Fleeing from police lands local man in prison

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



WILMINGTON — A Blanchester man has received a 24-month prison term for failing to comply with a police order.

In addition, the driver’s license of Zachary A. Pence, 39, of Blanchester, is suspended for three years effective immediately. No driving privileges are allowed under Ohio law in the case.

The charge of failing to comply with an order or signal of a police officer is a third-degree felony offense. The incident occurred in Clinton County in September 2019 when Pence was driving a motor vehicle and did not stop when a police officer signaled him to do so, according to the indictment.

Instead, the defendant willfully eluded or fled the police officer.

The indictment document also alleged the defendant operated the vehicle in a way that caused a substantial risk of serious physical harm to persons or property.

In handing down the 24-month sentence, a term that was recommended by both sides, Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck noted Pence previously has served multiple prison terms.

The judge granted the defendant credit for 58 days already spent in custody in the case.

In an unrelated case, the judge revoked a two-year term of community controls for Brooke E. Potts, 35, of Wilmington, and gave her a 12-month prison sentence at the Ohio Reformatory for Women.

The original charges were for theft (F5) and for failing to appear in court (F4).

She received credit toward the prison term for the 114 days she had already served in the case.

And Nichole Bush, 25, of the Martinsville area, was placed last summer on a one-year term of community control sanctions after she was convicted of forgery in Clinton County, a fifth-degree felony.

Later in mid-December, prosecution filed a motion to revoke Bush’s non-prison community controls. After a review, the judge extended the term of community controls until the last day of 2020.

Also at the December review hearing, the judge ordered $319 in restitution be paid back to the victim prior to the payment of court costs.

The defendant’s current community control sanctions include a suspended six-month jail term (with time credit granted for nine days already served in custody). The jail term could be carried out if community control violations occur.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.



By Gary Huffenberger