Wood County Courthouse

File. Wood County Courthouse. 

A former Tontogany man has been sentenced for domestic violence and theft charges from two separate cases.

Dustin Ward, 32, Toledo, appeared Monday in the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Molly Mack.

He was sentenced for fourth-degree misdemeanor domestic violence in one case and fifth-degree felony theft in the second.

Defense attorney Kathleen Hamm said the victim never agreed with the domestic violence charge and “was very much opposed to it” when it was filed.

Ward has struggled with substance abuse but is a family man with two children, Hamm said.

“She was very specific with me she was not in favor of that charge being filed,” she said of the victim.

In the course of a struggle over drugs, they were wrestling which led to the charge, Hamm said.

According to the indictment, the victim was pregnant at the time of the offense on July 28.

The theft, charge is entirely another matter, Hamm said.

“He had stolen money from her and she thought he should face the music on it,” she said.

He has made attempts at recovery but has consistently relapsed, Hamm said.

She added they won’t contest the amount of restitution to the victim and his grandmother.

“He is accepting responsibility. … He knows he is going to prison,” Hamm said.“I don’t think it has ever been a lack of trying for Dustin … but it continues to be a struggle for him.”

Wood County Assistant Prosecutor Alyssa Blackburn recommended one year incarceration in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

She asked that Ward also pay restitution of $3,200 to his grandmother and $978 to the victim for a total of $4,178.

“I shouldn’t be here. I am. I accept responsibility for what I did,” Ward said.

He said he has been in prison several times times and prison is not appropriate for people in his situation.

“I don’t have an excuse. … I steal from the people who are close to me because I don’t have anybody else. I can’t honestly tell you why I do it,” Ward said. “I’m hoping that you see that I’m human and I struggle with things like everyone else.”

Mack said the presumption with a fifth-degree felony is community service but that can be overcome due to Ward’s previous prison time.

“It was the relationship with the victims that facilitated the offense,” Mack said, adding that community control is demeaning to the seriousness of the offense.

She sentenced Ward to 11 months at ODRC for the theft and 30 days in jail for the domestic violence, to be served concurrently for a total of 12 months.

He will get credit for time served. Jail documents show Ward was arrested Sept. 18 and released Oct. 9.

Charges of theft and violation of a temporary protection order were dismissed.

Hamm asked for a stay in collection of restitution until Ward’s release from prison.

Mack denied the request.

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