July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Judge washes hands of longtime offender

MEDINA — A judge said Thursday he would not handle any more criminal cases involving a 45-year-old Akron man with a history of drug offenses.

At a sentencing hearing for Clarence E. Powell, Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler announced he was transferring the case to Judge Christopher J. Collier.

“I don’t think it will be a good idea for me to handle this case,” Kimbler said, citing frustration with Powell.

This would have been the fourth criminal case Kimbler had overseen involving Powell since 2001. Powell has appeared seven other times in common pleas court since 1993.

Kimbler said if Powell is indicted again on any charges, he would transfer them to Collier’s court, too.

Powell is charged this time with failing to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

Powell pleaded no contest to the charge in August, but failed to appear for his first sentencing hearing in October. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Razavi said Powell drove away from Medina County Drug Task Force agents when they tried to stop his vehicle. Razavi said the agents were following Powell in April and that Powell disposed of evidence implicating him in drug charges.

In addition, Razavi said Powell tested positive for cocaine and marijuana use while awaiting sentencing.

Powell is being held without bond at the county jail.

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

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.