A convicted man who escaped from officers in the Highland County Common Pleas Courtroom last month faced an arraignment from prison Monday afternoon via a video link.
Nickolaus Garrison, 34, Hillsboro, whose escape attempt was captured on video on Sept. 22, faced arraignment on new charges that included third-degree felony escape.
A Highland County grand jury issued a new three-count indictment against Garrison on Oct. 6, charging him with two counts of assault on a peace officer, both fourth-degree felonies, and one count of escape.
He had been sentenced by Judge Rocky Coss on Sept. 22 to nearly two years in prison on a fifth-degree felony conviction of aggravated possession of methamphetamine.
Court records showed that he was to be incarcerated for six months with 10 days credit for time served, but due to committing the offense while under community control for a prior drug conviction, Garrison was ordered to serve another 530 days in prison.
After his escape, Garrison was the subject of an intense manhunt, eluding law enforcement officers for nearly four days.
He was eventually apprehended without incident in the early morning hours of Sept. 25 at a Clinton County motel.
In Monday’s court proceeding, Garrison entered a not guilty plea to the charges after visiting judge Daniel Hogan read to him the details of the indictment.
Even though he is incarcerated at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Garrison was placed under a $100,000 bond and directed that the state public defender’s office provide him with defense council.
Hogan said that a final pretrial hearing would be scheduled for some time in mid-December, and that Garrison’s case would go to trial in mid-January.
According to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), conviction on the escape charge alone could give Garrison anywhere from nine to 36 months, or 12 to 60 months additional prison time, in addition to a $10,000 fine.
Conviction of the twin charges of assault on a peace officer carry with them up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 on each charge, and up to five years probation, according to the Ohio ORC.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.