GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man was recently sentenced in the Gallia County Court of Common Pleas to serve three years in prison — and his operator’s license was suspended for life — after he pleaded guilty to one felony OVI charge.
Melvin J. Stewart, Jr., 40, Crown City, was charged with a felony charge of operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), a third degree felony, after being previously convicted of at least three prior felony OVI cases.
Stewart had previously been convicted in a 2001 case of felony OVI and was sentenced in October 2001 to spend 12 months in the Orient Correctional Facility. This sentence was also ordered to be served concurrent with a sentence imposed in a 2000 case in which the defendant was also charged with one count of felony OVI — a case that also resulted in a 12 month prison sentence.
At the time of his sentencing in 2001, Stewart’s operator’s license was suspended for three years, he was fined $800 in both cases and his vehicle used in the commission of the 2001 offense was forfeited to law enforcement.
In a 2004 case, Stewart pleaded guilty to felony OVI after he was arrested for driving a vehicle under the influence on December 6, 2003, and was sentenced in June 2004 for serve 30 months in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. He was further ordered to pay a fine of $800.
In an additional OVI case, the defendant was sentenced in September 2008 to serve 36 months in the state penal system after pleading guilty to operating a vehicle under the influence. This sentence was ordered to be served concurrent with a sentence imposed in a second 2008 case in which Stewart pleaded guilty to one count of breaking and entering.
In his most recent case, Stewart was arrested on March 12, 2012, for operating a vehicle under the influence and was charged with this offense on March 19. His bond was set at $50,000, 10 percent, and he remained in the Gallia County Jail until his recent sentencing.
In addition to his three-year prison sentence, Stewart was fined a mandatory $1,350 and was given credit for the 71 days he served in the county jail.