Wilmington man receives 24-month prison term — Jan. 5 WNJ

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com

WILMINGTON — A local man received a 24-month prison term after being found guilty of possessing LSD, having a handgun while under a disability, and failing to appear in court.

Levi Michael Hollingsworth, 28, of Wilmington, served a prior prison term in a Clinton County case when he violated an Intervention in Lieu of Conviction Plan he was granted, and then violated community control sanctions on multiple occasions, a court document stated.

In the latest case, Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck stated the Ohio Risk Assessment report reflects Hollingsworth has a very high risk of repeat offending.

“His history in repeatedly failing to comply with court directives supports the assessment,” the judge added in a court paper.

Rudduck also wrote that the defendant “appears to be resistant to any effort of the court to provide rehabilitation locally.”

The STAR Community Justice Center evaluated Hollingsworth to be a suitable candidate for the STAR program, and indicated a bed would be available for him on Feb. 21.

But paperwork in a Clerk of Courts case file indicates he failed to report on Aug. 15, 2017 for a STAR evaluation “even after being reminded of the appointment the day prior,” and then on Aug. 21, 2017 failed to report to the local Probation Department for his scheduled appointment.

Hollingsworth was not permitted to have a firearm as a result of a 2010 drug possession felony case. That case led to the charge against him in May 2017 of “having weapons while under disability,” for which he was found guilty.

At an unrelated sentencing hearing, Brandon Earl Burkhart, 30, of Blanchester, was placed on community control sanctions for two years, including a jail term, for breaking-and-entering.

He began serving his six-month jail term on Dec. 29, 2017, with credit granted for 56 days already served. On Jan. 24, 2018, the jail term will be suspended to allow Burkhart an opportunity to attend the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, a community-based correction facility. A bed becomes available at STAR on Jan. 24.

Sentencing was postponed to Dec. 29 after a Nov. 13, 2017 sentencing hearing was continued when Burkhart appeared for sentencing, but then produced a positive drug screen for marijuana, fentanyl and morphine.

A court paper prepared by Rudduck states Burkhart has “a significant criminal history that spans nearly a decade and this felony represents his third felony conviction.”

The judge added, “Historically, it appears nearly all the criminal activity of defendant was triggered by substance use and mental health issues.”

Burkhart needs tools to make better decisions and also needs to have a renewed commitment to long-term sobriety, according to Rudduck’s sentencing paperwork.

Burkhart must pay $200 in restitution to Friendship Acres.

A prison term for violating his local sanctions will be an 11-month term, the judge wrote.

A second common pleas court case against Burkhart was dismissed when prosecution agreed that double jeopardy applied because of an earlier conviction of Burkhart in Clinton County Municipal Court stemming from the same incident.

In early December, Burkhart had been found guilty in municipal court, and received a jail sentence for criminal trespass related to the same event at the same address. At least part of the confusion apparently arose due to an incorrect date being listed in the municipal court case on the misdemeanor complaint paperwork and on an affidavit.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

By Gary Huffenberger