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McCullough's charges lessened

Heather Chapin-Fowler • Jul 22, 2014 at 9:07 AM

A New London man with a "somewhat colorful history" won't face charges as severe as initially thought when he was arrested for another alleged violent crime.

William M. McCullough, 69, of 1732 U.S. 250, New London, was charged with felonious assault and possession of weapons under disability recently after an altercation at his home.

When McCullough's case was presented to the grand jury, the jurors felt the felonious assault was too harsh of a charge and agreed to indict him instead with aggravated menacing, a misdemeanor of the first degree, said Huron County Public Defender David Longo.

The firearms charge remained in effect because McCullough was forbidden to possess a firearm due to his prior criminal convictions.

Monday, during McCullough's arraignment, the prosecutor's office fought for McCullough's bond to remain at $100,000 in light of the new charge and "his propensity to violent offenses," said Assistant Huron County Prosecutor Daivia Kasper.

Longo was able to persuade Huron County Common Pleas Court Judge James Conway to lessen the bond to $50,000 because the felony was dropped to a misdemeanor.

"Even though my client has a somewhat colorful history, the grand jury agreed that the victim presented somewhat aggregated facts," Longo said.

In addition to the bond reduction, the judge agreed to order McCullough to have no association with the male victim in the case through any means -- telecommunications or in person.

If convicted on the misdemeanor, McCullough could face up to six months in jail and be ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, according to court officials. The firearms charge carries a stiffer penalty, if convicted, of up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

McCullough's trial is set for Aug. 26 with two pretrials in the interim.

McCullough has spent a good portion of his life in prison for an attempted murder conviction that occurred in 1985.

"(McCullough) shot the two victims point blank. He thought they were dead, but they survived," said retired Norwalk Police Capt. Jack O'Neil Monday at the hearing.

McCullough served about 20 years in prison for the Jan. 1, 1985 shooting of his former girlfriend and another man while they were kissing on a couch, which prosecutors said occurred out of McCullough's "fit of jealousy," according to a story published in the Reflector.

The couple was shot by an old-style revolver with low-velocity rounds. The woman's brain stem and thyroid gland were injured in the shooting.

McCullough's past also includes a number of other crimes including narcotics offenses, crimes against children and more violent crimes.

In 1980, he was sentenced to one to 10 years in prison for trafficking in LSD. Prosecutors have said McCullough ignited fireworks during an incident at the old Richfield Coliseum. That same year, he also served time in a Columbus prison for trafficking in marijuana before being paroled in 1981.

On Aug. 25, 2008, McCullough was sentenced to six months in prison for attempted assault on a police officer. A sheriff's deputy was forced to use a Taser on McCullough during his arrest because he was being uncooperative during the arrest at his home.

At the time of the mid-May 2008 incident, McCullough was arrested on an unrelated warrant. He was charged with failure to report to jail on the original conviction of child enticement and served a 40-day sentence at the Huron County Jail.

McCullough was convicted of telling several boys and girls, ages 9 to 13, he wouldn't hurt them if they approached him when he was near a white van. One of the victim's parents told McCullough to leave after he told the child to put the Freeze Pop in the back of the vehicle.

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