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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

150 Days of Incarceration Ordered at Ashland County Jail in Animal Abuse Case








Loudonville Police Department responded to a complaint of animal abuse, on 05/18/2022. When Officers arrived, they found the caller’s dog, “Luna,” had been beaten and abused so badly, that the dog had to be sent to the Ark Veterinary Hospital in Wooster, Ohio.



Loudonville Police Department Sergeant, Sean Gorrell, said in a report, “We soon learned that the injuries to Luna had been so severe that Luna had to be euthanized.”




On July 14th, 2022, the Ashland County Grand Jury indicted Spencer Thomas Spreng, age 21, of Oberlin, Ohio, on one count of Cruelty to Companion Animals (a felony of the fifth degree).




On November 7th, of 2022, Spencer changed his plea from “Not Guilty” to Guilty by remote videoconferencing.



A Bench Warrant for Spencer’s arrest was issued on 11/21/2022, and his bond was revoked, and he was ordered to be remanded to the custody of the Ashland County Sheriff's Office.



Sergeant Sean Gorrell stated, “We would like to thank the Ashland County Dog Warden’s Office for their assistance with this case. We would also like to thank all Loudonville Police employees who worked diligently on the case, the Ashland County Prosecutor’s Office, and all involved witnesses for their helping in securing justice.”



In a Sentencing Hearing by remote videoconferencing, on January 4, 2023, Spencer appeared with his attorney Robert Rolf Whitney, and the Ashland County Prosecutor’s Office represented by Michael Joseph Callow. Judge Ronald Forsthoefel sentenced Spencer Thomas Spreng to the following:




A one hundred fifty (150) days term of incarceration at Ashland County Jail with work-release participation permitted and Community Control for 2 years.



The Court imposes the following nonresidential sanction(s) pursuant to R.C. 2929.17: • Pursuant to R.C. 2929.17(A) the defendant must follow all local, state, and federal laws and ordinances, and may not leave the state without the permission his/her supervising officer. • The defendant SHALL NOT use, possess, or consume any alcoholic beverages, mood altering chemicals or drugs of abuse. The use of medical marijuana is prohibited while the Defendant is subject to community control sanctions. • The defendant shall obtain both a substance abuse assessment and mental health assessment from licensed service providers approved by his/her supervising officer; and shall thereafter participate in and successfully complete all substance abuse and mental health treatment recommendations of their respective service providers. • The defendant shall report all prescription medications to his/her supervising officer within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving a prescription from a licensed physician or other appropriately licensed health care provider, and he/she shall not possess or use any prescription medication which has not been prescribed for the defendant by a licensed physician or other appropriately licensed health care provider. • The defendant shall execute all necessary and/or appropriate waivers to permit the Adult Parole Authority and the Court to monitor the defendant's compliance with Court's orders, as well as any counseling or treatment recommendations. • The defendant is ORDERED to abide by the following curfew: defendant to be at approved residence between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., unless in conflict with verified employment or granted permission by his/her supervising officer to do otherwise. • The defendant is ORDERED to obtain and maintain gainful employment. The defendant shall not lose his/her employment for cause. • The defendant SHALL abide by and follow general rules, regulations and/or special condition recommendations of his/her supervising authority, and he/she shall obey all laws and all orders of the Court. • The defendant shall complete 24 hours of community service work in the manner and form approved by his/her supervising officer • The defendant SHALL keep his/her supervising officer informed of his/her residence and place of employment. • The defendant SHALL NOT enter the grounds of any correctional facility, nor attempt to visit any prisoner without the written permission of his/her supervising officer, and SHALL NOT communicate with any prisoner in any manner without obtaining permission from his/her supervising officer. • The defendant SHALL report any arrest, citation for a violation of law, conviction, or any other contact with a law enforcement officer to his/her supervising officer within 24 hours of the arrest, citation, conviction, or other law enforcement contact. • The defendant SHALL NOT associate with persons having a criminal background and/or persons who may have gang affiliation, or who could influence Defendant to engage in criminal activity, without the prior permission of his/her supervising officer. • The defendant SHALL give all information regarding his/her financial status to his/her supervising officer, to assist in determining defendant's ability to pay specific financial obligations. The defendant shall pay the court costs in this case, including a sum of $30.00. taxed as costs pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 2949.091 and a sum of $30.00, to be paid over to the Treasurer of the State of Ohio, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 2743.70. Having held a restitution hearing pursuant to R.C. 2929.18 and having considered the defendant's present and future ability to pay, the defendant is ordered to make restitution in the amount of two thousand four hundred twenty-nine and 75/100 dollar(s) ($2429.75) to Mahlin Hawkins, Loudonville, OH 44842. All payments shall be made to and distributed by the Ashland County Clerk of Court.

This order of restitution by the Court can be converted to a civil judgement and collected by the victim through a civil action. The defendant is remanded to the custody of the Ashland County Sheriff to complete the residential sanction imposed above. The Court informed the Defendant that under federal law, a person convicted of a felony cannot lawfully possess a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1).

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