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Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Man sentenced to prison

By Margie Wuebker
A 24-year-old Celina man is headed back to prison following a Wednesday morning appearance in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Brandon J. Anderson, 800 Touvelle St., cried as Judge Jeffrey Ingraham imposed five years on a charge of felonious assault and one year for theft, with the terms to run concurrently. He also received credit for 132 days served during pendency of the case.
Given the violent nature of the crime, Ingraham noted there is mandatory post-release control. Any violation during the three-year period could result in Anderson's return to prison for one-half of the original sentence.
The charges stem from a July assault that left a 29-year-old Celina man with facial fractures and other injuries requiring stitches. The victim was jumped as he rode a bicycle from a friend's home shortly after midnight and then was beaten, according to Celina Police Department reports. A credit card was stolen.
A felony charge of aggravated robbery and a misdemeanor count of theft were dismissed during plea negotiations.
Anderson's 30-year-old brother, Brian L. Anderson, faces similar charges stemming from the incident.
Defense attorney Dan Myers asked Ingraham to impose no more than five years so Brandon Anderson would be eligible to seek judicial release after serving four years.
The attorney noted his client has expressed remorse for what transpired that night, explaining the older brother was using bath salts at the time.
"He first went to prison at the age of 17 and got out in 2009," Myers added. "One bad decision takes it all away."
The defendant apologized to the court, his family and the victim, who was not present.
Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox lobbied for more time on the felonious assault charge, which carries up to eight years in prison. Fox traced the defendant's lengthy court history, which began at the age of 10. In 1997 (at the age of 17), he was adjudicated as an adult in a case involving thefts and burglaries.
Despite statements about Brandon Anderson working hard to live a law-abiding life since release from prison, Fox pointed out there were misdemeanor brushes with the law in 2010 and 2011 prior to the felonious assault indictment.
Ingraham also commented that the defendant's attempts to make changes in his life were unsuccessful.
"When you pick up one end of the stick, you also pick up the other end," the judge said. "You are man enough to make choices. What's done is done ... you cannot go back in time."
The sentence is designed to punish the offender and protect society, Ingraham said. The judge looked to the defense table and added, "You have the opportunity to make the most of your time. You can make valuable choices or continue to make careless, reckless decisions."
Brian Anderson, whose address appears in court records as 642 E. Livingston St., was brought to court for an afternoon pretrial hearing. With plea negotiations under way, another proceeding is slated for March 9.
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Additional online stories on this date
ST. MARYS - An attorney for former optometrist Douglas Wine - found guilty of sexual assault last fall - says misconduct by the county prosecutor and poor decisions by the judge at trial resulted in an unfair conviction. [More]
COLDWATER - Well-known Coldwater couple Ray and Mary Wenning were honored with the 2011 Coldwater Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year award at Wednesday's annual banquet. [More]
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