Grand jury indicts eight

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:53 PM

A Huron County grand indicted a Bellevue teenager in connection with leading a sheriff's deputy in a high-speed chase in a stolen convertible.

Emily A. Kessler, 18, of 113 1/2 E. Main St., is accused of stealing a 1997 Mercedes 450SL convertible from a Prairie Road, Bellevue, woman's barn Aug. 18, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said. The next day, she picked up Katherine Tuttle, 18, of 821 Kilborne St., Bellevue, and reportedly led Cpl. Jeff Kerber in a pursuit that started between Monroeville and Bellevue.

Major Greg Englund has said the chase lasted six to eight minutes and reached speeds of 75 to 80 mph.

"I think they blew the engine of their car," Leffler said, after Kessler went through the stop sign at the intersection of Sandhill Road and Ohio 547.

Kessler remains in custody at the Huron County Jail on one count each of grand theft of an automobile, and breaking and entering. She also was charged with two counts of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer.

Leffler said Tuttle "didn't have anything to do with the theft" and wasn't indicted.

On Friday, Kessler pleaded guilty in Bellevue Municipal Court to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, a first-degree misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. Tuttle was fined $100 in court costs and ordered to pay the towing charge for the convertible.

Kessler was one of nine people indicted Friday. The others were:

Lacy Barnett, 22, of 40 E. Main St., Greenwich, on felonious assault in connection with a June 6 incident.

Joseph J. Blackburn, 21, of 3076 Hanville Corners Road, Monroeville, on breaking and entering, possession of criminal tools and receiving stolen property in connection with an incident from June 30 through Aug. 1. Leffler said the suspect is accused of stealing about $750 worth of wire from CSX Railroad and having a "giant pair of bolt cutters" in his possession.

The railroad company has reported missing about $16,000 worth of wire over the course of about two months. "We haven't pinned all of it on this guy," Leffler said, referring to Blackburn.

Loretta Brown, 60, of 3961 West St., New Haven, on trafficking in heroin in connection with a July 12 incident.

Dane R. Lenhart, 21, of Attica, on aggravated vehicular assault and vehicular assault in connection with a July 28 incident. Prosecutors earlier have accused him of being intoxicated and slamming on his brakes when his friend was on the hood of his car after an argument on Hanville Corners Road near North Fairfield.

Lenhart later called 9-1-1 while heading south on Ohio 99 and said his unconscious passenger, 22, "was bleeding profusely from his head," sheriff's dispatchers wrote. A medical helicopter flew the victim from Mercy Hospital of Willard to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Victor A. Quillen, 35, of 41 Monroe St., Monroeville, on driving under the influence in connection with an Aug. 4 incident.

Geronimo San Juan, 30, of 123 1/2 Spring St., Willard, on possession of cocaine in connection with a June 17 incident. He currently is in custody at the Huron County Jail.

The grand jury transferred the misdemeanor forgery case against Rafael A. Villanueaya-Martinez, 22, of Galion, to Norwalk Municipal Court for prosecution.

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