Last-minute change of heart derails plea agreement

LIMA — What started Monday as a pre-trial hearing in Allen County Common Pleas Court for a Lima man shifted for a time into a change-of-plea event. In the final analysis, it turned out to be neither.

Kesean Corbin, 22, was just moments away from accepting a plea offer from prosecutors that would have seen him plead guilty to a charge of felonious assault, a felony of the second degree. In exchange for that plea, prosecutors were willing to dismiss a first-degree felony charge of aggravated burglary.

Judge Jeffrey Reed ran through the litany of possible sentencing options and reviewed with Corbin the constitutional rights he would forfeit — including the right to a jury trial, the right to call witnesses to assist his case and other procedural concessions — by pleading guilty to the felony charge.

Asked if he understood those rights, Corbin softly answered each query with a response of “Yes, sir.”

When Reed was finished, he asked one final time if Corbin was willing to give up those rights.

“No, sir,” Corbin replied.

“Then we are done here,” the judge replied in halting the hearing.

A jury trial for the Lima man is scheduled for June 27.

According to court records, Lima Police Department detective Steve Stechschulte responded on the afternoon of Jan. 31 to the 1200 block of West Spring Street in reference to a 911 call regarding a stabbing.

Shannon Berry, who lives at the residence, said she had been attacked and stabbed by Corbin, a neighbor who was visiting the home. Robert Finch was also found inside the residence suffering from superficial cuts. Corbin was taken into custody.

Finch and Berry told investigators that Corbin frequently comes to the house to “hang out,” but on the night in question he became violent and struck Finch, who is disabled and nearly 35 years his senior, several times.

Finch reportedly grabbed Corbin’s long hair to fend off the attack, prompting Corbin to produce a knife and attempt to stab Finch.

Corbin, during an interview with police, admitted he physically attacked Finch and stabbed him in the arm, according to court documents.