Judge Braig Dishes Out 27 Years of Prison Time


A press release from Judge Kevin P. Braig

April 18, 2024—

It was a busy week in the Logan County Court of Common Pleas.

Judge Kevin P. Braig handed down five prison sentences.

In total, the judge dished out 27 years of prison time.

Judge Braig handed down the following sentences:

  • On April 15, 2024, Judge Braig sentenced Daniel Oakley to six years in prison. Oakley pleaded guilty on March 13, 2024, to two counts of strangulation, felonies of the third degree, possession of a fentanyl-related compound, a felony of the fifth degree, and two counts of domestic violence, misdemeanors of the first degree. The Court found that Oakley’s relationship with the victim facilitated the offenses and that the victim suffered severe physical, mental, and emotional harm as a result of Oakley’s offenses. During the pre-sentencing proceedings, the Court revoked Oakley’s bond after he tested positive for several illegal drugs. Oakley was represented by defense counsel Ralph Bauer of Sidney, Ohio. Logan County Assistant Prosecutor Nathan Yohey recommended a probation sentence instead of prison. “I disagree. That is not enough,” Judge Braig snapped.
  • On April 15, 2024, Judge Braig sentenced Michael McCleery to 18 months in prison on two convictions for gross sexual imposition, felonies of the third degree. A Logan County jury convicted McCleery of the offenses on ​March 12, 2024. The State of Ohio (represented by Mr. Yohey) dismissed two charges of rape, felonies of the first degree. Judge Braig rejected the State’s recommended mandatory prison sentence because he concluded in 2015 that the Ohio Supreme Court held the recommended sentence unconstitutional. In 2023, the Third District Court of Appeals held it would be “obvious error” for a trial court to impose the sentence as recommended in the State’s sentencing memorandum.
  • On April 16, 2024, Judge Braig sentenced Donivon Smith to 14 to 15 years in prison on two convictions for complicity in improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation or school safety zone and two accompanying five-year firearm specifications and two counts of attempted felonious assault. Ohio law requires a mandatory minimum prison term of five years on such firearm specifications. Judge Braig followed Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart’s recommendation to impose the terms consecutively for a maximum of 10 years on the specifications. Smith will not be eligible to apply for release from prison until he serves the mandatory terms. Smith pleaded to the charges on ​March 13, 2024. The charges arose from drive-by-shootings into homes in Bellefontaine and Orchard Island at Indian Lake on ​August 14, 2023. Prosecutor Stewart played videos of the shootings during the hearing. Bellefontaine defense attorney Natalie Bahan advocated Smith receive a sentence closer to the mandatory minimum 7-to-8-years because Smith, who was driving the car, did not discharge the firearm and was remorseful. At the sentencing hearing, Smith informed the Court that since he entered the Logan County Jail he has been baptized and is trying to make amends for his mistakes and change his life. Judge Braig was moved by Smith’s conversion, but still believed a stiffer sanction was necessary and appropriate. “Since taking this bench in 2019, I have consistently said the people of Logan County should be safe in their homes. Invasions of homes by persons or bullets will not be tolerated. People should be safe in their homes,” Judge Braig informed the defendant and the audience from the bench.
  • On April 16, 2024, Judge Braig sentenced Logan H. Fischer to four years in prison on convictions for improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation or a school safety zone and retaliation, felonies of the third degree. Prosecutor Stewart recommended the four-year prison term, and the Court adopted the recommendation. The discharging offense arose as the result of the defendant’s mental health crisis on March 23, 2023. The pre-sentence investigation report stated that when booked into the Logan County Jail, Fischer told corrections staff that “the responding officers were lucky he did not put holes in them like Swiss cheese like he had planned.” The retaliation conviction arose from an altercation at Acheson’s Resort on May 28, 2023, that left two victims bleeding from what appeared to law enforcement officers to be stab wounds. When Judge Braig announced the sentence, a supporter of the defendant shouted an expletive and stormed out of the courtroom.
  • On April 16, 2024, Judge Braig sentenced Isaac Hurley to 18 months in prison on convictions of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fourth degree, and two counts of aggravated possession of drugs, felonies of the fifth degree. Hurley had been on probation since 2020, and reoffended several times and failed to enter treatment despite the Court’s order to do so. The 18-month prison term was the maximum sentence permitted under Ohio law for the offenses.