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Girlfriend blames self, but judge not swayed

August 14, 2012
By DEANNE JOHNSON - Staff Writer ( , Morning Journal News

LISBON - Michael F. Byers, the Johnson Road man charged with felonious assault for allegedly firing the shot which grazed his live-in girlfriend's head last week, was bound over to the Columbiana County grand jury Monday.

Byers' girlfriend, though, blamed herself.

Standing???before Columbiana County Municipal Court Judge Mark Frost, Melissa Delauder, 28, said she was fine and offered to take down her ponytail so the judge could see her injury.

"It wasn't intentional," Delauder said to Frost, adding they had been having problems with the gun, which she said is supposed to shoot six times without effort. In this instance, she said, it only fired once.

"I was supposed to take it in on the 16th," she said, not indicating whether that was last month or this month.

Byers, 29, waived his right to the preliminary hearing in Municipal Court for the charge, which is a second-degree felony. Bond remains at $100,000 cash or surety.

Assistant Prosecutor Virginia Barborak said Deputy Steve Boyd assured her all the guns have been removed from the home.

In other hearings before Frost on Monday afternoon:

- Derrick S. Faulkner, 29, West Perry Street, Salem, who was sentenced in Common Pleas Court to six months in the Eastern Ohio Correctional Center on Friday for four counts of forgery and one count of misuse of a credit card, appeared on an unrelated receiving stolen property charge.

After much debate between three assistant county prosecutors and defense attorney Coleen Hall Dailey, as well as research by Frost, it was determined Faulkner cannot be sentenced to additional time for a misdemeanor while he is serving time for a felony charge.

Faulkner pleaded no contest to the receiving stolen property charge, was ordered to pay $250 restitution within 90 days of his release from the EOCC, fined $150 and had 150 days in jail suspended provided he abide by his probation terms for the next five years.

Assistant County Prosecutor Don Humphrey pointed out there has been a problem for some time with the sentencing rules and knowing whether or not the EOCC should be considered confinement in a state or federal prison or part of probation.

Frost ruled that the EOCC is a state prison and as such could not sentence Faulkner to addition time. He told the prosecutor's office they can appeal it if they find grounds, which could help clarify the debate for future cases.

- Bobbi J. Mosser, 44, Fair Avenue, Salem, was bound over to the grand jury on a charge of having weapons while under a disability. Mosser waived her right to a preliminary hearing in hopes of having her bond reduced from $100,000 to $25,000. Frost set her bond at $50,000.

Mosser said she needed her bond reduced because she has a grandfather in a nursing home and another man who pays her to help cook and take care of him. She also claimed to need time to have a medical test.

However, Mosser also argued with Barborak, who said she had failed to appear in the past. Mosser also said she had no idea how the stolen, loaded assault rifle ended up in the home with her.

- Jeremy A. Bender, 34, North Broadway, Salem, was bound over on a charge of failing to verify his address as a sexual offender.

During a preliminary hearing, sheriff's Deputy Kip Dowling testified he keeps track of the registered sexual offenders and Bender failed to renew his registration this July. At that point, Dowling sent him a seven-day reminder by certified mail, which Bender reportedly signed for.

Dailey, representing Bender, argued she did not see any postage marks on the copies of sent certified letter or the return. However, Frost noted it appeared to be Bender's signature.

Dailey also asked for Bender's bond to be reduced so his sister, who appeared in the courtroom to support him, could possibly post it and get him some help.

Bender also had a scheduled pretrial on an unrelated public indecency charge, allegedly stemming from him exposing himself to a health care worker.

"I don't understand," Bender blurted out upon hearing his bond had been increased from $5,000 to $10,000. "I hear I unknowingly exposed myself to someone I don't know if she is in the house or not. I'm still being hung because I couldn't get into the car and find the county jail in July."



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