Galion woman gets a break, but still going to prison for 4½ years

By Kathy Laird - Crawford County Now

BUCYRUS — Kia Stimer, 22, of Galion, was sentenced to 4½ years in prison on Monday by Crawford County Common Pleas Court Judge Sean Leuthold.

Stimer, facing up to 28 years in prison, was charged with two counts of burglary, both second-degree felonies, and four counts of theft, all fourth-degree felonies.

In a plea agreement worked out between the state and her attorney Brad Starkey, Stimer pleaded guilty and will spend the next 54 months in prison.

Leuthold took time before sentencing Stimer to investigate the reason for the charges of burglary and theft against her parents. Her co-defendant in the case, Tyler Owens, 27, is currently serving an 8-year prison sentence on the same case.

Leuthold asked Stimer how she got involved with Owens. She said she met him on a dating website. She said they first met at the CVS parking lot in Mansfield and moved in together after three months.

Stimer said she did not know of Owens’ criminal record and that she had never used drugs before meeting him. She became addicted to meth and he convinced her to steal from her parents to support their habit.

“Usually a first date is not in a CVS parking lot,” Leuthold said. “That should have been a sign.”

Leuthold went on to inquire about how soon Owens hit her up for money. She said relatively soon after they started dating.

“You were foolish to allow a guy like that mooch off you, leech off you, get you addicted to drugs and got you to turn on your family,” Leuthold said.

Leuthold asked Stimer if she’d received letters from Owens declaring his love. She said she had received letters and written back to him.

“That stops today. There will be no more contact between you and Mr. Owens,” Leuthold said. “I’ll take care of notifying him of that.”

Leuthold reminded Stimer that normally in a case like this he could sentence her to up to 28 years in prison.

“Your lawyer has convinced me that you were victimized by an experienced criminal,” Leuthold said. “If I find out that you write him one letter, we are done. You will have no chance at an early release.”

Stimer will be given credit for jail time served.

“He took you from a self-sufficient, self-supporting individual to a subservient drug addicted person who stole from her family,” Leuthold to Stimer. “You’d have to look long and hard to find someone worse than Tyler Owens.”

Also this week, hearing to reduce bond led to a change of plea and delayed sentencing for 34-year-old Nicholas Matney of Mansfield. Matney appeared with his attorney, Tom Nicholson, to request a lower bond so he could assist with the care of his critically ill father.

Prosecutor Ryan Hoovler said he felt the bond was appropriate and fair. Matney was charged with possession of drugs.

Nicholson presented medical documentation to verify the illness of Matney’s father.

“Some people come into court and try to use this as an excuse,” Leuthold said. “I see the documentation clearly proves your father is ill. I wish him the best.”

Nicholson conferred with his client and came to an agreed sentence with the state. Matney pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of drugs, both fourth-degree felonies and one count of possession of drug abuse instruments, a misdemeanor.

Leuthold sentenced Matney to eight months in prison. He allowed Matney 30 days to spend with his father and was told to report Nov. 15 to the sheriff’s office.

When asked if he had anything to say, Matney apologized to the court.

“Just spend time with your dad,” Leuthold said. “It’s tough losing a parent; I know. Don’t mess this up.”

By Kathy Laird

Crawford County Now