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Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Driver accused in fatal crash released on bond

Father of Nicholas Schwieterman posts $200,000 bond

By Margie Wuebker
A 22-year-old Chickasaw man charged in connection with a March 15 crash that killed four young local men is home after his father posted a $200,000 bond.
Nicholas Schwieterman, 90 S. Maple St., left the Mercer County Jail at 11:30 a.m. Friday wearing street clothes and an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet to keep track of his whereabouts. He will be confined to the home of his parents, Bob "Buster" and Linda Schwieterman.
The bond document bears the signature of father and son with Bob Schwieterman listed as surety or the person assuming responsibilities or debts in the event of a default.
Judge Jeffrey Ingraham increased Schwieterman's original $1 million bond to $2 million during a Thursday court proceeding. In keeping with a 10 percent factor, the Schwietermans posted a $200,000 deposit to secure release. They had the option of using cash, certified check or money order.
In accordance with Ingraham's order that electronic monitoring be in place prior to release, a representative of Midwest Court Services came to the jail to apply the device. The Lima-based firm handles all common pleas court work of this nature, according to bailiff and chief probation officer Mike Huber.
Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox requested no bail or at the least $4 million in the new case involving the traffic-related deaths of Jordan Moeller, Jordan Diller, Bradley Roeckner and Jordan Goettemoeller during the early morning hours of March 15.
The original March 20 indictment listed 10 counts alleging alcohol and failure to stop for a stop sign were factors in the accident at the intersection of County Road 716A and Brockman Road, north of St. Sebastian. The charges were dismissed Thursday because the state wishes to proceed with 16 charges handed down Monday during a special session of the grand jury. The most serious charges in the new indictment - four counts of involuntary manslaughter, all first-degree felonies, - allege the deaths occurred as a proximate result of Schwieterman's possession of cocaine. Others also relate to the use of alcohol and failure to stop for a posted stop sign.
Fox cited seriousness of the charges and grave concerns about the risk Schwieterman poses to himself as some of the reasons for no bond or a hefty increase.
Defense attorney Scott Calaway responded to the new bond request saying Schwieterman needs to be home with his family and not "rotting away" in jail until the trial tentatively set for the week of June 9.
The attorney called the latest bond request unreasonable and suggested reduction to $500,000 or lower.
Ingraham listened to both sides before setting the $2 million figure and approving a list of conditions including house arrest with electronic monitoring, no contact - direct or indirect - with families of the four men and witnesses in the case, no alcohol and/or drugs and random testing.
Schwieterman must maintain his current Chickasaw residence and is only permitted to leave for consultations with his Dayton attorneys, court appearances or personal emergencies.
The next scheduled court proceeding is a May 6 evidentiary hearing to consider motions Caloway and co-counsel Marc Ross are expected to file in the coming days.
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