POMEROY — James E. Gardner, who was captured last Friday by deputies with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, appeared in Meigs County Court on Monday afternoon.
Gardner, 40, of Middleport, appeared before Judge Steven Story on the charge of theft as charged on Nov. 14.
The crime as charged is a felony of the fourth degree. The complaint filed by Meigs County Sheriff Robert E. Beegle states that Gardner, on or about Nov. 11, 2012, did with purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, knowingly obtain or exert control over either the property or services beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent, said property being listed in section 4501.01 of the revised code.
Gardner is accused of theft involving a 2001 Dodge 2500 pick-up truck according to the complaint.
Gardner was arrested around 11 a.m. on Friday near Blessing Road in Gallia County by deputies with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office after nearly a month on the run. Gardner had been wanted by authorities since the suspicious death of his father, James W. Gardner on Nov. 11.
The truck, with a red ATV in the bed, was missing from the property when the elder Gardner’s body was found. Witnesses claimed to have seen the younger Gardner driving the truck across the Silver Memorial Bridge just hours following the apparent homicide. Those vehicles, in addition to a motorcycle and a yellow ATV, were recovered in southern Gallia County over the course of the past two weeks.
Gardner has been named as a person of interest in the suspicious death of James W. Gardner. The unofficial cause of death has been listed as blunt force trauma, according to Beegle. This case remains under investigation.
Charles Knight was appointed to represent Gardner in the theft case.
Bond was set at $100,000 as requested by Meigs County Prosecutor Colleen Williams. Gardner did not argue for a lower bond.
A preliminary hearing is set for 11:30 a.m. on Thursday in Meigs County Court.