Saturday, January 9th, 2010
By Margie Wuebker
Man charged with arson now also faces intimidation count
  A 33-year-old Celina man, who allegedly considers himself a role model for juveniles, faces a new charge stemming from actions in connection with a pending case in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Steven D. Smith II appeared before Judge Jeffrey Ingraham on Wednesday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to intimidation of a witness. A Mercer County grand jury returned the single-count indictment on Dec. 17.
Smith, who remains incarcerated in the Mercer County Jail on a $75,000 cash bond, also faces multiple counts of arson, vandalism and contributing to the delinquency of a minor stemming from a series of dumpster fires in Celina between Sept. 26 and Oct. 12.
He pleaded not guilty to those charges during a Dec. 16 arraignment hearing.
Ingraham set Jan. 20 as the date for pretrial hearings in both cases.
Smith was taken into custody in early October when a Celina Police officer on targeted patrol spotted him and an 11-year-old boy at a dumpster outside Little Flower Learning Center on Touvelle Street.
Chief Dave Slusser told The Daily Standard the youth was inside the large dumpster allegedly attempting to start a trash fire with a lighter while Smith issued instructions. Responding officers found a smouldering fire at the scene.
This was the second dumpster fire of the night with the first being spotted on Hierholzer Street. The two males, who are not related, have been linked to that blaze as well, according to Slusser. Smith reportedly commented on being a role model during interrogation at the police department.
Investigators learned of the alleged intimidation during Smith's incarceration in the first case.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• New Bremen officials consider options for retire/rehire
• Maria Stein museum showcases memories of past natural health remedies
• Property owners must tap in or face the judge
• Health department officials: Upgrade coolers or close
• Waterman has big night for Celina
• Coldwater keeps perfect record intact
• Defensive battle goes to New Bremen
• St. Marys unable to stretch win streak
• Kahlig has another big night for Indians
a_d
Friday
27°
Mostly Sunny
Friday Night
22°
Slight Chance Freezing Rain
31%
Saturday
46°
Chance Rain Showers
35%
Saturday Night
39°
Rain Showers
40%
Sunday
55°
Rain Showers
90%
Sunday Night
47°
Rain Showers
54%
Monday
53°
Chance Rain Showers
49%
Monday Night
32°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
24%
Tuesday
37°
Slight Chance Rain/Snow
20%
Tuesday Night
24°
Slight Chance Snow Showers
20%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d