WAVERLY — Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader discovered himself within the glare of a world highlight 5 years in the past after a family of eight was murdered within the county he was answerable for, and he needed to each assuage fears of local residents and monitor down killers.
However the now-former sheriff is again within the highlight for a special purpose: He might discover himself headed to jail Wednesday, having pleaded responsible to stealing cash seized from arrests after which masking it up.
Reader, 47, pleaded responsible in September to 2 counts of theft in workplace (fourth-degree felonies), two counts of tampering with proof (third-degree felonies), and one rely of battle of curiosity (first-degree misdemeanor).
His sentencing is ready for 10 a.m. Wednesday in Pike County Frequent Pleas Courtroom in entrance of appointed Choose Patricia Cosgrove, who retired from the Summit County Courtroom of Frequent Pleas in Akron.
Charles Reader dealing with ‘prolonged’ sentence in Pike County courtroom
Prosecutors filed paperwork with the courtroom asking for a “prolonged” jail sentence.
“His sworn responsibility was to implement the regulation and, as an alternative, he repeatedly broke the regulation,” wrote Robert Smith, the assistant chief authorized counsel for Ohio Auditor Keith Faber’s workplace, which prosecuted the case. “The defendant has, by his felony conduct, carried out the whole lot in his energy to undermine public help for regulation enforcement.”
However Reader’s legal professional filed medical and psychological experiences with the courtroom that say that Reader suffers from post-traumatic stress dysfunction, despair and nervousness and that “he has clearly been traumatized by his profession as a police officer.”
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“His work consumed him and left him in a precarious psychological state,” protection legal professional James Boulger wrote in a pre-sentence memorandum asking the choose for leniency. “The wheels got here off.”
Numerous accounts within the doc counsel Reader suffers from paranoia and flashbacks and evening terrors from investigating the grotesque and brutal Rhoden case.
Initially indicted in June 2019, Reader had faced 18 counts in all, including a first-degree felony charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. The remaining 15 counts have been dismissed together with his responsible plea.
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The allegations in opposition to Reader initially included taking loans from staff and no less than one man who was a vendor with the county; tampering with proof envelopes that contained money seized from drug arrests after which not being forthcoming to investigators about doing so after they raided his workplace in December of 2018; and that he improperly facilitated transfers and public sale gross sales of automobiles impounded by his workplace.
Reader’s fall from grace was swift and public, with much of the previous paperwork filed by the state outlining a gambling addiction and marital troubles.
Reader is accused of taking cash from the workplace to fund a rising playing behavior. Information filed by the state present his losses at Eldorado Scioto Downs in Columbus at $595.37 in 2016; $5,526.96 in 2017; and $11,033.54 in 2018. The state additionally says Reader withdrew greater than $2,800 from machines on the ground of the Atlantis On line casino in Reno, Nevada, whereas attending a nationwide sheriff’s convention in June 2017.
He doesn’t owe that a lot cash in restitution, nevertheless, because the state says Reader took $14,475 from proof baggage however ultimately changed most of it. His whole restitution owed is $4,850, which incorporates $1,000 for money taken and then cash made on improper automobile transfers he facilitated.
“The individuals of Pike County are the final word victims of the general unlawful conduct by defendant,” Smith wrote in his pre-sentencing submitting, “as a result of they’re those who will endure from a lack of belief in regulation enforcement on the whole, and within the highest enforcement official within the county particularly.”
However the pre-sentencing memorandum and greater than two dozen letters of help from group members, former lecturers, former coaches and other people he mentored that every one have been filed by Boulger try to paint the previous sheriff in another way.
The letters describe a person with a giant coronary heart who was tortured by what he had seen, who let the pressures of his job and the fixed concern that his household was in peril due to his workplace’s high-profile circumstances eat him.
“I might inform my son was affected by posttraumatic stress,” his mom, Brenda Erb, wrote to the courtroom. “We might see that we have been dropping Charlie the best way he at all times was … He was so stressed you couldn’t even speak to him … He was decided that he would discover the murderers who massacred that household if it took the whole lot he had.”
A few of the letters of help for the person often called “the Folks’s sheriff” did handle Reader’s felony conduct.
“Charlie has made errors. Who hasn’t?” the Rev. George M. Whitley wrote. “However I consider the nice he has carried out in Pike Co. ought to be thought of.”
He stated he has endorsed Reader the previous couple of years.
“I do know issues have taken a toll on his life and well being,” he wrote. “In my view it will not serve justice for him to go to jail.”
And the Rev. Kathryn Elliott, Reader’s former high-school choir instructor, referred to as Reader a person of integrity and religion. Of the playing drawback, she wrote, “Punishing an addict for his or her addition can usually make issues worse.”
Reader was appointed as sheriff in Pike County, in southern Ohio, in Might of 2015 and started serving his first full-term in 2016.
The Rhoden household killings and the investigation in Pike County
It was April 22, 2016, when eight members of the Rhoden household have been discovered shot to demise — most whereas sleeping — in 4 places on three properties in rural Pike County. It wasn’t till November 2018 that one other native household was arrested and charged with the killings. Four members of the Wagner family have been in jail since and await trial. They are eligible for the death penalty if convicted.
Although the Ohio legal professional basic’s workplace led the investigation and is prosecuting the Wagners, Reader never stopped being a public face of the case until his office was raided a number of weeks after the Wagner arrests.
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When first indicted on these fees, Reader vowed to combat them and never quit his publish. However he agreed to a voluntary suspension in July 2019.
Even because the case dragged on, nevertheless, he tried to run for a second time period in workplace on the belief he could be acquitted of the fees in opposition to him. He failed, although, to collect sufficient correct signatures to get on the poll.
Now, with a felony conviction, he can by no means be a regulation enforcement officer or maintain public workplace in Ohio once more.
Reader nonetheless has an ethics charge pending filed by the state in Franklin County Municipal Courtroom associated to this case.
Charles Reader courtroom paperwork