BY ED GEBERT

Times Bulletin Editor

egebert@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - The trial of a Van Wert man accused of stealing a pickup truck will continue on Tuesday in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas.

Allen McMillen took the stand in his own defense on Monday to deny the charges filed against him. The trial will resume Tuesday morning with closing statements from both the prosecution and the defense before Judge Charles D. Steele gives jury members their instructions for deliberations.

The state claims McMillen and an accomplice took a pickup truck owned by a Van Wert businessman and drove it to Convoy where it was stored in a garage on Tully St. The prosecution stated the truck was to be repainted and that some sanding was done on the exterior of the vehicle in preparation for painting.

A tip led Van Wert Police and the Van Wert County Sheriff's Office to investigate the Convoy garage on Dec. 15, 2011. After a search warrant was issued, the garage was entered and the missing pickup truck was discovered. According to testimony, the truck was taken in mid September. McMillen himself was released from prison on Sept. 3, 2011 after serving a five-year sentence.

A verdict is expected sometime on Tuesday as the jury of seven men and five women will likely begin deliberations around mid-morning.