POMEROY, Ohio – April Ritchhart, 39, of Syracuse, Ohio has been convicted on charges related two incidents involving felonious assault, abduction and assaulting a police officer.
Ritchhart appeared Oct. 30, 2017 in the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas with her attorney, Assistant State Public Defender Karen Justice. Ritchhart entered guilty pleas to several counts involving one case from April in Racine, Ohio and one case from June in Middleport, Ohio. Meigs Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Adkins and Meigs County Prosecutor James K. Stanley were also present, representing the state of Ohio.
In the first case on April 12, 2017 in Racine, Ohio she was charged with one count of Felonious Assault, a felony of the second degree. As previously reported in the Meigs Independent Press, Ritchhart hit another vehicle. She believed her children were in the trunk of the car, which was not the case. No children were in the trunk of the car, but there were children in the back seat of the vehicle. Prior to the wreck she was seen screaming and acting erratically in the village. Several calls were made to law enforcement by by-standers. Law enforcement had been on the way when the wreck occurred. The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Racine Fire Department, and Meigs EMS all responded to the wreck.
Ritchhart entered the guilty plea in the Felonious Assault case and was sentenced to two years in prison by Judge I. Carson Crow. Judge Crow followed the recommendations of a plea agreement between the defendant and the state.
In the second case on June 21, 2017, Ritchhart was convicted of two counts of Abduction, both felonies of the third degree, and one count of Assault on a Police Officer, a felony of the fourth degree. That incident occurred in Middleport, Ohio where Ritchhart approached an in-home daycare and tried to kidnap two children. When Middleport Police Officers arrived on the scene, she assaulted at least one officer. She was sentenced to three years in prison, receiving the maximum of 36 months on the abduction count. Ritchhart had also been charged with multiple misdemeanors including Making False Alarms, Inducing Panic and other related charges. All of the misdemeanors were dropped in accordance with the agreement.
Together in both cases there were a total of 8 victims, several of them were young children. Ritchhart will spend a total of five years in prison involving both cases. The plea agreement was worked out which spared the young children being brought to court according to Prosecutor Stanley.
“It avoided having to put the children through that,” he said, adding the Victim’s Assistants had been in contact with the victims throughout the process. All of the victims were in favor of the agreement according to statements made in court except for one which preferred to have had a jury trial, wanting the maximum sentence. It involved one of the abduction charges. Stanley noted that Ritchhart received the maximum prison time allowable for the charge.
Ritchhart had been evaluated to stand trial and had been found fit to stand trial according to Stanley. Her behavior had been questioned following the two incidents.
Her attorney had requested a furlough to allow Ritchhart time with her minor child prior to being taken to state prison. Judge Crow heard the argument, but said he was, “Not going to release her based on what I understand the facts of this case to be.”
Instead, she may be permitted to be supervised at the Middleport Jail. Ritchhart has been in jail since the June incident.
In addition to 5 years in prison, Ritchhart is subject to 3 years of post-release control, random drug testing, and a life time firearm ban. She was also accessed to pay the costs of prosecution.
Original Story link below.