GALLIPOLIS — After being convicted of assaulting a Gallia County EMT, failure to appear in court, obstruction of official business and vandalism, a central Ohio man was sentenced Tuesday to 56 months in prison by the Gallia Court of Common Pleas.
Michael Huckleby, 30, of Powell, was sentenced to 17 months in prison on two fourth-degree felonies and 11 months on a pair of fifth-degree felonies. Time served is to be run consecutively.
“Our office felt this matter needed pushed because you’ve got medical first responders out there that are trying to give treatment to someone and this person interfered with it. That’s why the state made legislation that this is more serious than a (regular) assault,” said Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins. “We stand behind all of our first responders. The defendant did not show up on time for a trial and tore up a jail cell while struggling with officers and putting them in harms way, too. First responders need to be free to save lives.”
Adkins said 56 months was four less than the maximum Huckleby could have received.
Huckleby was originally arrested in December for an incident on Market Street in Bidwell, where he grabbed an EMT by his shirt and tossed him to the ground as the EMT was attempting to treat a pair of opioid-overdosing victims.
Deputies arrived to assess the situation. Huckleby reportedly demanded that someone owed him $800 in drug purchases as his reason being at the Bidwell residence the day of the violation. Huckleby supposedly claimed he did not sell heroin, but only crack cocaine. Drugs were not discovered on his person while he spoke with police.
Huckleby was again arrested when he failed to appear at the designated time for his trial in June and was charged with obstruction of official business. Normally, the crime is a misdemeanor. According to past Tribune stories, in this case it was a felony because of creating a risk of physical harm to a deputy when Huckleby was taken into custody for a failing to appear in court. Huckleby refused to cooperate during the booking process in the Gallia County Jail and after officers could not talk him into cooperating, Huckleby reportedly got into a physical confrontation with officers. Because the cell was small and because the fixtures in the cell were metal, justice officials felt that was a risk of physical harm to the officer and related in the obstruction of official business.
Huckleby’s assault charge was considered a fourth-degree felony, along with the failure to appear in court. Vandalism and obstructing official business are considered fifth-degree felonies.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.