Michael Gregory Johnson (right) looks at attorney Ryan Warnecke during his November arraignment hearings in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas. Johnson requested Thursday to have the date for his trial moved back. His request was granted and no new date has been given in Johnson’s case. Johnson has been accused of forgery, theft, and theft by deception. (TB File Photo)
Michael Gregory Johnson (right) looks at attorney Ryan Warnecke during his November arraignment hearings in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas. Johnson requested Thursday to have the date for his trial moved back. His request was granted and no new date has been given in Johnson’s case. Johnson has been accused of forgery, theft, and theft by deception. (TB File Photo)

VAN WERT — The man who had been assumed to be the owner of a Van Wert Restaurant was back in court on Thursday to have his trial date moved back. Michael Gregory Johnson, 55, requested a continuance of his trial on felony counts of forgery and passing bad checks, theft, and theft by deception. The trial had been scheduled for next week. Judge Charles D. Steele granted the request.

Johnson is being held on a quarter million bond, in part due to what the prosecution called Johnson’s “extensive criminal record.” Johnson was arrested in Van Wert in October and was originally charged with felony theft and misdemeanor bigamy charges. He was not indicted on charges of bigamy.

From statements made by the attorneys, Johnson’s claim to ownership of the restaurant weighs heavily in the case against him.
No new date was given in Johnson’s case.

One man was sentenced on Thursday in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas. William L. Smith, 37, Delphos, was sentenced to spend up to six months at the WORTH Center in Lima as part of three years of community control on three heroin trafficking charges. Smith must also serve 30 days in jail, perform 200 hours of community service, give up his drivers license for six months, and pay fees and court costs. A sentence totalling nine months in prison was deferred pending the successful completion of community control.



Also on Thursday, Todd Hundley, 41, Van Wert, pleaded guilty to failure to register as a sex offender, a felony of the fourth degree. Hundley was allowed to continue to be free on bond. He will be sentenced on Feb. 12.

Lorenzo Frye, 25, Van Wert, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree felony domestic violence. He was also allowed to continue to be free on bond, provided he had no contact with the victim in the case. Sentencing for Frye was also set for Feb. 12.