A former local attorney convicted on charges stemming from his alleged use of thousands of dollars of his clients’ money for personal purposes has been granted judicial release from prison.
John W. Slagle, 69, was convicted in 2010 in Highland County and Montgomery County on multiple theft charges. His combined sentences amounted to 10 years in prison, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Retired Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Dale Crawford presided over Friday’s hearing, as well as all previous proceedings. Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss recused himself from the case when Slagle was indicted in 2009.
Appearing by video, Sagle on Friday told Crawford that he was suffering “debilitating” health issues. He said he was “prepared” to be released.
The former attorney later referenced several previous cases in the court of a similar nature to his own, adding, “I’ve spent more time … than any of those people combined.”
“I sincerely hope for the court’s favorable consideration,” he said.
Prosecutor Anneka Collins, in a memorandum contra filed in response to Slagle’s motion for judicial release, said the state was against Slagle’s release from prison. She said his victims were the elderly and disabled, “the most vulnerable of our society.”
On Friday, she said Slagle had never taken responsibility for his actions and that he continued to blame the state for his situation. She said that none of Slagle’s victims that her office had spoken to were in favor of his release. Collins noted that he owed more than $200,000 in restitution.
Slagle said he believed he had accepted responsibility for what he’d done, not only in court proceedings, but also in motions filed.
In his motion for judicial release filed in March, Slagle wrote, “I repeat my previously made apologies to everyone I affected by my actions. I take full responsibility for all that occurred and if I could turn back the clock I would do so …”
Ultimately, Crawford granted the judicial release and ordered that Slagle would be on community control for five years. The judge warned that if Slagle violated any conditions of his supervision or violated the law, he would likely return to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.
In other hearings this week, Jamie L. Williams, 22, Greenfield, was sentenced to community control and ordered to be evaluated for treatment, successfully completing any recommended programming. Williams is also required to pay more than $600 in restitution.
The defendant pled guilty to fifth-degree felony breaking and entering in June.
Rachele M. Grooms, 27, West Union, and Alex. S. Gruber, 28, of Hillsboro, were each sentenced to community control and treatment.
This week, they each pled guilty to fourth-degree felony heroin possession.
Matthew Casey Holaday, 34, Sardinia, was sentenced to community control. He pled guilty to third-degree felony grand theft in June.
Foryst A. Rios, 20, Blanchester, was sentenced to community control and treatment on a marijuana trafficking charge he pled guilty to last month.
Stephen Weil, 29, Hillsboro, pled guilty to trafficking in and possession of heroin, both fifth-degree felonies. He is set for sentencing in August.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.