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Bellevue man sentenced after jury finds him guilty of obstructing official business

TiffinOhio.net Staff

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File Photo: Seneca County Joint Justice Center

Tiffin, Ohio — A Bellevue man has been sentenced after a jury found him guilty of obstructing official business Wednesday afternoon in Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court.

According to a news release from Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court, 70-year-old Roger N. Baumer was charged following an incident on Nov. 23, 2020 at 6757 N. Township Road 81 in Thompson Township.

Neighbors called 911 to alert officials of a house fire at that location. Five fire departments responded to the address and found the home at that address fully engulfed upon their arrival.

Baumer, the owner of the property, could not be located at the scene although he was reported to be there, according to the release.

Firefighters and Seneca County Sheriff’s Office deputies searched for bodies in the blaze, and later learned that an individual was seen outside the perimeter of the property.

After several hours of searching and calling for Baumer, a thermal imaging device was used to discover Baumer lying on the ground in the woods hiding from deputies, the release states.

The case, which was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Charles Hall, was the subject of a one day jury trial.

Baumer testified on his own behalf, and his attorney, John M. Kahler II, argued that Baumer was not impaired as alleged by police.

The jury of four men and four women found Baumer guilty of the charge after deliberating for less than 40 minutes.

Following the guilty verdict, Judge Mark Repp ordered the defendant to pay a fine of $150, sentenced him to 90 days in Seneca County Jail with 60 days suspended, ordered him to seek anger management treatment, and be placed on probation for two years.

This case was the fourth jury trial in the Seneca County Justice Center since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and social distancing, masks, cleaning and additional precautions were observed to prevent the transmission of any virus.

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