WAPAKONETA — A judge rejected a Marine’s request to withdraw his guilty plea Thursday in a vandalism case.
Judge Gary Herman set John Martens’ sentencing date for April 23 in Auglaize County Municipal Court. Martens previously pleaded guilty to criminal damaging, a second-degree misdemeanor.
The criminal case has affected his status as a Marine, his attorney said at a previous hearing, but the attorney did not go into detail.
Martens told Herman at an earlier hearing he didn’t understand what he was facing. Martens said he thought he would come in, plead guilty, pay a fine and get on with life.
Martens is accused of breaking a window by punching it July 29 at Auglaize and Perry streets.
Police reported Martens had been drinking at a nearby bar. He left and was walking down the street when he punched a window at the Democratic Headquarters. Martens left blood at the scene after cutting himself on the window glass, a Wapakoneta police clerk said.
Following the incident, Martens told people at the scene they had no idea what he saw and went through while on duty in Afghanistan. After police arrived, they heard Martens making comments about a Muslim, possibly referring to President Barack Obama.
Martens’ attorney said Martens was left with the impression the matter was over and no charges would be filed, only to discover police did file charges after he reported back to his base Aug. 14.Martens said police told him any charges would be filed before that date.