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Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Celina man enters not guilty pleas to charges

By Margie Wuebker
A Celina man appeared Wednesday morning in Mercer County Common Pleas Court and pleaded not guilty to numerous charges stemming from a Jan. 2 incident when he allegedly restrained and threatened his girlfriend.
Justin B. Williams, 27, 414 S. Sugar St., was indicted last week by a grand jury on two counts of kidnapping, two counts of endangering children and individual counts of abduction, aggravated menacing, menacing and domestic violence. The offenses range from first-degree felonies to a less serious first-degree misdemeanor.
Judge Jeffrey Ingraham set Feb. 13 for a pretrial hearing and continued a $500,000 bond, despite requests for modification from defense attorney David William Bruns.
Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox countered Bruns' request citing the "extraordinary and excessively violent" nature of the crime, which involved a gun, knife and duct tape.
Williams and the unidentified 24-year-old woman reportedly got into an argument Jan. 2 at the home they share. At some point during the altercation, he allegedly tied her hands and feet with duct tape and confined her to a utility room.
Police believe he threatened the woman with a .45-caliber handgun and a knife during the altercation before finally releasing her to do work around the house.
The woman left for work the next morning and reported the incident to an unidentified social services agency representative. Initial contact with authorities took place around 10 a.m. and officers executed a search warrant shortly before 2:45 p.m. When Williams failed to answer the locked front door, police used a key provided by the victim to enter the two-story home.
They located the suspect lying in bed in an upstairs room and found the gun tucked between the wall and the headboard. The couple's young children - ages 3 and 1 - were found unharmed in an adjacent bedroom.
Police had not been summoned to the Sugar Street residence for domestic altercations in the past. Court records indicate Williams has a history of misdemeanor charges dating back to Sept. 1, 2003, which involve obstructing official business, driving under suspension and disorderly conduct.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the kidnapping charges with the other charges carrying up to an additional 15 years behind bars.
Additional online story on this date
COLDWATER - Lab technicians at Mercer Health received a delayed Christmas present Wednesday night as board members approved the purchase of high-tech equipment used to analyze samples such as blood, tissue and urine. [More]
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