Burglar who shot himself in head after standoff gets probation

The Reeder man who shot himself in the head after a standoff with Dickinson police last December was sentenced to three years of supervised probation Monday during an arraignment at the Stark County Courthouse.

Jeremy Mellmer, 32, had a five-year prison sentenced suspended by Southwest District Court Judge William Herauf after the judge agreed to the Stark County state attorney’s deal to keep the severely injured Mellmer out of the corrections system.

“He shot himself in the head and left himself in considerable poor health, which will greatly impact his life going forward as well as the reality of any extended incarceration,” said James Hope, Stark County assistant state’s attorney.

Mellmer pled guilty Monday to theft of property and burglary charges, both Class C felonies, after breaking into the home of Dickinson resident Bernard Deichert and stealing approximately $3,000 worth of firearms and other items on Nov. 24.

Mellmer, who wore a large neck brace and an eyepatch over his right eye, spoke in a gravely voice and mustered only one-word answers when responding to the judge’s questions.

Herauf said he was concerned about the proposed sentence, but agreed to keep Mellmer’s health burden out of the state’s hands.

“I’m going to go along with what’s been worked out, otherwise the state is faced with the problems that your health creates,” he said, before speaking directly to Mellmer about his future. “We’re not having this conduct again. None of it whatsoever.”

Joseph Mrstik, Mellmer’s court-appointed attorney, spoke on Mellmer’s behalf before Herauf agreed to the sentence.

“Through his own actions, Mr. Mellmer has significantly limited the ability to live his life and, frankly, if it weren’t for his father, he’d probably be out on the street and not doing very well,” Mrstik said. “My point is, he’s basically just taking it one day at a time, trying to make up for lost time and appreciating the fact that he’s still here.”

Mellmer escaped police during a traffic stop on Nov. 30. Police searched for him until Dec. 2, when they surrounded a house on the 900 block of Ninth Street East. The standoff ended when Mellmer shot himself. He has not been charged for that incident.

However, Mellmer is not done with court appearances.

He will have pretrial conference July 5 on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class B felony, and possession of methamphetamine paraphernalia and carrying concealed firearm or weapon, both Class A misdemeanors. A July 20 trial is scheduled.

Hope said the state has few concerns about Mellmer committing further crimes following his final sentencing, solely because of his health.

“We’ll monitor his health condition and see how his recovery goes, and whether the health condition he has now is permanent,” Hope said in an interview.

Author: Dustin Monke

Former newspaper editor. Now I market the best baked goods and donuts in America. But every once in a while, I write a cool story too.

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