Court escapee gets six more years


Accomplice pleads guilty, to be sentenced July 26

By Tim Colliver - tcolliver@aimmediamidwest.com



In this screenshot from a YouTube stream of the proceeding, attorney Kirk McVay (left) confers with Nickolaus Garrison prior to sentencing on Tuesday in Highland County Common Pleas Court.

In this screenshot from a YouTube stream of the proceeding, attorney Kirk McVay (left) confers with Nickolaus Garrison prior to sentencing on Tuesday in Highland County Common Pleas Court.


Tim Colliver | The Times-Gazette

A man whose dramatic escape from the Highland County Common Pleas Courtroom lat year was captured on video was sentenced to an additional six years in prison Tuesday in the same courtroom.

Nickolaus Garrison, 34, Hillsboro, appeared before visiting Judge Daniel Hogan and pled guilty to one count of escape, a third-degree felony; and one count of assault on a peace officer, a fourth-degree felony, in connection with his escape from the second-story courtroom last September.

In a separate case, Garrison pled guilty to aggravated possession of methamphetamine and aggravated possession of a fentanyl-related compound, both second-degree felonies, in addition to a forfeiture specification.

Garrison was sentenced to 12 months on each count of escape and assault on a peace officer, to be served consecutively, and two years on each count of aggravated possession of methamphetamine and aggravated possession of a fentanyl-related compound, also to be served consecutively.

Hogan ordered that the sentencing rendered Tuesday would be consecutive to a prison term that Garrison is currently serving.

“I’d just like to say, I never planned that out, I acted on impulse and I really regret those decisions,” Garrison told the court prior to sentencing.

Garrison bolted from the Highland County Courthouse Sept. 22, 2020, after Judge Rocky Coss sentenced him to prison on an aggravated possession of methamphetamine conviction.

A Highland County sheriff’s deputy was injured when he dove over a stairway railing in an attempt to prevent Garrison’s escape.

In the early morning hours of Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, Garrison was apprehended without incident at a Clinton County motel.

Amber Ward, 29, Hillsboro, who in the words of an indictment returned against her on Dec. 1, 2020 “did aid and abet” and “did harbor and conceal” Nickolaus Garrison in the days that followed his escape, was scheduled for a status hearing in her case Tuesday, but agreed to plead guilty to the charges facing her.

She entered guilty pleas to the third-degree felony of complicity to escape and one count of failure to appear, a fourth-degree felony.

Hogan ordered a presentence investigation in her case, with a date for sentencing set for Monday, July 26 at 1 p.m.

The other woman who was accused of helping Garrison after his escape attempt. Alicia M. Ralston, 32, Chillicothe, received a three-year community control sentence from Hogan in April.

Hogan suspended the 18-month prison sentence Ralston could have received, and instead ordered her to continue her efforts at obtaining her GED, and to successfully complete substance abuse disorder treatment through the Georgia Harris House and all recommended aftercare.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

In this screenshot from a YouTube stream of the proceeding, attorney Kirk McVay (left) confers with Nickolaus Garrison prior to sentencing on Tuesday in Highland County Common Pleas Court.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2021/06/web1_Garrison-conveys-with-his-atty.jpgIn this screenshot from a YouTube stream of the proceeding, attorney Kirk McVay (left) confers with Nickolaus Garrison prior to sentencing on Tuesday in Highland County Common Pleas Court. Tim Colliver | The Times-Gazette
Accomplice pleads guilty, to be sentenced July 26

By Tim Colliver

tcolliver@aimmediamidwest.com