LIMA — The wheels of justice, it’s been said, can move slowly at times.
At other times, those wheels can spin a little too rapidly for the comfort of some of the parties involved.
Tuesday was just such a day in Allen County Common Pleas Court, when a Lima man attempted to plead guilty to four felony charges following a cursory initial meeting with his court-appointed attorney and with a rudimentary understanding of the charges against him.
Judge Jeffrey Reed opted to apply the brakes to the case, if only for 24 hours, in the name of the administration of justice.
Hadyn Snyder, 23, Lima, appeared before the judge Tuesday morning for an initial pretrial hearing after being indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on charges of burglary, a second degree felony; having weapons under disability, a felony of the third degree; and grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony.
Soon after Tuesday’s hearing got under way, attorney Steve Chamberlain, the court-appointed attorney for Snyder, told Reed his client wished to plead guilty to all counts against him and to be sentenced immediately. As per his client’s wishes, Chamberlain had worked out a deal with prosecutors to cap Snyder’s time in prison at four years.
Snyder admitted to the judge that he didn’t remember the events that led to his arrest because he was “under the influence at the time.”
Reed said he didn’t want to pressure Snyder into changing his mind, “but it concerns me that you’re pleading to a crime that you don’t know much about. It’s hard to plead guilty to something you don’t remember.”
Snyder agreed to a recommendation by the judge that the parties return in 24 hours, giving the defendant and his attorney more time to discuss the case.
According to court documents, the charges stem from a Feb. 28 incident when Snyder arrived at an Ewing Avenue residence in Lima to test-drive an ATV being sold by a Phillip Dotson. Snyder reportedly gave Dotson a loaded .38 caliber revolver as collateral and drove off with the three-wheeler.
After 30 minutes, Dotson realized Snyder was not going to return and called the police. Detectives with the Lima Police Department were familiar with Snyder, who had previously been convicted of having weapons while under disability following a 2009 felony conviction in juvenile court.