Man guilty of 2 vehicle pursuits in 1 year in Clinton County

Judge Rudduck: Defendant ‘flaunts authority’

By Gary Huffenberger -



Gary Huffenberger | News Journal


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — A man who led law enforcement on two separate motor vehicle pursuits in 2018 received a 60-month prison term in Clinton County Common Pleas Court.

Jerry Wayne Harner Jr., 26, of Hamilton, committed the two offenses of failing to comply with police in Clinton County while on bond for the common pleas court.

Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck noted in the sentencing paperwork that Harner has served a prior prison term for a Highland County failure to comply conviction, and moreover also has a pending felony charge of failure to comply in Brown County.

After being released from prison in November 2015 in the Highland County case, the defendant operated a motor vehicle illegally, incurring multiple driving under suspension misdemeanors in Clinton County, stated Rudduck.

“Given defendant’s propensity to flaunt authority and disregard directives of law enforcement and this court while on bond,” a non-prison sentence would not adequately protect the public, Rudduck stated in a court paper regarding the most recent cases.

In the June 2, 2018 failure to comply, Harner was driving a vehicle reported as stolen, according to an affidavit. Speeds surpassed 90 mph and the defendant “narrowly missed colliding with a gas pump at a gas station,” according to the sentencing paper.

The chase concluded with a crash.

In the Dec. 13, 2018 failure to comply, a Clinton County sheriff’s deputy saw a vehicle speeding and failing to stop at the intersection of U.S. 68 and State Route 28.

This second pursuit saw speeds of 80 to 100 mph and the vehicle being followed had fictitious plates, stated an affidavit. The pursuit kept up into Highland County and the vehicle reportedly swerved off a road to avoid hitting a deputy’s cruiser.

The fleeing vehicle failed to stop at stop signs and eventually swerved off a road into a ditch on Doak Road.

In addition to the prison term, Harner’s license to drive is suspended for a decade.

During the course of the most recent cases against him, the defendant reportedly failed to show for court hearings three times.

In an unrelated case, Lucas “Luke” Jacob Fahrubel, 25, of Wilmington, was sentenced to prison for 12 months. The prison penalty is for two convictions, one involving felony domestic violence (he has a prior conviction for this crime), and the other for failing to notify a change in address. He is required to notify law enforcement when he changes his address due to being a sex offender in a case of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor filed in 2014.

The victim in the May 2018 domestic violence incident had multiple bruises, according to an affidavit. And the defendant hit the victim during the incident and knocked out her nose ring, which caused bleeding.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Fahrubel Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

Harner Gary Huffenberger | News Journal
Judge Rudduck: Defendant ‘flaunts authority’

By Gary Huffenberger