Preble County, Ohio Prosecutor's OfficeMartin P. Votel, Prosecuting Attorney

Earl T. Cook Jr. Convicted of Receiving Stolen Property

Published on July 12th, 2016


Earl T. Cook Jr., of West Alexandria, was convicted by a jury of felony receiving stolen property for receiving and retaining a 1994 Harley-Davidson motorcycle

On July 11, 2016, a Preble County jury rendered a guilty verdict in the case of State of Ohio v. Earl T. Cook in the Preble County Court of Common Pleas. The State of Ohio was represented by Prosecuting Attorney Martin P. Votel, with the defendant was represented by Eaton attorney Marianne Dorman, judge David N. Abruzzo presiding.

Cook was charged with one count “Receiving Stolen Property”, a felony of the fourth degree for receiving and disposing of a stolen 1994 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The evidence in the case established that in the early morning hours of Saturday, February 20, 2016, Cook became concerned that police were going to search his home in Lanier Township. To get rid of the stolen motorcycle, Cook tied it to the rear of an S.U.V. by a tow-strap and dragged the motorcycle across the pavement, across a farm field, down S.R. 503 South, and then down Halderman road to the Twin Creek bridge. As the defendant was unhooking the bike from the S.U.V., he was startled by a local man who had been in his front yard preparing to go hunting. Cook fled from the scene in his vehicle.

The Preble County Sheriff’s Office responded to the bridge, and Dep. Paul Plaugher noted that the act of dragging the motorcycle had gouged the pavement. Dep. Plaugher followed the gouges from the bridge straight back into Cook’s driveway on Fisher-Twin Road. Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for August 24, 2016 at 1:00 P.M. in the Preble County Court of Common Pleas. At sentencing the court will consider the defendant’s prior criminal history, including prior felony convictions in 2009 for “Endangering Children” (Felony Three) and “Attempted Illegal Assembly of Chemical to Produce Methamphetamine” (Felony Three) for which he served two years in prison.

Prosecuting Attorney Martin P. Votel: “Dep. Plaugher did a fantastic job investigating this scene, following the gouges back to the defendant’s driveway. The jury rightly saw no other reasonable explanation for this physical evidence, and quickly found the defendant guilty. The people in our community are rightfully sick and tired of their property being stolen, and the state will be recommending a firm but fair sentence on August 24th.”