Crestline man pleads not guilty to drug charges

By Kathy Laird - Crawford County Now

BUCYRUS — A Crestline man pleaded not guilty on Monday to possession of drugs. Jason Carroll, 46, entered the plea in Crawford County Common Pleas Court.

Carroll originally was stopped by police for driving 86 miles per hour. Police officers found Percocet in his possession. Carroll posted bond and then was indicted by the Crawford County Grand Jury for a felony-level drug possession charge. An initial $25,ooo bond set in municipal court was carried over.

Judge Sean Leuthold told Carroll he had little patience with him.

“There’s a lot of young people struggling with drug addiction trying to get on the right track. I am trying to keep them alive. But my patience with you is done,” the judge said.

In addition to the original bond, Carroll was given a curfew. Leuthold also called probation officer Dan Wurm into the courtroom and ordered that Carroll be test every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. for illegal substances.

Leuthold advised Wurm: “Don’t call him or his attorney if he hasn’t showed up. If there’s any trace of anything in his system I want to see a warrant for his arrest.”

Also in court Monday, Dana Kincade Jr., of Upper Sandusky, was sentenced to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of drugs.

Crawford County Common Pleas Judge Sean Leuthold made some rare concessions for Kincade. Kincade is currently in rehabilitation at a local nursing home where he is recovering from a leg injury. Kincade appeared in court with the use of a walker.

In what Leuthold called a “rare and not likely to become commonplace decision,” he gave Kincade a future date to report to prison following the completion of rehab and the removal of his cast. Kincade will forfeit all drug-related property to the Galion Police Department.

“Don’t do something stupid and decide not to report,” Leuthold warned.” If we have to come get you any chance of an early release will be gone.”

In court last week, Devin Lutz, 24, of Bucyrus, accept a plea deal, hours before his trial was to begin in Crawford County Common Pleas Court.

Lutz was charged with unlawful sexual contact with a minor and theft of a firearm. In a negotiated plea agreement, the charge of unlawful sexual contact with a minor was reduced from a fourth-degree felony to a first-degree misdemeanor. The charge for theft of a firearm remained as a third-degree felony. Before announcing sentence on Lutz, Judge Sean Leuthold allowed both sides to make statements.

Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Hoovler explained his reasoning for reducing the charge of unlawful sexual contact with a minor. Noting the victim was aware of the sentence change, Hoovler said that she had not been cooperative with the prosecution. Hoovler went on to explain that Lutz’s family cared very much about him, but were at wits end with him. They said that Lutz’s “entitled” attitude made them realize that the only way to save him would be a stint in prison. Hoovler said the prosecution would not oppose an early release.

“I hope he will do time, come back out and get his life on track,” Hoovler said.

Leuthold minced no words with the defendant. Noting that he agreed with the prosecution’s decision to reduce the first charge. Leuthold said he received information that the victim was representing herself as older than she was. He said the decision to reduce that charge was based on discussions with the family and victim.

He then sentenced Lutz to 90 days in jail with credit given for jail time served.

Moving on to the theft of the firearm, Leuthold told Lutz he listened to his recorded conversations that occurred in the jail.

“I heard how you spoke to your father and your grandmother. You were disrespectful, belligerent and clearly entitled. You acted that way on a regular basis,” Leuthold said. “You think you’re smarter than anyone. I’m in a robe and you’re in an orange jumpsuit, now who’s the smarter one?”

Telling Lutz that he did not intend on being slack regarding his case, Leuthold told the defendant that he was going to make some changes.

“You’re going to get with the program. Your mother couldn’t get you with the program, your father couldn’t get you with the program, but I’m going to get you with the program,” Leuthold said. “You come in here acting smug, and tell me, where that attitude has gotten you?”

He then sentenced him to 36 months in prison with the possibility of an early release.

“Your parents love you, your grandmother loves you, I sure as heck don’t. I don’t even like you,” Leuthold said. “The next time I see you, you had better be the most respectful willing-to-please young man I’ve ever seen.”

By Kathy Laird

Crawford County Now