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Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Pair sentenced to four-year prison term

By Margie Wuebker
Two accomplices in a February home invasion near Mendon attributed heroin addiction as a factor in the crime, which earned them four-year prison sentences.
Patricia A. Abrams, 32, of Batavia, and Michael E. Davis, 31, of Cincinnati, appeared before Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Ingraham on Wednesday afternoon. Each previously pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony charge of aiding and abetting a robbery.  
The pair assisted Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox in the case against Joshua Moreo, 31, of Lima, the alleged mastermind of the robbery of William and Kathy Fair on Feb. 25. Moreo, who formerly lived in the Mendon area and knew of the Fairs, was sentenced in September to 11 years in prison for his role in the crime. The term will start after he completes a 2 1/2-year term handed down for an unrelated case in Allen County.
Abrams' husband, Jeff, addressed the court, admitting he was the person responsible for getting his wife hooked on heroin.
"You are not yourself when you are on heroin," he said. "It's like you're drowning a foot away from air. You grab anything around you to get that breath of air. And then later you worry what you did to get that breath of air."
A recovering heroin addict, he likened addiction to being possessed by a demon.
Crying softly throughout her husband's statement, Abrams told the judge, "I can't let my husband take responsibility for this. I've been sitting there (the Mercer County Detention Center) six months thinking about what I've done and the people I've hurt."
Defense attorney Kathy Speelman said her client's life took a downhill spiral when heroin came into the picture. The former bank teller was released from prison in September 2011 and went back to her old ways, doing anything she could to get drugs.
Davis' attorney Matt Gilmore asked for leniency but admitted his client shouldn't walk away free.
Abrams, Davis and Moreo went to the Fair home after midnight and Moreo knocked on the door and asked for a person who did not live there.
Kathy Fair attempted to close the door after spotting Davis standing nearby in a ski mask. The men forcibly pushed open the door, and Moreo brandished a handgun and threatened to shoot William Fair unless money was given to them. His companions had knives.
The intruders attempted to bind the victims with duct tape after pocketing money, but the Fairs fought back and sustained scratches and bruises in the process. The three left the home and reportedly stopped somewhere to buy drugs, according to Mercer County Sheriff's Office reports.
Moreo was identified through a sketch prepared from descriptions supplied by the victims. An investigation led to Abrams, who was his pen pal while they were in different prisons. Davis, a friend of Abrams, accompanied her on the ride from Cincinnati that night.
During sentencing, Ingraham granted Abrams 181 days credit and Davis 166 days credit for time served pendency of their cases. Upon completion of the sentences, they will serve up to three years post-release supervision by the Ohio Parole Authority. Restitution was set at $220.
Additional online stories on this date
Law enforcement officers and K-9 units found drugs at two area schools during unannounced sweeps Wednesday.
The drugs, believed to be marijuana, were found in cars parked at Coldwater and Celina high schools. Hits also were made at lockers at both schools, but no drugs were found inside. [More]
Celina - Nov. 24
• 8-11 a.m., pancake breakfast with Santa Claus, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, tickets sold by Celina Mercer Chamber of Co [More]
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