MOUNT VERNON — Eighteen indictments were handed down by a Knox County grand jury on Tuesday. Arraignments are scheduled for March 18 before Common Pleas Court Judge Otho Eyster.
According to Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher, Michael A. Smith Jr., 23, Howard, faces charges of rape, sexual battery and two charges of gross sexual imposition. Thatcher said on Dec. 17, 2010, Smith allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with a 12-year-old female victim and had sexual contact with a 10-year-old female victim. Detective Tom Bumpus, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, investigated the case.
Sherman Dean Moran, 35, Bladensburg, is accused of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with a 15-year-old female victim, on Sept. 18, 2010. Detective Bumpus investigated the case.
Chad A. Bero, 31, Utica, was indicted for disrupting public services. Tampering with any property to interrupt or impair police or fire radio communications constitutes the offense of disrupting public services, according to Thatcher. An ex-firefighter, Bero is accused of reprogramming a portable radio to set off the fire tones at Knox County fire departments where he was formerly employed. Bero allegedly set off the fire tones on several occasions, beginning on Nov. 17, 2010. Detective Doug Turpen, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, investigated the case.
Jonathan S. Jenkins, aka Scott Jenkins, 39, Mount Vernon, a former sheriff’s deputy, is accused of theft in office. Thatcher beginning on Aug. 2, 2010, Jenkins allegedly worked at a construction company while being paid on sick leave from the sheriff’s office. Sheriff David Barber investigated the case.
Cyle E. Cunningham, 20, Danville, allegedly assaulted his wife, on Feb. 7. Thatcher said the domestic violence charge against Cunningham is a felony because he was convicted of domestic violence on Jan. 24 in the Mount Vernon Municipal Court. Sgt. Dan Weckesser, Danville Police Department, handled the domestic disturbance call.
Johnny L. Humphrey, 30, Mount Vernon, allegedly assaulted his live-in girlfriend, on Feb. 25. Thatcher said the domestic violence charge against Humphrey is a felony because he was convicted of domestic violence on Jan. 31 in the Municipal Court. Sgt. Fred Gerber, Mount Vernon Police Department, investigated the case.
Jayson L. Ferguson, 18, Fredericktown, and Nathan R. Frasure, Centerburg, are accused of possessing over $4,000 worth of stolen property, on Feb. 26. Thatcher said the property was reported stolen from a Sandusky Street residence. Patrolman Justin Trowbridge, MVPD, investigated the cases.
Alicia D. Nye, 25, Centerburg, was indicted on two counts of trafficking in drugs and one count of trafficking in marijuana. Thatcher said on Feb. 19 and 23, Nye allegedly sold Vicodin tablets and on March 2, she sold marijuana during an undercover operation conducted by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. According to the indictment, the state of Ohio is seeking forfeiture of Nye’s Chevrolet Blazer allegedly used in the commission of the trafficking in marijuana charge. Detective Doug Turpen and Lt. Gary Rohler conducted the investigation.
Phillip T. Hoffman, 43, Howard, faces his sixth drunk driving charge in 20 years for allegedly operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, on Feb. 27. According to the indictment, the concentration of alcohol in Hoffman’s breath was 0.189, more than twice the legal limit. Patrolman Raymond Jones, MVPD, handled the OVI stop.
Jennifer M. Douglas, 30, Centerburg, Alan D. Pelow, II, 24, and Stephanie Clark, 21, Mount Vernon, were indicted on charges of breaking and entering, safecracking, theft of credit cards, possession of stolen credit cards, misuse of credit cards and theft of checks. Thatcher said Douglas, Pelow and Clark allegedly broke into a Coshocton Avenue business and opened a safe in the business on Feb. 24. Douglas and Pelow allegedly stole a credit card and a debit card, on Feb. 16, and Douglas allegedly stole a blank check, on Feb. 18. Pelow allegedly charged in excess of $500 on the stolen credit card, between Feb. 28 and March 2. Detective Cpl. Matt Dailey, MVPD, investigated the cases.
Thatcher said Pelow is also accused of failure to provide change of address notification to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. According to the indictment, Pelow was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in 2008. Detective David Light, KCSO, investigated the failure to register case.
Tyler Kipp, 23, Mount Vernon, is charged with burglary for allegedly breaking into a New Gambier Road residence, on May 25, 2009. Detective Light investigated the case.
Rebecka L. Wynn, 22, Bellville, allegedly stole a credit card and then forged the name of the card owner to make purchases of $50 and $20 at a gas station on Feb. 15. Wynn is charged with theft and forgery. Lt. Jay Sheffer, Fredericktown Police Department, investigated the case.
Andrew L. Ellsworth, 20, Mount Vernon is accused of theft for allegedly stealing a commercial vacuum cleaner from a cleaning company worth in excess of $500. Thatcher said the Columbus Police Pawn Squad located the sweeper allegedly pawned by Ellsworth on Jan. 18. Deputy Tim Light, KCSO, investigated the case.
Angie M. Kitsos, 31, Centerburg, allegedly passed a $675 bad check to her former landlord, on Aug. 12, 2010. Detective Sgt. Jeff Jacobs, MVPD, handled the case.
On July 29, 2010, Wendy L. Larkin, 40, Howard, allegedly passed a $500 bad check at a Harcourt Road business. Larkin is accused of passing bad checks. Deputy Dan Selby, KCSO, investigated the case.