Wood County: Grand jury issues indictments for rape, murder

Larry Limpf

A Lake Township man is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 23 in Wood County Common Pleas Court after being indicted by a county grand jury on 30 counts of kidnapping, felonious assault and rape.
The charges against Steven M. Finch, 47, stem from alleged repeated sexual assaults against his wife.
The alleged rapes occurred every month from August 2019 to November 2020.
Specifications alleging Finch is a sexually violent predator are also included with the charges.
In a press release, Paul Dobson, county prosecutor, said that due to the nature of the offenses and the sexually violent predator specification, 19 of the 30 charges carry with them a sentence of life imprisonment without possible parole.
Otherwise, rape and kidnapping are first degree felonies and each carry a maximum penalty of 11-16 years in prison.
Felonious assault is a second degree felony and carries a maximum penalty of eight to 12 years.
Should Finch be convicted of all the charges without the sexually violent predator specification, he would face a maximum penalty of 312 years in prison, including 209 mandatory years.
The case has been assigned to Judge Matthew Reger.
Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer said his department investigated the case with assistance from the prosecutor’s office.
As of last week, Finch was in custody at the Wood County Justice Center.

Murder indictment
The grand jury also indicted Jerron Bryant, 19, on two counts of murder for the Feb. 5 homicide of a man at the Bridgepointe Inn and Suites in Northwood.
The charges allege Bryant either purposely caused the death of Eddie Phillips or that he caused Phillips’ death as a result of committing felonious assault.
If convicted, Bryant would only be sentenced on one of the counts and he would face a mandatory sentence of 18 years to life in prison.
Northwood police were called to the inn on a complaint of a loud noise and suspected gun shots and found Phillips’ body in one of the hotel rooms.
Police obtained surveillance video footage of two suspects, a male and female, which they posted on social media. Based on tips received, police were able to identify Bryant and Amaree Holder and apprehended them at a duplex residence in Toledo.
Holder, 15, has been charged in Wood County Juvenile Court for her alleged participation in the crime.
Bryant was placed in the county justice center on $500,000 bond. He is scheduled for arraignment March 1 before Judge Mary Mack.


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