Darke County Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Hein told Dingman he needed to “own up” to his problems. “If you keep trying to minimize them you won’t do well.”
Hein was referring to a possible drug problem based upon a 20-year history of alcohol, marijuana and experimentation with meth. Dingman has no prior felonies but misdemeanor charges over the years have ranged from domestic violence to OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated).
Hein said the probation report indicated low risk for recidivism but noted the substance abuse was a risk factor, as well as Dingman’s associates. They may be going down the wrong path, Hein noted, but “don’t let them take you with them.”
“You’re 40. You ought to know better,” he said, adding he typically lectures defendants in their twenties, not their thirties or forties.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Quigley said a conviction for the F3 drug offense carries the presumption of prison up to 36 months.
“Based upon the seriousness of this crime, the state believes prison is appropriate. We also note the mandatory fine of $5,000,” she added.
Dingman’s defense attorney, David Rohrer, said he believed his client was a good candidate for sanctions.
“The defendant acknowledges stupidity on his part,” Rohrer noted. “I don’t see how prison is going to help this gentleman.” Rohrer also requested the fine be waived.
Hein said he didn’t know Dingman’s problem, adding “I’m not a psychologist.” But he also believed Dingman’s risk to reoffend was high.
“You get the opportunity for control sanctions. The governor wants us to give you a chance.”
He told Dingman he needed to go to mental health, or whatever they refer him to. He needed to complete recommended education programs.
Dingman was arrested during a drug bust on Feb. 7. One co-defendant, Jacob Hart, has already been sentenced to 56 days in jail plus community sanctions. Two other defendants who had gone to Texas but returned, Joe King and Tracy McCarty, have also been charged.