A Sandusky man was found guilty of stealing checks Monday because he violated his probation.
Benjamin C. Shepherd, 27, was ordered to spend four to six months in a community-based corrections facility. A CBCF is a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education. The sentence was a joint recommendation between Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper and Huron County Public Defender David Longo.
In October 2012, a grand jury indicted Shepherd on one count of theft of checks and two charges of forgery, all in connection with an Aug. 14, 2012 incident.
"All three charges refer to the same checks," Longo said Monday.
Shepherd admitted to multiple probation violations Monday. Those offenses include: Being convicted of disorderly conduct Sept. 5 through Sandusky Municipal Court; testing positive for opiates, THC and cocaine July 17 and Sept. 17; testing positive for opiates July 31 and Aug. 27; and using THC and marijuana Sept. 10 . He also failed to appear for two probation office visits in April and July.
As a result of the violations, Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway revoked Shepherd from being on the intervention program instead of being convicted. As part of the joint recommendation, Conway imposed a conviction on only one of the charges, theft of checks. Shepherd will remain on three years of probation, but further violations could result in a one-year prison term.
Also, Conway released Shepherd on a personal recognizance bond and ruled he has to report to the Huron County Jail by 5 p.m. Wednesday so he could take care of various personal affairs, including a school situation.
"I'm going to have you tested (for drugs) when you report," Conway told the defendant.
Once Shepherd is at the jail, he will be screened for possible acceptance into a CBCF.
Shepherd had been taking classes at Ohio Business College until he was arrested in September and reportedly tested positive for drugs. Longo said his client now is on academic probation, but he said it's possible OBC might allow Shepherd to re-enroll and if he decides to drop out, he needs to do so in person.
"I am four classes away from a double associate's degree," Shepherd earlier told the judge.