Man charged with threatening judge in Putnam County receives 6-year prison term

OTTAWA — Unhappy with the amount of time he’d have to spend behind bars, 34-year-old Matthew Stateler attempted to leave the Putnam County Common Pleas Court on Monday before a visiting judge finished sentencing him to six years in prison.

Stateler, of Columbus Grove, cursed his lawyer as he stood up during sentencing and attempted to walk away from his seat at the defendant’s table, but four deputies stopped him before he could go anywhere.

Stateler’s latest outburst was reminiscient of a similar incident in May that wound up increasing the sentence he was given Monday.

After a May 20 hearing, Stateler was accused of making threats to Judge Randall Basinger and spitting on a deputy after officers placed him in a restraint chair.

Based on these incidents, visiting Judge David Faulkner, of Hardin County, sentenced Stateler to three years in prison for aggravated menacing, harassment with a bodily substance, and retaliation.

Faulkner sentenced Stateler to an additional three years for attempted felonious assault, the original charge he faced before the May 20 incident.

In August, Stateler accepted a plea deal that dropped initial charges of domestic violence and criminal damaging in exchange for pleading guilty to attempted felonious assault. He also pleaded guilty to the aggravated menacing, harassment with a bodily substance, and retaliation charges.

By John Bush

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