James L. Leiendecker of Venedocia (right) enters a guilty plea to receiving stolen property Wednesday morning in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas.
James L. Leiendecker of Venedocia (right) enters a guilty plea to receiving stolen property Wednesday morning in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas.
VAN WERT - Three persons changed pleas to guilty Wednesday in separate cases in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas. One of those, James L. Leiendecker, 22, Venedocia, pleaded to a fourth-degree felony count of receiving stolen property. Leiendecker was accused of stealing a 2009 Kawasaki motorcycle from a Van Wert resident on May 29. He faces up to 18 months in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 5.

A 20-year-old Van Wert man entered a guilty plea to having unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. William Shinnaberry was charged by Van Wert Police of engaging in sexual conduct in April with a female over the age of 13 and under the age of 16. Shinnaberry will be classified as a Tier Two sex offender, requiring him to register with the sheriff every six months for 25 years. Sentencing is set for Oct. 5.

Tyler D. Bochard, 20, Van Wert, was granted treatment in lieu of conviction after entering a guilty plea to a fifth-degree felony charge of forgery. Bochard will be under the supervision of the Van Wert County Adult Probation Department for one year while he is in the treatment program.

A Columbus, Ohio woman was sentenced for her part in a scheme to cash fraudulent checks. Tonya L. Moore, 32, was sentenced to four 12-month prison sentences on three counts of forgery and one count of identity fraud. Those sentences will be served concurrently with one another and concurrently with a 22-month prison sentence Moore is currently serving from Auglaize County.

Judge Charles D. Steele also ordered Moore to make $1,562.37 restitution to the victims in the cases.

Moore was part of a group of Columbus-area people who came to Van Wert last November. The group was printing checks that appeared to be from a local business. The checks were then cashed or attempted to be cashed locally. The group used the same strategy in Auglaize County as well.

Another person accused of being a part of that ring was arraigned Wednesday morning. Robert D. Yuill, 40, Columbus, pleaded not guilty to two counts of forgery and two counts of identity fraud. Yuill is presently being held in prison for similar crimes. A pretrial in the case was set for Aug. 31.

Kevin L. Clay, 26, Van Wert, entered a not guilty plea to possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Martin Burchfield requested that Clay be drug-tested frequently while on bond explaining, "This young man would be dead if not for the intervention of a couple of his friends, the police department and EMS." For the defense table, Clay nodded his head in agreement with Burchfield's words.

Clay was released on bond and will appear at a pre-trial hearing on Aug. 31.

In an earlier session Wednesday at Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas, Judge Sumner E. Walters sentenced a pair of men to 10-day prison terms for taking a party bus from a limo service in Delphos. Jacob Strick, 25, Ohio City, and Justin Tansy, 26, Brownsburg, Indiana were each charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor of the first degree.

The pair had been part of a group on the party bus on July 17, but did not go in to Rambler's Roost Truck Stop with the others for breakfast. When the rest of the group and the driver returned to the parking lot, the party bus, along with Strick and Tansy were gone. The vehicle was recovered a short time later in Ohio City.

Both men must complete a substance abuse treatment program, remain on community control for one year, and pay court costs.