Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
Schwieterman to appeal sentence
By Margie Wuebker
A Chickasaw man serving more than two decades in prison on charges related to a quadruple fatality intends to appeal the sentence handed down Nov. 12 in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Attorney Joseph Benevidez filed a notice of appeal Monday afternoon with the Third District Court of Appeals in Lima on behalf of Nicholas Schwieterman, 23, formerly of 90 S. Maple St. He is currently incarcerated at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in Orient with a scheduled release date of Oct. 10, 2032, with no chance of parole.
Court documents indicate an appeal is forthcoming based on something in the final sentencing order. The brief notice alludes to the sentencing and includes numerous court documents including the sentencing order signed by Judge Jeffrey Ingraham.
Neither Benevidez nor Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox were available for comment this morning.
Schwieterman was sentenced to 24 years in prison after pleading no contest to four counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of possession of drugs and one count of operating a vehicle under the influence.
Dr. Michael G. Bissell, toxicology lab director at Ohio State University in Columbus, testified in May that blood and urine test results indicated Schwieterman was under the influence of alcohol, cocaine and marijuana at the time of the March 15 accident. The four victims - 18-year-old Jordan Moeller, 19-year-old Jordan Diller, 19-year-old Jordan Goettemoeller and 19-year-old Bradley Roeckner - were pronounced dead at the scene, according to Mercer County Sheriff's Office reports.
Schwieterman failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Brockman Road and County Road 716 near St. Sebastian and his 1996 Pontiac Bonneville struck the 1995 Pontiac Grand Am containing the 2007 Marion Local High School graduates.
The original indictment included 16 counts but the state later dismissed eight counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. The plea bargain also stipulated Schwieterman must cooperate with prosecutors in the case of 22-year-old Staush Homan of St. Henry, who allegedly sold him cocaine the night of the accident. Homan remains in the Mercer County Jail awaiting further court proceedings. He faces 10 charges, the most serious of which are four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
As part of the agreement, Schwieterman also waived his right to appeal the court's decision regarding suppression of certain evidence including the results of blood and urine tests.