A case charging a Hillsboro man with felonious assault following an alleged shooting last week was waived to a grand jury in Hillsboro Municipal Court on Thursday.
A preliminary hearing was held for the second-degree felony, with defense attorney Conrad Curren representing Roger Hatfield, 62. Curren was appointed to the case earlier Thursday morning.
Hillsboro Municipal Court Judge David H. McKenna said he had just received Hatfield’s application for a court-appointed lawyer which, he added, “I don’t think is Mr. Hatfield’s fault.”
Assistant prosecutor James Roeder represented the state.
Both Curren and Roeder waived opening statements. Curren said he did not have any witnesses.
Roeder called Hillsboro Police Department Officer Kyle Dwelly as a witness. Dwelly summarized events previously described in an affidavit and reported by The Times-Gazette.
Dwelly said the HPD was “called for shots fired,” early in the morning last Thursday. After arriving on the scene, Dwelly said he observed two females and a male with a gunshot wound. He said Hatfield was seated across the table from the alleged victim and that a gun was in front of him on a table.
Dwelly also said that Hatfield allegedly made statements that he “meant to graze” the alleged victim’s arm.
Roeder then asked Dwelly about evidence collected at the scene. Among the items discussed was a shell casing, which Dwelly said was “no more than five feet behind” Hatfield.
Dwelly said that gunshot residue tests were completed on both Hatfield and the two women who were reportedly present at the scene.
Dwelly added that Hatfield acknowledged that “everything” would be on his right hand. The officer added that both of Hatfield’s hands were tested.
Curren then questioned Dwelly, asking if the front door was open when Dwelly arrived at the apartment where the incident allegedly occurred. Dwelly said the door had been open.
Curren asked Dwelly how Hatfield and the alleged victim had been sitting when he arrived on the scene. He said Hatfield was sitting “properly” in his wheelchair, and that the alleged victim was “slumped over in a chair.” He added that he was “not excessively bleeding,” but was unresponsive to life squad members.
When asked, Dwelly said that he was not the officer who questioned Hatfield. He said that officer was not present in the courtroom on Thursday. Curren then asked Dwelly about Hatfield’s alleged statements that he had not meant to hurt the other man.
Dwelly said, “I was there. Mr. Hatfield was stating without being questioned.”
He added, “As far as I know,” the alleged victim is still hospitalized at Miami Valley.
Curren asked if any alcohol had been present at the scene. Dwelly said there had been beer cans on the table. After asking who of those present had been drinking, Curren summarized Dwelly’s answers by saying: “So everybody there was drinking?”
“Correct,” the officer said.
Dwelly also said there was one shot fired. He added that Hatfield had been compliant with officers.
When asked, Dwelly said as far as he knew a written statement had not been obtained from Hatfield. He added that he did not hear Hatfield being Mirandized.
According to the affidavit, Hatfield was advised of his Miranda rights.
In closing statements, Roeder said that there is a “low threshold on preliminary hearings.” He added that the state had provided enough evidence for the case to be bound over to a grand jury.
The judge found that the state had satisfied probable cause. Hatfield’s case will go before a grand jury.
His bond will remain the same at $20,000. The no contact order involving the two females reportedly present was modified, as one is a relative of Hatfield. He is no longer prohibited from having contact with her.
Reach Sarah Allen at 937-393-3456, ext. 1680, or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.