30-year-old Douglas M. Casteel has been found guilty by a Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court jury on one count of having weapons while under disability and one count of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - A former Newcomerstown man still awaiting trial for the December 5th Oxford Township robbery turned shooting has been sentenced on firearms charges in a separate incident.
30-year-old Douglas Casteel was found guilty on one count each of having weapons while under disability and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle after he fired a gun from the minivan he was driving April 20th inside the village. Assistant County Prosecutor Mike Ernest says it was a unique case that was prosecuted successfully thanks to what he calls good police work and helpful witnesses.
“Citizens who stepped up and said what they saw and said what they heard, which sometimes is hard for people to do or for whatever reason they choose not to, and these folks didn’t. They had the courage to come forward and say happened,” he says.
Ernest says the charges carry with them a maximum possible sentence of 7 1/2 years in prison, although he says he’s unsure at this point what recommendation he will make at sentencing.
“It’d be too early to say at this point in time but what we do know is that one of the counts carry with a gun specification so we know that there are three years of mandatory prison time that will be happening for sure,” he says.
Casteel is currently being held in the Tuscarawas County Jail while he awaits sentencing. his trial for the oxford township shooting is set for September 4th.