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West Liberty, OH

City Man Sentenced for Summer Burglary; Local Man Sentenced to Prison For Stalking City Women

Five defendants were sentenced and four pleaded guilty before Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark O'Connor earlier this week.

Steffan Whetsel (pictured), 22, of Bellefontaine, was sentenced to two years in prison for burglary.

On July 5th, Whetsel and Tyrell Artis, 20, of Bellefontaine, were arrested after they forced their way into a south side apartment around 11:30 p.m.

Whetsel and Artis allegedly kicked in the door at 816 Heritage Drive, Apt. 4.

The resident, Shelly Neeld, 39, along with her one-year-old grandson were knocked to the ground.

Neeld said the suspects were armed with a ball bat and taser.

Whetsel and Artis were yelling for a man named "Crazy" in the apartment, whom they never found.

The Bellefontaine Police Department responded and saw two men fleeing on a motorcycle.

Neeld's daughter, Katrina Robinson, 22, of 512 North Elm Street, identified the suspects by name.

Police recovered the bat and taser in Neeld's residence.

About 30 minutes later, officers found the suspects’ motorcycle at 555 Newell Street.

Both men denied being at Neeld's residence.

Officers disagreed because the motorcycle felt warm.

Whetsel said the motorcycle did not work because of mechanical problems.

When he tried to demonstrate this, the bike started right up.

Whetsel and Artis were each charged with a felony count of aggravated burglary.

Artis was carrying a backpack, which was seized for evidence.

He became belligerent and was restrained near a police cruiser.

In July, Whetsel was indicted for aggravated burglary (F1) and assault (M1).

In November, Artis was convicted of burglary after a two-day jury trial.

The jury deliberated five hours before finding Artis guilty of burglary. He was found not guilty of aggravated burglary.

Artis will be sentenced on December 17th.

David Rupert (pictured), 23, of Lewistown, was sentenced to two years in prison for complicity to robbery.

On July 13th, Rupert helped his roommate commit an armed robbery at the Rushsylvania One Stop, 125 North Sandusky Street.

Rupert was taken into custody during a traffic stop by the Bellefontaine Police Department in the 400 block of Colton Avenue on the evening of July 15th.

The Logan County Sheriff's Office charged Rupert with complicity to aggravated robbery.

Wyatt Covington, 20, went into the Rushsylvania One Stop around four p.m., displayed a handgun, and demanded money.

The female clerks complied and Covington fled on foot.

Moments later, Tony Kuntz, 34, of Riverside, walked into the store and noticed the clerks were upset.

After store employees told him about the armed robbery, Kuntz and his brother, Marine Matt Phelps, started driving around the village looking for the suspect.

Kuntz confronted Covington in the 100 block of Stewart Street and took him to the ground.

Kuntz restrained the suspect until deputies arrived.

Covington was charged with aggravated robbery and lodged in the Logan County Jail.

Covington was carrying a toy gun and a fixed open blade knife.

Authorities recovered the stolen money.

No one was injured during the robbery.

Kuntz has been trained in martial arts and used to live in Rushsylvania.

Randall Bolen (pictured), 30, of Urbana, was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay restitution for failure to comply with the orders of a police officer and two counts of menacing by stalking.

In October, Bolen pleaded guilty to stalking and eluding a police officer.

In June, he was indicted for felonious assault (F2), failure to comply with a police officer (F3), and menacing by stalking (F4).

On May 31st, Bolen allegedly stalked his ex-girlfriend overnight and led local law enforcement on a 30-minute high speed pursuit just after four a.m.

Bolen was reportedly stalking Denise Board, 29, of 808 Euclid Street, Bellefontaine.

A neighbor reported the incident to the Bellefontaine Police Department late on the evening of May 30th.

Bolen was reportedly in Board's backyard. He left before police arrived.

Around 4 a.m., the Champaign County Dispatch Center received a call from Bolen, who returned to Board's home. He was threatening to kill Board and himself.

The dispatch center then contacted city police.

As officers were responding, they passed Bolen near the intersection of Lawrence and Euclid.

When Bolen refused to pull over, a pursuit ensued throughout Logan and Champaign counties.

Bolen took Lawrence Street to West Williams Avenue, then turned the wrong way on Clagg Street.

He went left on Garfield Avenue, to West Columbus Avenue, to South Detroit Street, to Water Avenue, and then southbound on South Main (Route 68) towards West Liberty.

The Logan County Sheriff's Office and West Liberty Police Department assisted during the pursuit, which reached speeds of 110 MPH.

Bolen went around the block in West Liberty to avoid stop sticks at the intersection of 68 and 245.

He went north on 68 and turned onto County Road 5.

He then went southbound on County Road 1 to State Route 245 where more stop sticks were set up.

Bolen avoided the stop sticks and turned around to head northbound on 1.

He dodged stop sticks at the intersection of County Road 1 and Township Road 199.

After nearly hitting an auxiliary officer, Bolen turned around and went southbound on County Road 1 into Champaign County.

The pursuit ended when Bolen struck a utility pole on Ludlow Road near Kanagy Road.

The collision snapped the pole and brought down power lines.

Moments before the wreck, Bolen's engine blew up.

Bolen, who suffered facial injuries, was transported from the scene by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital.

Bolen was charged with three felonies, including failure to comply with an officer, menacing by stalking, and felonious assault.

Ms. Board was not injured.

The Champaign County Sheriff's Office, Marysville Post of the State Highway Patrol, and Macochee Joint Ambulance District assisted.

In March, Bolen was charged with menacing by stalking and persistent disorderly conduct after he stalked Board for several days in Russells Point.

Bolen was reportedly sitting near BJ's Drive Thru watching Board, who was working at nearby Family Dollar.

Board said that Bolen was following her and stalking her at home and work.

Bolen was convicted and sentenced to 30 days in the Logan County Jail. He was released on May 27th.

Eric Brown (pictured), 19, of Huntsville, was sentenced to six months in the Logan County Jail, five years community control, and ordered to pay court costs for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He was also labeled a Tier II sexual offender.

In July, Brown was arrested on a felony sex charge following a brief investigation by the Logan County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies arrested Brown after he admitted to having sex with an Indian Lake teenage girl in May.

He was charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, then lodged in the Logan County Jail.

Billy Joe Salmons, 32, was sentenced to 30 days in the Logan County Jail, three years community control, and ordered to pay a $250 fine, court costs, attorney fees, and restitution for theft.

Jesse Hamburger, 31, of Lakeview, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs and was granted intervention. He must complete drug counseling and three years community control.

Joey Miller, 43, of Marion, pleaded guilty to theft.

Anthony Whitt, 28, of Kenton, pleaded guilty to forgery.

Dominic Disanto, 42, of Celina, pleaded guilty to theft.

Presentence investigations were ordered and sentencings are scheduled for January 14th.

We encourage open dialogue among people who may disagree. Difficult conversations must be had sometimes to make progress. If you disagree, please disagree respectfully. Cruelty will not be tolerated. This is a family friendly group.
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