Marengo man pleads guilty in OVI case


A Marengo man pleaded guilty Thursday to refusing a sobriety test during a traffic stop in November.

Brandon Jacob Stutler, 41, appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Thursday for a change of plea hearing. Stutler had been charged with two counts of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fourth-degree felonies. He had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment on Dec. 21 in Delaware County Common Pleas Court and was scheduled to stand trial on February 14.

However, before the case could go to trial, Stutler reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The allegations in the case were that on Nov. 25 Stutler was pulled over just before 2 a.m. on South Sandusky Street and had been driving drunk. He was taken into custody and charged with two counts of OVI, one for operating the vehicle and the other for refusing to take a sobriety test.

At the change of plea hearing on Thursday, Stutler entered a guilty plea to the charge of refusing the test as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Mark Sleeper said Thursday that as a condition of the agreement, the parties would make a joint recommendation for a community control sentence and local jail time.

At the hearing, Stutler said he had been drinking and driving the night of the traffic stop.

Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Everett Krueger accepted the plea and set a sentencing hearing for March 27 at 10:30 a.m.

The indictment stated that Stutler has at least five previous OVI convictions between 1997 and 2009.

Stutler was in the Delaware County Jail on Thursday.

Brandon Stutler. Stutler.

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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