Court beat

In the past week, the White County Prosecutor’s Office filed 21 cases related to criminal matters for a total of 327 cases so far this year.

Of the total 327 filings for 2019, 186 have been for people charged with misdemeanors, 87 have been for someone charged with a Level 6 or higher felony and 65 have been for case-related concerns, such as search warrants, probation transfers and post-conviction relief requests.

Between June 7 and Friday, the 21 cases the prosecutor’s office filed included 13 misdemeanors, 2 case-related filings, five cases with at least one Level 6 felony charge and one case with a Level 5 felony charge.

A Level 6 felony carries a potential sentence of six months to a year.

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A 39-year-old man allegedly stole an air-conditioning unit from a rental property “because he was still owed a security deposit and animal deposit,” court documents state.

Sean Overman, of the 100 block of South Moore Street in Brookston, was charged with Level 6 felony theft, which was enhanced from a misdemeanor because of his prior theft conviction in Clinton County in December 2002.

Charges filed Wednesday show Overman removed a Soleus Air 5,000 BTU mechanical air conditioner unit from the rental property and reinstalled it in his property. The air conditioner was later returned to the victim’s home.

Overman’s initial hearing is set for June 24.

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A bar fight on Sunday led to felony charges after a 29-year-old Monon resident allegedly left and returned to the bar with a gun and fired rounds into the air.

Juan Romero, of the 200 block of North Spruce Street, was charged with criminal recklessness, a Level 6 felony, according to charges filed Friday.

Romero was in a Monon pub when he approached another man over a prior fight at the same bar. The other man said Romero lifted a beer bottle up near him, prompting the man to push Romero in the chest and into a table. Romero then allegedly struck the man in the head with the bottle, after which other bar patrons separated the two and Romero was forced to leave.

Security footage obtained by officers shows Romero approaching the victim and the two talking, facing one another. The man is seen pushing Romero and the patrons are seen separating the men.

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According to witnesses, Romero returned to the bar in a white vehicle, parked at the pub and after the alleged incident left southbound on U.S. 421.

The affidavit states that four gunshots were heard while the car drove away. A town marshal later found a semi-automatic rifle and spent shell casings in the vehicle Romero was driving.

Romero told police that he approached the other man in the bar after having a previous altercation and that the man made comments about Romero “needing to leave the country,” according to the affidavit. The man then grabbed Romero by the throat, he says, and pushed him away, prompting Romero to strike him with the beer bottle.

Romero said he was upset the bar owner did not kick out the other man when he was removed himself.

An initial hearing is scheduled for Romero at 8:30 a.m. on June 17.

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The Herald Journal doesn’t publish information about charges where a warrant is waiting to be served for the safety of law enforcement personnel and to avoid alerting suspects. We also do not publish accounts of domestic abuse – except in cases with extreme or unusual circumstances – to preserve the privacy of the alleged victims.

All information in the court beat is obtained through the White County court files. All suspects are considered innocent unless proven guilty.