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Sugarcreek man gets prison for threats

By CHRISTINE L. PRATT Staff Writer Published: March 11, 2017 5:00 AM

MILLERSBURG -- Despite a plea for leniency expressed by the victim, a Sugarcreek man was unable to overcome a long history of criminal convictions and a bond violation when a Holmes County judge on Wednesday, Feb. 22, sentenced him to prison for making unwanted phone calls and threats to several members of a family over a period of months.

David Lamar Schrock, 43, of 2578 state Route 39, previously pleaded guilty in Holmes County Common Pleas Court to two counts of telephone harassment and one count of menacing by stalking. In exchange for his guilty plea, the state agreed to dismiss two additional counts of telephone harassment and three counts of menacing by stalking.

The charges are made more serious because Schrock was convicted, in January 2016, of a charge, filed in Holmes County Municipal Court.

Schrock faced up to 3° years in prison; however, the state, as part of its agreement with Schrock, did not ask for consecutive sentences, which limited his maximum sentence to 18 months.

Defense attorney, who advocated for Schrock, said there is no case for consecutive sentences because, although there were multiple victims, all were attached to the same animus.

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Holmes County Assistant Prosecutor F. Christopher Oehl said he did not oppose concurrent sentences only because a guilty plea resulted in a more efficient use of county resources, not because Schrock should receive some sort of credit for being similarly motivated in each of the crimes.

Thumbing through pages outlining Schrock's criminal history, Judge Robert Rinfret said, "To be perfectly frank, your record is truly one of the worst I've seen in my life. It goes on for pages."

Reading through a list of criminal convictions for a variety of property, drug and personal crimes in several Ohio counties, as well as Florida and Washington, Rinfret commented on a seemingly endless pattern of criminal behavior spanning decades.

"I made a lot of mistakes," Schrock said.

"That's an understatement," Rinfret responded, adding the crimes at hand were facilitated by Schrock's relationship with his victims.

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However, considering several letters of support, including one from his victim advocating for Schrock's release, Rinfret said, "I'm amazed by the absolute kindness of people."

For that reason, he said, he agreed to concurrent sentences, although not without noting, "Mr. Schrock, you are a dangerous person. These (supporters) came into the courtroom because they feel for you, but the only one who can help you is you."

Rinfret, who sentenced Schrock to 16 months in prison and ordered him to pay all court costs and the fees and expenses of his court-appointed attorney, said he would not approve any request for early release from prison.

"You need to wake up. You need help. You've got to help yourself. Every time someone does something to help you, you're back here," he said.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred between July and October. That's when Schrock reportedly made threats, via phone, in person and through text message to four members of a family, according to Capt. Richard Haun of the Holmes County Sheriff's Office.

All of the victims had reportedly helped Schrock for several years and one had become involved with him on a more intimate level, said Haun, noting the last threatening call Schrock made to her came on Oct. 21, after he'd been initially charged in municipal court and warned against future contact.

Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or cpratt@the-daily-record.com.


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