Plea agreement reached in Strader case

By Randa Wagner

March 25, 2014

A plea deal has been reached in the complicity to aggravated murder case against Devon Strader, Crestline, in connection with the death of Joseph Rosella July 4, 2011.

Strader and his attorney James Weinandy appeared before Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Hickson, Jr. March 18 to accept a plea deal on a reduced charge of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree. This followed the plea agreement reached in the case of co-defendant Cory Kelly February 25, 2014 wherein Kelly stated Strader did not enter the garage where the crime was committed.

Hickson reviewed the case history to confirm Strader understood he was waiving his trial by jury and was competent to make an informed decision in the matter. Strader faces 9-36 months in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, with up to three years probation on the tampering charge. He has been incarcerated since July of 2011.

A Personal Recognizance bond was requested by the defense, with Weinandy explaining to the court Strader had no prior offenses, has a supportive family and a son that he is interested in being with, has lived in the area all his life, was employed prior to the crime, has no drug or alcohol issues and not a flight risk.

Hickson accepted the plea agreement and released Strader on a Personal Recognizance bond secured by his grandparents, with a penal sum of $10,000. He was released to their custody with the understanding he would appear in person twice a week to the probation office in Morrow County. Asst. Prosecutor David Homer had no objections to the terms.

Strader was released later that day. A pre-sentence investigation will be performed and sentencing is set for July 14, 2014 at 10 a.m.