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Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Six-year prison term handed down

By Margie Wuebker
A Celina man convicted of attempted felonious assault is headed to prison for six years following a Wednesday morning appearance in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Mark A. Springer, 42, 601 W. Wayne St., once again asked for assistance in overcoming an alcohol addiction, noting time behind bars would not solve his problem. He reportedly shaved his head and beard in preparation for the appearance.
Springer was indicted on a first-degree felony count of felonious assault of a police officer involving the use of a deadly weapon and a lesser fourth-degree felony charge of assault. As part of a negotiated agreement, he pleaded guilty to an amended charge and the state dismissed the lesser charge, which also involved a police officer.
The second-degree offense carried the possibility of up to eight years in jail and a $15,000 fine. Ingraham did not order any fine and granted credit for time served during dependency of the case.
Defense counsel Dan Myers previously asked that his client be released from jail prior to sentencing in order to spend time with his wife who reportedly has health problems.
"Mark believes if he goes to prison for five, six or seven years, Regina won't be alive when he gets out," Myers said. "He wants to spend time with her and to get his house in order."
Judge Jeffrey Ingraham refused the bond modification request from defense counsel Dan Myers so Springer could be released from jail in order to spend time with his wife who reportedly has health problems. The decision was made in the interest of the woman's well-being.
Celina Police initially responded to Springer's home at 7:18 p.m. July 28 on reports of a domestic dispute between him and his wife. The situation calmed and officers left to handle other Celina Lake Festival-related duties. Patrolmen Colin Fuelling and Patrick Crosby went back to the scene at 7:33 p.m. after a caller reported threats of suicide.
They found Springer in the front yard reportedly cutting himself with a butcher knife. He then confronted the officers with the weapon and challenged them to take action. They did just that, using pepper spray when he failed to drop the weapon. While temporarily blinded by the spray, he allegedly attempted to throw the knife at Fuelling.
Springer was subsequently taken into custody and held overnight following emergency room treatment at Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater. He was then taken to Van Wert County Hospital for a mental health evaluation prior to booking.
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