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Trial under way of man accused of neglecting his father

A man is set to go on trial today before Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor accused of beating and neglecting his elderly father.



James R. Miller, 45, of 1294 Campbell Drive, has been charged with fourth-degree felony assault with notation that the crime involved an elderly person; fifth-degree felony failure to provide care; and first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence.

He was arrested in September after a Bellefontaine squad was called to the residence on the report of an unconscious man who was breathing.

The defendant’s father, Clair Miller, 83, was transported to Mary Rutan Hospital where hospital staff noted there was caked feces in his hair and on his feet.

Officers of the Bellefontaine Police Department were able to interview him and he gave them permission to review medical records of his treatment that day.

While talking with officers, Mr. Miller said his son had shoved him to the floor. He reportedly told medical staff the son also struck him several times, according to police reports.

The victim told police he was having trouble finding his medications among his son’s clutter on the kitchen table and that the son was angry with him for failing to clean up after 18 cats in the home.

Yet, he told officers, his son would not allow him to take the cats to an animal shelter.

Officers found piles of feces in the unkempt house. They reported it reeked of cat waste.

Officers did not find obvious signs of physical abuse, but noted there were medical issues raised in the hospital diagnosis that could be signs of abuse.

Prosecutors plan to call Bellefontaine EMS personnel and staff from Mary Rutan Hospital to testify.

Defending Mr. Miller is Columbus attorney Javier Armengau, whose previous local clients included Todd and Laura Morris — the couple that involved their four children in an eight-county theft ring in 2005.

Drunk driver sent to prison

A defendant who drove his pickup truck into Indian Lake was sentenced Monday by Judge O’Connor to two years in prison.

Chad L. Everhardt, 39, of Lima, will also have his driver’s license revoked for three years following his prison term. He must undergo substance abuse counseling and pay a $1,350 fine and court costs for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, a third-degree felony.

The two-year prison term is on top of a one-year sentence the defendant is currently serving out of Allen County for drunk driving and violating his probation.   

This most recent OVI is the defendant’s third felony drunk driving conviction, according to the court.

On Oct. 9, a passerby reported a pickup truck fully immersed in a channel off Barnes Landing. Citizens jumped into the water to attempt to locate a person who may have still been in the vehicle, municipal prosecutor Joe Bader said.

“Whatever demons he’s battling, he’s doing so at the expense of the citizens of Logan County,” the prosecutor said.

Mr. Everhardt was eventually located at a property belonging to his mother around Indian Lake. Logan County Sheriff’s deputies determined it was the defendant who crashed his pickup based on the fact he answered the door with two black eyes, was dripping wet and smelled of alcohol.

The defendant refused a field sobriety test on his mother’s property, but submitted to a blood draw while being treated at the hospital. His blood-alcohol content registered at .306, Mr. Bader said.

Any vehicle registered to the defendant must have particular OVI plates and be equipped with an interlock device.

Pleading guilty were:

Pick up Tuesday's Examiner for the latest Logan County Common Pleas Court news.

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