Man withdraws plea; goes to jail
By Jane Beathard
Judge Robert D. Nichols jailed a Grove City resident on Thursday after the man withdrew his previous guilty plea and his attorney quit in apparent disgust.
Deputies handcuffed Frank A. Moll IV, 34, 1864 Willow Run Road, and led the man away, following a brief disturbance in the Madison County Common Pleas Courtroom.
Moll pleaded guilty on June 25 to violating a civil protection order in January. However, he resisted a pre-sentence investigation, causing defense attorney Shannon Treynor to resign his case. Treynor said Moll did not want his past convictions for assault and domestic violence, which Nichols called “disturbing,” aired in court. Nichols appointed Nick Adkins to represent the man at future hearings. In the meantime, Moll remains in Tri-County Regional Jail.
Additional charges against Moll are pending in Franklin County, Nichols said.
Also on Thursday, a Hilliard man who led authorities on a high-speed chase in a stolen car on Interstate 70 in April, was sentenced to a year in prison.
Reko I. Cochran, 19, 5411 Bridle Creek Way, pleaded guilty in June to a charge of failing to comply with a police officer’s signal. An additional theft charge was dismissed as part of a plea bargain.
Nichols said Cochran has an extensive criminal history and is currently wanted in Franklin County on five outstanding arrest warrants.
Assistant county prosecutor Eamon Costello said the April 2 chase reached speeds of 100 mph and posed a safety risk to others on the freeway.
In other common pleas court action on Thursday:
• Joseph J. “Joey” Butts, 32, 10125 McKendree Road, Mt. Sterling, was sentenced to nine months in prison for passing $1,146 in bad checks between July 28 and Aug. 9, 2011. Butts pleaded guilty to the charge on June 25.
Nichols said Butts’ lengthy history of theft convictions and community control violations in Madison and Pickaway counties made prison time necessary.
• Helen Buechner, 49, 501 Hawthorne Ave., London, was placed on five years of community control for bilking Madison County Department of Job & Family Services out of $21,922 in unemployment benefits between June 1, 2008 and April 15, 2011. She pleaded guilty to a theft charge on May 22.
Buechner is already paying $100 monthly in restitution to the agency. However, any balance due at the end of her community control can be recovered through a civil action.
Buechner said she was uninsured at the time of the theft and needed the money for diabetes supplies.
• Barry Thomas, 39, 269 Washington Ave., Plain City, was sentenced to three years of community control for possessing a stolen credit card on Jan. 14, 2011. Thomas is already serving jail time in Delaware County.
• Linda Lawson, 33, 388 S. Powell Ave., Columbus, was sentenced to six months in prison for providing false identification to a police officer during a Feb. 18, 2010, traffic stop. The prison time will run concurrent with a year Lawson is already serving for theft in Franklin County. She is due for release in February 2013.