Scio man indicted by grand jury for sexual imposition

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A Scio man was indicted last week by a Carroll County grand jury for gross sexual imposition, voyeurism and tampering with evidence. 

MICHAEL RAY MERRILL, 31, of 7305 Scio Road, Scio,  was  indicted on one count of Gross Sexual Imposition, three counts of Voyeurism and one count of Tampering With Evidence.

Carroll County Prosecuting Attorney Steven D. Barnett said Merrill is accused of secretly video taping a 14-year-old female in a state of nudity in his home and also secretly video-taping an adult female in a state of nudity without her consent between Sept. 1, 2021, and Jan. 24.  The videos were stored on a cellular phone, which Merrill attempted to destroy prior to sheriff’s deputies arriving to investigate.  That investigation also revealed that Merrill allegedly inappropriately touched the 14-year-old while she slept.

Merrill’s indictment was one of 17 returned by the grand jury during a full day session Feb. 9. Barnett said the grand jury heard testimony from 17 witnesses involving 20 cases.

Other indictments included:

JEFF ALAN SYMSEK, 22, of 6212 Chalon Road SW, Carrollton, Theft by Deception.  Symsek, a manager at a Carrollton area business, is charged with voiding multiple purchases between Nov. 30, 2021, and Jan. 5, and took the cash from those purchases from the cash register totaling approximately $2,940.86.

JAMES SCOTT HARRIS, 31, of Canton, Failure to Comply with Order or Signal of Police Officer.  On Jan. 15, Harris fled Carroll County sheriff deputies at a high rate of speed with Michael D. King, 37, of 5161 Stires Dr., Malvern, and Dominique M. Hall 28, of Canton, in the vehicle.  The vehicle was pursued to the Canton area, where after becoming disabled, all of the occupants fled on foot.  King and Hall were apprehended after a short search.

King had methamphetamine and a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine on him when apprehended and Hall had amphetamine or dextroamphetamine when she was apprehended.  Hall also provided a false identity to deputies.  Harris, the alleged driver, was not apprehended and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Both King and Hall were indicted on Aggravated Possession of Drugs. King was also indicted on Drug Paraphernalia Offenses and Hall on Falsification and Obstructing Official Business. 

FAITH MARIE ZUROWSKI, 18, of 210 Butler Avenue NW, Apt. 201, Carrollton, Domestic Violence. Zurowski is accused of assaulting her mother, who was pregnant, at her residence Jan. 17. 

JAMES J. SHEETS, 35, of Lisbon, DAVID A. HEDDLESTON, 46, of Wellsville  and HEATHER LEE SLUSS, 38, of Lisbon, each indicted on one count of Burglary, one count of Theft, one count of Receiving Stolen Property and one count of Possessing Criminal Tools.  The trio aided and abetted each other in the burglary of an East Township residence Jan. 15.  Various items, including a catalytic converter, car battery, antique license plates and a reciprocating saw were stolen.  Further investigation revealed the trio was in possession of stolen wire, cables and an industrial battery that was identified as stolen from a well pad site.

DONOVON EDWARD COLLIER, 35, of Paris, Burglary and Aggravated Menacing.  On Jan. 12, Collier entered a Minerva area home without permission, where he threatened a female.

WILLIAM ALEXANDER LUCAS, 23, of 25175 Cogan Road, East Rochester, Trespass in a Habitation When a Person is Present or Likely to be Present and Criminal Damaging. On Jan. 30, Lucas, while allegedly intoxicated, entered a Minerva area home, damaging a door in the process, and left when confronted by the occupants.  

CLINTON MICHAEL RAMSEY, 36, of 15060 Lincoln Street SE, Minerva, Improperly Handling Firearms in a Motor Vehicle, Carrying Concealed Weapons and Having Weapons While Under Disability. On Jan. 22, sheriff deputies stopped Ramsey’s vehicle for having fictitious license plates and marked lane violations.  During the stop, a loaded .45 caliber pistol was found tucked in Ramsey’s waistband.  The investigation revealed Ramsey was previously convicted of Having a Weapon Under Disability in Stark County.


AMBER D. GRIMES, 37, of 894 Washington Street, Bergholz, Aggravated Possession of Drugs, Possession of a Fentanyl-Related Compound and Drug Paraphernalia Offenses. Grimes was found in possession of methamphetamine, oxycodone, and fentanyl at a Carrollton hotel May 31, 2021, after police and fire were summoned for a fire alarm activation.  Glass pipes, tubes and scales were also found with the drugs.

CHAD J.  McKEEVER, 41, of Cadiz, Possession of Drugs.  On Jan. 11, Carrollton Police officers found McKeever in possession of suboxone after being called to investigate a report that McKeever had been sleeping for some time at a table in a Carrollton gas station.  McKeever has a previous drug abuse conviction from Harrison County.

KRYSTLE D. O’ROURKE, 35, of East Liverpool, Aggravated Possession of Drugs. On June 5, 2021, Carrollton Police officers found O’Rourke in possession of methamphetamine following investigating a complaint at a Carrollton hotel and after which O’Rourke was arrested for outstanding warrants from Columbiana County.  

DANIEL EUGENE CARMINE, JR., 37, of Minerva, Aggravated Possession of Drugs. Carmine was found in possession of methamphetamine Dec. 20, 2021, after Minerva Police  were summoned to his residence for a well-being check where Carmine was causing a disturbance.

CHARLES ANTHONY WILLIAMSON, 32, of 5084 North Street NE, Magnolia, two counts of Aggravated Possession of Drugs, and two counts of Possession of Drugs. Sheriff deputies stopped Williamson’s vehicle Jan. 11 near Malvern for a traffic violation. Williamson was found with suspected metham- phetamine, oxycodone, alprazolam, and suboxone on his person.

MICHAEL A. KIRKMAN, 45, of 4078 Bonnie Drive, Malvern, Aggravated Possession of Drugs, and CHOYICE M. BOWERS, 36, of Akron, Aggravated Possession of Drugs.  Both were also indicted on Drug Paraphernalia Offenses. Sheriff deputies stopped a vehicle operated by Kirkman on State Route 183 in Brown Township Jan. 20.  

During a probable cause search, deputies found suspected methamphetamine and a glass pipe in Bowers’ purse.  A second bag found in the vehicle, accessible to Kirkman, also contained more than three grams of suspected methamphetamine and a glass pipe used to smoke methamphetamine.

JESSICA SUE BELKNAP, 37, of Paris, Aggravated Possession of Drugs, Possessing Drug Abuse Instruments and Drug Paraphernalia Offenses. Minerva Police officers found Belknap parked in the lane of travel and facing the wrong direction online Street Nov. 30, 2021.  Officers found methamphetamine on the center console and syringes and a glass pipe used to administer methamphetamine were also found in the vehicle.

Indictments are scheduled Feb. 24 at 8:15 before Judge Michael V. Repella, II in Common Pleas Court.

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