A Bainbridge man who left the state and has avoided authorities for more than a year has admitted to violating his probation and will be sentenced in two weeks.
Edward Levi Walker, 24, was sentenced in October 2013 to community control after pleading guilty to third-degree felony grand theft and fifth-degree felony theft.
Records show that in October 2014 a warrant for his arrest was issued when Walker’s whereabouts became unknown. He was arrested on that warrant in early February.
After Walker admitted to his violations on Tuesday, Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins and defense attorney Lee Koogler made a recommendation for sentencing in 90 days to give Walker a chance to get his employment and reporting squared away and see how he does with the allotted time.
According to Koogler, Walker has been clean and working, but he has been out of state. Koogler said the defendant left the state in 2014 after he experienced a loss. He said Walker removed himself from the people and temptations that would not have been conducive to his staying clean. He said Walker had remained “trouble free” while he was away.
Koogler said that while Walker’s leaving and staying gone were not the appropriate thing to do, “it is what he did.” But Walker had returned to Ohio “to address issues here,” Koogler said, and had cement work jobs lined up.
But Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss said he had “some real concerns about someone who just skips out.” Walker was previously held on a $5,000 bond, but Coss raised that to $15,000 on Tuesday. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 3.
Nicky Kerwood, 28, Hillsboro, on Tuesday was granted judicial release to the STAR residential treatment program, but he is to remain in prison until his bed opens up at the facility in April.
Kerwood was previously convicted by guilty plea of third-degree felony heroin possession. In July 2015 he was sentenced to 30 months in prison. On Tuesday, the state did not oppose Kerwood’s early release to treatment.
At the time of sentencing, the charge Kerwood pled guilty to was his first felony conviction. It had been reduced from a second-degree felony, which would have carried a mandatory penalty of at least two years in prison.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.