OTTAWA — A man who robbed a woman at gunpoint and stole her vehicle at Dollar General in Columbus Grove Saturday waived his right to a preliminary hearing during his court appearance Wednesday in Putnam County Municipal Court.
James M. Phillips, 39, of Toledo, appeared in court with his attorney Chris Woodworth, of Strongsville, before Putnam County Municipal Judge Chad Niese.
Phillips’ parents were in attendance, as were victim Addie Kiene and her parents.
Kiene’s Facebook page and the Bluffton High School website list her as a special education teacher. Her Facebook profile also states she is owner of Doughlicious Drizzles & Delights.
Niese said the Putnam County grand jury will meet Nov. 13 to pursue an indictment.
Niese set a $250,000 cash assurity bond for Phillips. He also set conditions for Phillips including he will be required to live with his mother in Toledo if he posts bond, is not allowed to consume drugs or alcohol, must stay 1,000 feet away from the victim and her home and must appear at all scheduled court appearances.
Niese said Phillips stole $300 from the victim and due to the armed robbery could face 3 to 11 years in prison, a $20,000 fine and post release control sanctions.
Andrew Benchic, assistant prosecutor, said Phillips has a previous history of criminal charges of burglary in 2012, two counts of burglary in 2014 and burglary in 2018.
“The state determines he is a threat to the community and ask that the bond be set at $250,000,” Benchic said.
Woodworth said Phillips became aware of a warrant for his arrest via the media and immediately turned himself in.
“He takes this seriously, has retained council and is prepared to answer to these charges and allegations,” Woodworth said.
According to the sheriff’s office, Phillips turned himself in at the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office by 11:45 a.m. Tuesday. He was booked into the Lucas County Jail and was transported back to the Putnam County Jail by 5:45 p.m.
The victim’s vehicle Phillips stole was located Tuesday night in Toledo, according to Brad Nelson, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office captain.
The incident started Saturday night at the Dollar General store in Columbus Grove, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
Kiene reported on Facebook she went to Dollar General to return a DVD and buy a few things in the store. She noticed Phillips standing outside and assumed he worked there. When she left the store, he approached her before she could get into her car. He asked for a ride and after she declined, he pulled a gun.
“I tried to just give him my car and money, but he demanded that I drive him. At this point he had taken my phone so that I couldn’t call the cops, so with the gun pointed at me we got in the car and started to drive north on 65,” she wrote on Facebook.
Somewhere between Columbus Grove and Ottawa, he threw her phone out the window.
“I tried to stay as calm as possible and just started talking to him. He told me where he was from and where he was headed,” she wrote.
She wrote he told her he was a Christian and reassured her that she would go home if she listened and drove him where he needed to go.
She mentioned that she lived at home, and her dad would be worried because he knew she was going to the store. He then put the gun to her head and told her to pull over, get out and not to do anything stupid. She wrote that she pulled over on a side road on Road 9-K and got out of the car.
He handed Kiene her purse and told her to give him all the money she had with her. He took the money and told her to stand in the middle of the road until he drove away. Kiene flagged down a passerby on state Route 65 for help.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.