NEW PHILADELPHIA — Douglas M. Casteel, formerly of Newcomerstown, is facing a prison sentence of up to seven and a half years after being convicted of three weapons charges.
A jury found Casteel, 30, guilty on Wednesday of having a weapon under disability and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, with a firearm specification.
The verdict followed a two-day trial before Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Judge Elizabeth Lehigh Thomakos.
The charges arose from an incident in Newcomerstown on April 20, 2018.
Casteel will stay in the Tuscarawas County jail until sentencing, which will be held at a later date.
Assistant Prosecutor Michael Ernest prosecuted the case.
"The residents of Newcomerstown or any community should never be subjected to random gun fire, but if they are, the shooter must to be held accountable," Ernest said. "In this case, we are thankful that Douglas Casteel was held accountable by the jury for his actions."
Ernest said he was pleased with the verdict, and that it could not have come about without the willingness of citizens to get involved and through the efforts of the Newcomerstown Police Department and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
"This conviction came about from a joint effort, but Newcomerstown Officer Opha Lawson did a great job in leading this investigating" Ernest said.
Casteel has another jury trial scheduled for Sept. 4 in Judge Edward O'Farrell's court involving the Dec. 5 armed robbery south of Newcomerstown. Casteel previously pleaded guilty to charges, including attempted murder and aggravated robbery, but was permitted to withdraw that plea and proceed with a trial.
The Dec. 5 incident occurred while Casteel was out on bond for the April 20 shooting.