December 19, 2014

Medina
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Judge loses patience with repeat offender

MEDINA — Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier lost his patience Monday when Colton Held, 18, appeared for a sentencing hearing and Collier pressed Held about his drug habits.

Held was charged with aggravated trafficking and aggravated possession of prescription drugs, fourth- and fifth-degree felonies.

Colton Held

Judge Christopher Collier

Held told Collier he sold the prescription drugs to make money to buy marijuana. He admitted he “binged” on marijuana for short periods of time but said he didn’t smoke the drug all the time.

Collier, who had Held’s criminal history in front of him, didn’t believe him.

He said Held was convicted of 12 offenses — from driving under suspension and while intoxicated to curfew violations — in the past two years.

“Did you know that most people, when they commit an offense, never get another one? They have one and they’re done,” Collier told Held. “Not you. Your first offense was only the beginning.”

Held apologized for his actions and said he wanted help, asking to be placed in Collier’s Alcoholics Anonymous-like drug court program.

“You don’t want help,” Collier said. “You want to smoke dope.”

Held insisted he wanted help.

“I don’t want the next five years of my life to be like the past five years,” Held said.

Collier said he didn’t believe him because Held hadn’t made any attempts to change his ways in the past two years.

Held said he was trying now.

Collier questioned Held about where he worked and asked how much the teen paid for marijuana each week. Held said he paid $90 for drugs, but didn’t make that much at his job.

Held told Collier the money he made from selling prescription drugs made up the difference.

It was about that time Collier lost his cool.

“You’re a drunk-driving, drug-dealing criminal,” Collier said. “I think you’re going to keep driving while intoxicated and you’re going to kill someone.

“I think prisons are built for people like you. I think there’s a cell somewhere with the name ‘Colton Held’ written on it.”

He sentenced Held to six months in the county jail and five years probation after his release.

The judge showed some leniency: Held could have been sentenced to as much as 2½ years in prison.

Collier said upon Held’s release, the teen would be placed under drug and alcohol monitoring. If he violated the terms of probation, Collier said Held would be severely punished.

Luke Pfeiler

Also appearing in court Monday was a 21-year-old man accused of leading a high-speed police chase in Montville Township that ended in a crash on state Route 18 last month.

Luke Pfeiler, of 3327 Valley Forge Drive, Brunswick, pleaded not guilty to failing to comply with a police officer’s orders, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Collier scheduled his jury trial for July 22.

Pfeiler appeared in the courtroom with a walker, an arm and a leg in casts and one foot in a brace.

Montville Police Chief Terry Grice said last month that the case began when a woman called saying she and Pfeiler had a physical confrontation earlier that week about Pfeiler breaking into her car.

She told the dispatcher Pfeiler threatened to attempt “suicide by cop” when she said she was contacting police.

A police officer stopped Pfeiler on Montville Drive about a half-hour after the woman made the call.

Pfeiler stopped, Grice said, but then took off south down Montville Drive. The chase reached speeds of 70 mph and ended when Pfeiler struck a Montville service department vehicle, the chief said.

Pfeiler had to be removed from his vehicle with hydraulic cutters. He and the driver of the maintenance vehicle were taken to hospitals.

The other driver, Dennis Clapper, was admitted in serious condition to Akron General Hospital. He’s since been discharged, a spokesman said.

This wasn’t Pfeiler’s first bout with the law: In April, he was convicted of criminal damaging in Medina Municipal Court.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.