Suspects in chase, shooting incidents among Jefferson County grand jury indictments

INDICTED — Andrew Whitsett of Garfield Heights, Ohio, was taken into custody July 16 after leading officers on a high-speed chase that began in Steubenville and ended on Wheeling Island. Whitsett was among those indicted Wednesday by a Jefferson County grand jury. (File photo)

STEUBENVILLE — The Bloomingdale man who allegedly used a Franciscan University of Steubenville sign for target practice was one of 10 men indicted Wednesday by a Jefferson County grand jury.

John Molnar, 37, of 61 township Road 204, Bloomingdale, was indicted on felony charges of discharging a firearm over a public road and vandalism, both with firearm specifications, as well as unlawful possession of a dangerous ordinance and improperly transporting a firearm in a motor vehicle on July 17 in Steubenville.

City police had said they counted 38 bullet markings in the FUS sign, including one .223 slug recovered from a maple tree.

They were then able to look through the bullet hole, which they said “lined up perfectly” with a second story room Molnar allegedly had rented at the Super 8. Molnar allegedly had a loaded AR-15, two suppressors and several boxes of subsonic ammunition in his car at the time of his arrest.

The grand jury also returned a true bill against Andrew Whitsett, 23, of 4647 Horton Road, Garfield Heights, charged with failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer on July 16, a felony.

Whitsett had been indicted last month for aggravated arson, felonious assault with a firearm specification and discharging a firearm on or over a roadway with a firearm specification, and police alleged he was trying to evade arrest on those charges when he fled a state trooper who’d spotted him at a gas station at the south end of Steubenville. The chase ended at Wheeling Island.

Others indicted include:

• Michael A. Evans, 19, of 14 Paul Ave., Wintersville, felony counts of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary with a firearm specification, felonious assault, felonious assault with a firearm specification and having a weapon under disability in Steubenville, all on March 5.

The August grand jury also returned a separate true bill charging Evans with having weapons under disability on Feb. 19.

• Gregory Sean Bates, 46, 263 township Road 152, Rayland, a felony count of assaulting a police officer, as well as two misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and another of obstruction on March 26.

A second indictment was returned Wednesday charging Bates with possession of gabapentin on March 24. Gabapentin, a prescription painkiller, is considered an anti-convulsant, on March 24.

The grand jury returned a third indictment against Bates charging him with possession of methamphetamine, attempted evidence tampering, resisting arrest and obstruction on April 28.

• Jonathan David Messenger, 25, 162 Saline St., Hammondsville, three counts of felonious assault, five counts of improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle, discharging a firearm on a prohibited property, assaulting a police officer and improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle, all felonies.

The true bill also included misdemeanor counts of domestic violence and resisting arrest.

The indictment alleges Messenger threatened two men with a .9 mm handgun and a Chevy Cobalt, fired a shot on or over Saline township Road 61, assaulted an officer and resisted arrest.

It also alleges Messenger had a loaded .9 mm handgun, a loaded 20-gauge shotgun, a loaded .45 caliber Desert Eagle, and a loaded .40 caliber HiPoint handgun in the vehicle with him, and that he fired one of them.

• Mark J. Withers, 39, 2227 Sunset Blvd., Steubenville, failure to comply, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of obstruction and resisting arrest on April 21.

• Sadiyq Najee Ullah Holloway, 28, 2831 Augustus St., Grove City, OH, an amended indictment charging him with having weapons under disability, improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle; receiving stolen property, a 9mm Glock; felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of marijuana on June 18. He originally was indicted on those charges in July.

• Nicholas Adrian Batenburg, 1109 township Road 152, Rayland, felonious assault. The indictment alleges Batenburg, 37, “did knowingly cause serious physical harm” to a woman.

• Tyler Joseph Karhut, 24, 2928 West Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, obstructing official business and aggravated menacing July 17 in Toronto.

The indictment alleges Karhut “knowingly caused a woman to believe he would cause her physical harm,” a misdemeanor, and also that he impeded a police officer in the performance of his duties, a felony.

• David Lee Brown, 36, 276 Ridgeland Dr., Toronto, felony extortion. The indictment alleges Brown tried to force a woman to post his bond by threatening to harm her or her child on July 10.


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