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Mount Orab man sentenced in 2019 Highland County receiving stolen property case

Caitlin Forsha, The Highland County Press

An area man was sentenced to prison this month in connection with a Highland County Common Pleas Court case from 2019, over four years after pleading guilty to a fourth-degree felony.

As previously reported, Thomas Michael Keating, 29, formerly of Mount Orab, was charged with one count of receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony, during the Oct. 1, 2019 Highland County grand jury session.

A bill of particulars alleged that in September 2019, a Highland County Sheriff’s detective was executing a search warrant at another individual’s home when Keating pulled into the driveway on a motorcycle with chipped paint and no license plate.

The bill of particulars alleged that Keating gave the officer various stories about the motorcycle — first that it “belonged to his father,” and then that he bought it in Clermont County without a title. The detective found that the motorcycle had been reported stolen out of Clermont County in August 2019.

According to court records, Keating pleaded guilty to the charge March 18, 2020. He failed to appear for a subsequent sentencing hearing.

“He was recently discovered to be serving a prison term, and the Court set the matter for a sentencing,” Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss said during Keating’s hearing June 12.

As was noted during the sentencing hearing, Keating was also convicted of two additional crimes — failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony, and breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony — in Brown County Common Pleas Court in 2023, with both crimes allegedly being committed after pleading guilty in Highland County. Keating was sentenced to a total of 30 months in prison for those two cases.

Coss said that after Keating pleaded guilty in March 2020, he “never reported” to the Highland County Probation office, and that he committed the crimes in Brown County “a little less than two weeks after” he was released on his own recognizance in Highland County.

“You violated numerous provisions of your bond, and you ran,” Coss told Keating. “Here it is now four years later that you have been brought back before the court — over four years.

“The fact that you did all these things, if I didn’t require you to be held accountable, it would mean that what you did meant nothing, that you thumbed your nose at the court, at the probation department, took off, and the only reason we have you now is that you got caught somewhere else and sent to prison. That’s just not acceptable, so I’m not going to grant you community control.”

Coss sentenced Keating to an additional 10 months in prison, consecutive to the two sentences from Brown County, for a total of 40 months in prison.

Keating has been incarcerated in the Chillicothe Correctional Institution since Aug. 18, 2023, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

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