Ed Gebert/Times Bulletin Jonathan A. Howden (right) pleaded guilty to five counts on Wednesday, including burglary, breaking and entering, and identity fraud.
Ed Gebert/Times Bulletin Jonathan A. Howden (right) pleaded guilty to five counts on Wednesday, including burglary, breaking and entering, and identity fraud.

Times Bulletin News Writer


A series of crimes could land a Van Wert man in prison for up to 19 years. Jonathan A. Howden, 22, pleaded guilty to five felony counts in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas Wednesday morning.

Howden was charged in connection with five separate incidents dating back to New Year's Eve of 2007. Two second-degree felony burglary charges were filed in connections with crimes in November and December of 2009 where a Fulton St. residence in Van Wert and a home on Old Tile Factory Rd. were burglarized. Two fifth-degree felony charges stem from a pair of break-ins, one at Barb's Party Shop in Convoy last November, and one at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in December of 2007. Howden also pleaded to a case of identity fraud dating back to December 2009.

Sentencing in the case was set for April 14. The maximum possible sentence for Howden is 19 years in prison and $37,500 in fines, however Van Wert County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Taylor said the state will recommend four years of prison time as per terms of a plea agreement.

Also entering a guilty plea on Wednesday was Brendon Lemke, 27, who admitted to non-support of dependents and asked to be placed in the Diversions program. Lemke did not pay support for a period of two years between 2006 and 2008.

Judge Charles D. Steele granted Lemke's request and placed him under the jurisdiction of the Van Wert County Adult Probation Department while the program is being completed.

Dan Travis Neiferd, 32, Delphos, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of domestic violence, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Neiferd agreed to anger management and substance abuse counseling. He faces sentencing on March 31.

Joseph P. Kelley, 35, Van Wert, entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property. Kelley was arrested in connection with a Jan. 26 incident where he was found to have items he received from another party with the knowledge they were stolen. Sentencing was set for March 31.

Timothy D. Robison was sentenced to one year of community control on a first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Robison will also serve 30 days in jail, complete an anger management treatment program, perform 200 hours of community service, and pay fees and court costs in the case. A jail sentence of 180 days and a $1,000 fine were each deferred pending the successful completion of community control.

Four persons were charged with violating the terms of their community control agreements. Brandon L. Murphy admitted to violations in connection with his Jan. 16 arrest for trespassing and disorderly conduct, and for being intoxicated.

Steele resentenced Murphy to three years of community control, adding a pair of 30-day jail terms. Murphy was originally sentenced in April of 2009 on a drug trafficking charge.

Brian A. Cutlip, Melrose, admitted to having a blood alcohol level of 0.123 on February 19, thus violating his community control. Steele resentenced Cutlip to three years of community control, but also added up to six months time at the WORTH Center in Lima. Cutlip was sentenced last October for theft in connection to an incident at Wal Mart in Van Wert.

Shane Lee Mosier, 22, admitted to four violations of community control. He was accused of being arrested for driving under suspension, of moving out of the country without permission, failing to report for a four-week period, and associating with a person under the age of 18 contrary to his agreement. Mosier had been sentenced for misdemeanor theft in December and had been given a suspended sentence. On Wednesday, Steele instituted that sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Mosier was given credit for 37 days already served in custody.

Joshua Trenkamp, 20, denied that he had violated his community control agreement. He is accused of being unsuccessfully terminated from the WORTH Center program. Trenkamp was ordered held without bond pending a hearing on the matter.

Joshua Poland was arraigned on two counts of breaking and entering, each felonies of the fifth degree. Poland pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on a $10,000 cash bond with a March 10 pretrial conference scheduled. Poland is also facing similar charges in Allen County, Ohio.

Crystal Holtsberry, 25, was arraigned on two counts of trafficking in cocaine, each fifth-degree felonies. She was released on bond and ordered to appear at a pretrial hearing on March 10.