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Friday, March 9th, 2018

Indiana man pleads not guilty to 53 charges

Jason Amspaugh is accused of trying to run over a sheriff's deputy

By Ed Gebert
CELINA - A Union City, Indiana, man accused of trying to run over a Mercer County Sheriff's deputy pleaded not guilty on Thursday to 53 charges including 35 felony charges.
Jason D. Amspaugh, 31, pleaded not guilty in Mercer County Common Pleas Court to one first-degree count of felonious assault; two third-degree felony counts of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer; two third-degree felony counts of grand theft of a firearm; five fourth-degree felony counts of grand theft; 12 fifth-degree felony counts of breaking and entering; six fifth-degree felony counts of theft; four fifth-degree felony counts of vandalism; three fifth-degree felony counts of possession of criminal tools; 10 first-degree misdemeanor counts of petty theft; one first-degree misdemeanor count of possession of criminal tools; and seven fourth-degree misdemeanor counts of criminal trespassing; plus several specifications for the forfeiture of Amspaugh's 2011 Dodge pickup truck.
If Amspaugh were convicted on all counts, he could face up to 58 years and 9 months of incarceration.
Amspaugh was arrested Jan. 21 after a police chase in which he reportedly tried to run over a sheriff's detective. According to a news release from Celina Police Chief Tom Wale, officers responded to a report of a person looking under the hood of a truck at Bud's Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram on South Main Street.
Upon arrival, officers re-
portedly found a white pickup truck with the hood open. They then began searching the area and requested assistance from the Mercer County Sheriff's Office to locate a suspect, according to the release. Officers spotted a 2011 Dodge pickup truck that had been seen in the areas of other property crimes in Mercer and surrounding counties. According to the release, that vehicle was registered to Amspaugh.
While officers were checking the vehicle, the lights came on and an officer could see a male later identified as Amspaugh hunched down inside the cab, the release stated.
Law enforcement officers surrounded the vehicle and ordered the driver to exit, Wale said in the release.
The driver then started the truck and accelerated toward Mercer County Sheriff's Detective Chad Fortkamp, who was able to get out of the way as the truck sped away southbound on Murlin Avenue, according to the release.
The driver then crashed the truck into a parked car and crossed Schunck Road before entering a ditch and coming to rest, according to the release.
Amspaugh was taken to the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility. His pickup truck was impounded, and a search warrant was obtained from Celina Municipal Court Judge Kathryn Speelman. Celina officers located numerous stolen items, including items from Bud's Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram, the release stated.
Through an ongoing investigation with multiple area agencies and interviews after Amspaugh's arrest, Mercer County Sheriff's detectives applied for and obtained a search warrant through the Darke County Common Pleas Court for Amspaugh's property at 1036 Ellis Road, Union City, the release stated.
Amspaugh is being held in the Mercer County jail on $500,000 bond. He will be back in court April 11 for a pretrial hearing.
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