Prosecutors to re-file case against Piqua man

Sheppard accused of contributing to fatal overdose

By Melanie Yingst -

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeannine Pratt approved the state prosecution’s request to dismiss involuntary manslaughter charges against Ryan Sheppard due to time restrictions on Thursday.

Miami County assistant prosecutor Paul Watkins said the state will refile the charges.

Ryan D. Sheppard, 42, of Piqua, appeared in court to be arraigned on an indictment for one count of first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter and fifth-degree felony trafficking heroin.

Sheppard and co-defendant Karmen Heniser are accused of selling Piqua resident Benjamin Jacomet the heroin that led to his death last January. Court records state that Jacomet’s cause of death was Fentanyl and alcohol intoxication.

Watkins said the state only had 11 days left to try the case. Due to the time constraints, Watkins asked the court to dismiss the case without prejudice to present the case to a grand jury again to prosecute Sheppard on the same charges.

Sheppard is currently being held in the Montgomery County jail on felony drug trafficking charges. Sheppard is expected to be sentenced next week in Montgomery County. He was to be transferred back to Montgomery County Jail following the hearing.

Heniser was sentenced to serve five years in prison for first-degree manslaughter and trafficking heroin in May.

In other court news:

• Judge Pratt denied a motion to modify Timothy Housley’s $90,000 bond on Thursday.

Housley, 26, of Troy, was arrested in connection to a search warrant served at a home located off of the Adams Street Bridge by the Troy Police Department on June 3.

Officers located marijuana-infused ice cream, cheesecakes and other pot-infused edibles inside the home. Detectives also found hashish oil and oil extraction items inside the home.

Housley was indicted on charges of illegal manufacturing of drugs/cultivation of marijuana and drug trafficking, both first degree felonies. He also was indicted on felony drug possession charges.

Four children under the age of 12 were also at the residence at the time of the warrant service.

Defense attorney Tom Merritt said Housley was “at the wrong place at the wrong time” during the service of the warrant. Judge Pratt cited the parole department’s report, noting Housley’s employment record and his substance abuse issues. Pratt also noted there was no new evidence to justify modifying Housley’s bond. A final pre-trial hearing was set for Aug. 22.

• Tiffany D. Lake, 30, of Dayton, was arraigned on an indictment for second degree felony burglary and fifth degree receiving stolen property on Thursday. She entered a plea of not guilty and was released on her own recognizance.

She was ordered not to have any contact with co-defendants Bryan Theile of Springfield and Matthew Nallen of Troy.

The charges stemmed from her involvement in a residential burglary that occurred in Staunton Township on April 22.

Several firearms and other items that were stolen from the residence.

• Lea Dillon, 18, of Troy, was arraigned on an indictment of fifth degree forgery. She entered a plea of not guilty and was released on her own recognizance.

In April, Dillon was found to be in possession of counterfeit U.S. currency during a traffic stop by the Troy Police Department.

Dillon claimed the money was her tax return. Officers found only one bill in the stack of approximately $1,000 to be true currency with the rest of the bills marked with the same serial number. Dillon claimed she got the money out of an ATM, but gave the money earlier in the day to another subject to hold for her.

• Tyler Baisden, 25, of Springfield, was sentenced to serve one year in prison for fourth degree theft by deception on Thursday.

Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeannine Pratt ordered Baisden to pay $2,775 in restitution to an 85-year-old victim. Baisden will serve the sentence concurrently along with Clark County charges connected to a 2011 home invasion and theft.

• Essence Austin, 22, of Akron, entered a not guilty plea on an indictment charging her with fifth degree complicity to theft. Her $5,000 bond was posted in Municipal Court and was continued.

• Mark Hannah, 49, of Piqua, entered a not guilty pleas on an indictment charging him with theft without consent. His $5,000 bond was posted in Municipal Court and was continued.

Sheppard accused of contributing to fatal overdose

By Melanie Yingst