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Friday, January 8th, 2010

Man gives up his right to jury trial

By Margie Wuebker
The case of a 54-year-old Celina man charged with menacing by stalking, aggravated menacing and domestic violence is set for a bench trial commencing at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 5
Steven W. Shoupp, formerly of 1523 Irmscher Blvd., appeared Wednesday morning in Mercer County Common Pleas Court and voluntarily waived his right to a jury trial that had been set Feb. 4. Instead Judge Jeffrey Ingraham will determine his guilt or innocence.
The decision came during a pretrial hearing and discussion with defense attorney Kenneth Rexford of Lima.
Rexford asked Ingraham to reduce his client's $500,000 cash bond pointing out Shoupp has been incarcerated 140 days on "low level felony charges" relating to a divorce. He also cited the reduced likelihood of flight and added Shoupp would sign a waiver of extradition permitting him to visit a daughter in Indiana. "Whatever happens he will be out of jail relatively soon," the attorney added.
Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox responded to the request by stating Shoupp remains "a threat to the victim and society."
Ingraham asked Rexford to reduce his comments to writing with a decision on the matter expected by the scheduled Jan. 20 final pretrial hearing.
Rexford earlier filed a motion seeking to have "alleged prior bad acts and/or suspicion of the same" excluded in the event of a trial.
Shoupp's estranged wife, who filed for divorce three to four months ago, contacted Celina Police after a series of incidents in mid-August. Shoupp allegedly followed her to a St. Marys restaurant and watched through a window as she dined with a friend.
Court records also indicate he drove past her residence several times on Aug. 19 and parked at a nearby business before leaving. He subsequently returned and assured the woman everything would be over sooner than she suspected and then used a finger in a slashing motion across his throat.
The defendant, a former Troy resident who had served as an assistant coach at a Miami County high school, remains a person of interest in the disappearance and suspected murder of his first wife Nancy Lynn Shoupp nearly two decades ago, according to Bruce Isaacson, a cold case detective with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office in Colorado.
Celina Police learned of that case during the course of the local investigation and continue to keep authorities there apprised of developments in the common pleas court case.
Isaacson subsequently requested and obtained DNA evidence - a hair sample as well as eight swabs of the mouth - from the defendant in late September according to paperwork filed in Celina's Municipal Court.
No charges have been filed against Shoupp to date by the Colorado police authorities, although the investigation is continuing.
Additional online story on this date
Local health officials may be the first in the state to pen a unique policy for a construction and demolition debris landfill proposed to open in rural Rockford. [More]
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