Run-in with police earns Salem man prison time

LISBON — A Salem man with a propensity for threatening police officers when he is intoxicated was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Friday in Common Pleas Court.

Nicholas J. Edwards, 29, last known address West Eighth Street, Salem, was sentenced by Judge Scott Washam on charges of burglary and two counts of intimidation.

Edwards had forced his way into the home of Kayla Van Horn, West Fourth Street, Salem, and was found by police hiding in the shower of the home on July 11.

When he was taken into custody, Edwards threatened to harm Patrolmen David Miller and John Brooks, referring to another assault when he had seriously harmed another former Salem police officer, Sgt. John Less.

Both Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart and defense attorney James Wise talked about the very lengthy adult criminal history of Edwards, going back to 2007. Weikart pointed out he has personally been involved in at least two other felony cases involving Edwards. In 2015, one of the charges Edwards was convicted of was intimidation.

“This is a tale of two different personalities,” Wise said, describing it as a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” situation. “When he’s sober, he’s a completely different person.”

Wise went on to say he hopes at some point, Edwards is able to address his substance abuse problems because he is a different person and hardworking when he is not drinking alcohol or using drugs.

Before sentencing, Edwards agreed he has a long history of drinking and drugs.

“I apologize for my mistakes here,” Edwards said, adding he was trying to help his girlfriend that night, they started drinking and ended up getting into trouble.

Edwards said whenever he gets out of prison he winds up getting back into trouble due to his substance abuse issues.

“Obviously I’ve had no type of help,” Edwards said to Washam. “You guys just send me away.”

Washam agreed with the fact Edwards seems different when he’s not abusing alcohol or drugs. However, he also suggested Edwards could have tried to get himself help if he knew he needed it.

“Perhaps if you were serious about getting some help you would have done so after the first time you were sent to prison,” Washam said. “It has become some sort of revolving door for you.”

Edwards was credited 240 days served toward the 18 month prison term.