A Defiance area man, with whom local authorities have repeatedly dealt with harassment issues in recent years, was found guilty and given the maximum sentence in the Defiance Municipal Court on Thursday.
Aaron Powell, 38, was found guilty of theft, a first degree offense, after a day-long trial.
He was sentenced to 180 days in Northwest Ohio’s Corrections Center and $ 500 suspended sentence by John Rohrs III.
The indictment – filed by the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office on February 19 – alleged Powell took his mother’s vehicle keys and refused to return them. Powell has occasionally lived with his parents at 2193 Hawthorne Drive in Lake Christi Meadows, but has also been evicted from the house several times, according to authorities.
The sentence imposed by Rohrs took into account his long history and numerous violations, the judge stated in an interview with The Crescent-News on Thursday.
The number of cases filed in the City Court against Powell over the years has risen to 81 alone, while a compilation of cases across Ohio is 331 pages, according to Rohrs. The latter also contains booking photos and other information, said the judge.
“I just told (Powell) that a lot of people never come to town court, and with him, since he was an adult, he’s had 81 different cases in town court.” said Rohrs. “He has to understand that this is serious and that you just can’t go on with this.”
Regarding the trial in which Powell’s mother testified about the theft incident, the judge said he told the defendant, “This is just ridiculous for you to prove to your mother. This is it. We had it.”
Many of the previous charges against Powell – represented by Hicksville attorney Mark Haver during the trial – relate to garbage-related zoning or harassment violations.
Unrelated to his February 2020 conviction in Defiance County’s Common Pleas Court on four counts of unsupporting family members, each a fifth-degree crime.
Powell had been placed under community control for five years by Judge Joseph Schmenk on these charges, with conditions including payment of child support. A 44-month term was available if Powell was found to have violated community control provisions.
Since then, no petitions to withdraw his community control have been filed in the joint appeals court, but Defiance County Attorney Morris Murray said authorities are considering it after Powell was convicted of theft.
Murray pointed out that Powell was “generally compliant” with supervisory rules “in relation to his child support obligations, including the payment of his child support.”
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