BLANCHESTER — A local man recently arrested was charged Wednesday morning with misdemeanor aggravated menacing while another charge was dismissed.
A charge of felony burglary, for which Joseph Burkhart, 32, was arrested on March 4, will be dismissed by the Clinton County prosecuting attorney at the request of Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt.
Burkhart, who is currently homeless, is incarcerated in the Clinton County Jail.
”A person commits the crime of aggravated menacing when he causes another to believe he will cause them serious physical harm,” said Reinbolt.
“Information provided to us at the time of the filing of the burglary charge indicated that Burkhart had trespassed into a family member’s home at 212 E. Fancy St., where he then threatened family members with a knife and that he posed a danger to others,” said Reinbolt. “Subsequent interviews with witnesses and Burkhart himself call into question this version of events. We are no longer convinced there is adequate evidence to establish that Burkhart trespassed into the home, which is an essential element of the crime of burglary. Therefore, we believe there is insufficient evidence to support a charge of burglary.
“Many people operate under the assumption that a criminal investigation is concluded at the time a charge is filed,” added Reinbolt. “That is not always the case. It is our duty to work to learn the truth — sometimes that involves investigative efforts after the initial charge is filed. In this case those efforts revealed evidence that disproves the charge of burglary but which supports the charge of aggravated menacing.”
Burkhart will answer the new charge in the Clinton County Municipal Court.