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Man gets prison for OVI

WARREN — A former Salem man whose OVI record dates back to 2009, was sentenced Thursday to a mandatory year in prison as a repeat driving under the influence offender.

James C. Schwendeman, 37, of East Second Street, Girard, also was given five years of intensive suprevised probation with entry into the Northeast Ohio Community Alternative Program (NEOCAP) after his imprisonment. Common Pleas Judge Ronald J. Rice also give him a 10-year driver’s license suspension and a $1,500 fine.

Schwendeman’s attorney, Desirae DiPiero, said he has been working hard to mend his ways, being a new father of twins and working at a Girard factory, but the defendant told Rice a bad experience with the addiction treatment drug Suboxone led to his latest legal troubles.

On Aug. 31, 2020, Liberty police found a vehicle blocking a driveway at a fast-food business in the 4000 block of Belmont Avenue. A police report showed a man unconscious behind the wheel and that led Schwendeman to being charged with felony OVI with repeat offender specifications.

According to Columbiana County Court records, Schwendeman was first convicted of an OVI from Leetonia police in August of 2009 and that led to a string of offenses ending with a 2017 conviction out of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court that prompted a one-year prison sentence.

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