Two men who were accused of threatening a Delaware man, who has since died, entered guilty pleas in Delaware County Common Pleas Court to lesser charges Thursday morning.
Shadow Arthur, 23, of Marion and Nathaniel Clark, 26, formerly of 173 Silver Maple Drive, Delaware, both pleaded guilty to aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor, after admitting to threatening Roger Porter, Clark’s neighbor, in June 2015.
The case stems from an April 2015 incident in which Clark fired a handgun in his neighborhood and was later arrested by police. Porter, who died in November, was a witness to the incident. After Clark was arrested and charged, the men were accused of threatening Porter over his possible court testimony.
On Thursday, Clark also pleaded guilty to a charge of inducing panic, a fifth-degree felony, and a charge of using weapons while intoxicated, a first-degree misdemeanor. Clark had been indicted on the weapons and inducing panic charges on May 22, 2015, by a Delaware County grand jury in connection with the April incident.
Charges of intimidation of a witness, a third-degree felony, against both men were dropped as part of plea negotiations with prosecutors. A charge of menacing by stalking, a fourth-degree felony, against Clark was also dropped.
Clark’s problems began on April 23, 2015, when he was intoxicated and fired a handgun, Clark told Judge David Gormley. Prosecutors said that when the shots were reported, the Delaware County SWAT team was called to respond, costing the county a significant sum in overtime hours for the police officers.
The men told Gormley that on the night of June 13, 2015 — nearly two months after Clark was arrested — they were drinking and got into an argument with Porter. During the argument, the men threatened Porter, who was a witness in the ongoing felony case against Clark from April. However, Arthur and Clark’s attorneys said Porter also threatened the men but was not charged.
Arthur is a close friend of Clark’s family, Clark said Thursday, and was visiting Clark when the June 13 incident occurred. Clark also said he was good friends with Porter and had helped him work on his car several times.
Also as part of plea negotiations, prosecutors and Clark’s attorney, Michael Marrocco, jointly recommended that Clark be sentenced to probation and nine months in prison if he violates probation terms.
Gormley ordered a pre-sentence investigation for Clark and said he is not obligated to follow the recommendations of the attorneys.
A requirement of the plea agreement is that Clark turn over possession of his firearms and equipment.
Gormley set a sentencing date of Feb. 18 at 8:30 a.m.
Arthur had previously pleaded guilty to an aggravated menacing charge at a hearing in October but withdrew his plea in November after Porter died.
Court officials had completed a pre-sentence investigation when Arthur originally pleaded guilty so Gormley sentenced him to three years of probation.
Arthur told Gormley that since the incident he has tried to behave and become a better father for his daughter.
Gormley urged Arthur to continue with the right attitude and make good choices in the future.
Both men were both indicted on the intimidation and menacing charges on June 19, 2015.
Clark now resides in Thornville, Ohio.
Court documents indicate that Porter passed away in November.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.