Felony suspects skip Stark County court datesTwo men facing unrelated felony charges skipped out on their Stark County Court hearings this week and at least one has been arrested, Stark County State’s Attorney Tom Henning said.
Two men facing unrelated felony charges skipped out on their Stark County Court hearings this week and at least one has been arrested, Stark County State’s Attorney Tom Henning said.
Dickinson resident Douglas Johnson, 49, originally faced three charges, however one felony charge was dismissed. He did not show up to his jury trial Wednesday morning.
“Based on his nonappearance, a warrant was obtained and he was found and taken into custody,” Henning said.
Johnson faced two felony charges — delivering morphine pills, a Class A felony, and possession of meth paraphernalia, a Class C felony. He also faced a disorderly conduct charge, which is a misdemeanor, according to court records.
He was scheduled to go to trial on all counts, but Henning dismissed the weightier morphine sale charge Tuesday. His decision was based on a
confidential informant, Henning said.
Henning thought the Class C felony was easily proven and would carry a similar sentence as the A felony.
“I don’t have to spend additional resources on a confidential informant that would have to be brought back from out of state and under the circumstances the new charge was also a felony and with a conviction on that he’s still facing five years of imprisonment (as a) possible maximum, so that really seemed like it would accomplish what we needed to do with this man,” he said.
The confidential informant reportedly went missing for several months which caused complications in numerous cases.
Henning said a jury trial will likely be rescheduled.
On Tuesday, South Heart resident Phillip Bennett, 34, who is charged in a separate drug-related case involving the same confidential informant, failed to attend his plea hearing.
A warrant was issued and Henning does not believe he had been arrested Wednesday.
Bennett faces two counts of delivering methamphetamine, according to a criminal complaint.
Bennett’s attorney Jay Greenwood said he was unsure where he was, but he may be out of state.
“His mother had a heart attack — that would be back on the fourth of September,” Greenwood said, adding he intended to visit her.
Greenwood, who is also Johnson’s attorney, did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday.