June 29, 2016

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Charges dropped against accused bank robber who’s too ill for trial

Hugh Crouch

Hugh Crouch

MEDINA — A judge has dismissed bank robbery charges against a 71-year-old Hinckley Township man, ruling the man is too ill to stand trial.

Hugh Crouch, of the 1400 block of Ridge Road, was arrested in February 2013 after police said he robbed Brunswick’s Huntington Bank of almost $30,000 and led officers on a high-speed chase into Medina. The chase ended in a brief foot chase after Crouch crashed his pickup into a police cruiser in Montville Township.

Crouch was charged with aggravated robbery, felonious assault, failure to comply with police officer orders and possessing criminal tools. If convicted, he could have faced 11 or more years in prison.

His family had asked that Crouch, who suffers from severe dementia and liver disease, be furloughed so they could care for him as his health deteriorated.

In June last year, Crouch was released from jail and placed on house arrest. In January, Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler ruled Crouch was incompetent to stand trial, but delayed dismissing the charges to see whether he would recover.

Kimbler dismissed the case Monday.

“After considering all available new information, the court determines that defendant has not improved and … determines that even if defendant continues to receive treatment, there is not a substantial probability that defendant will become competent within one year,” Kimbler wrote in his ruling.”

Doctors testified in court that Crouch could not even respond to questions they asked and said it was unlikely he would recover from his ailments.

Crouch’s attorney, Bob Campbell, said he was glad the case was over.

“The family is very pleased,” Campbell said.

Crouch’s family could not be reached for comment, but Carol Crouch, his wife, said in January that she was frustrated with how long it was taking to get her husband off house arrest.

“I wish it didn’t take so long,” she said.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon.

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.