff around the Jeep and the dog indicated on the driver’s side door. A search was started and several cell phones were found in the vehicle and seized.

Clay was transported to the Greenfield Police Department and the Jeep was towed from the scene. The substance was submitted to BCI for analysis and found to contain a fentanyl-related compound.

Trenton Zumwalde, 28, Ironton, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on one count of having weapons while under disability, a third-degree felony.

According to court documents, on or around May 28, 2023, a deputy responded to a call for service on Carford Pike. When the deputy arrived at the residence, they met with a sergeant and officer who had already detained both Zumwalde and an accomplice.

The accomplice said there had been an argument, and during that the argument Zumwalde pulled a black pistol from a fanny pack he had across his chest. They said Zumwalde pointed the pistol at their head and that there were guns inside the residence that Zumwalde had stolen.

The deputy spoke to Zumwalde, who said he argued with the accomplice but denied having a firearm. Zumwalde said the firearm in the black fanny pack wasn’t his and “claimed he had no idea how it ended up inside the house.”

The person Zumwalde was arguing with gave the officers permission to search the property. When they entered, another deputy found the black fanny pack on the living room floor. A Glock 43X was inside and had a loaded magazine. They said Zumwalde stayed in the living room of the residence and used the closet for his personal belongings.

Inside the closet, the officer found a black and yellow box. The box contained a Rock Island Arms VR80 A.R. style 12-gauge shotgun. A box of ammunition was also on the living room floor.

One of the other deputies contacted someone who said the Glock 43X was the same make and model as one of the guns missing from their residence. They said a total of three weapons had been taken. A deputy later contacted the victim who said the guns came up missing at the same time Zumwalde moved out. The victim said the person who argued with Zumwalde couldn’t have taken the firearms because they’d never been to their apartment and hadn’t seen each other in four years.

Zumwalde was convicted of trafficking in heroin and possession of cocaine in Highland County Common Pleas Court on Dec. 17, 2015, and had not yet been released from disability.

In other cases, Fred Whitley, 68, Greenfield, was sentenced to three years of community control on one count of trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound, a fifth-degree felony; one count of complicity to trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound, a fourth-degree felony; one count of permitting drug abuse, a fifth-degree felony; and a forfeiture specification.

Whitley was ordered to pay restitution through the Victim Witness Escrow Account in monthly payments of $20 beginning on June 1, 2024. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $240 to the Highland County Task Force.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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