In Case You Missed It: Top crime stories from the Springfield News-Sun

Sara Hess, 15, was killed in November when the car she was traveling in on Ohio 235 was rear-ended and flipped in to a ditch. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO.
Sara Hess, 15, was killed in November when the car she was traveling in on Ohio 235 was rear-ended and flipped in to a ditch. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO.

In case you missed any of them as they broke this week, here are the top crime stories reported on by the Springfield News-Sun.

Man leads police on high-speed chase through Springfield

A Springfield man allegedly stole a van and led police on a high-speed chase because “voices in his head” allegedly told him to run.

Police were driving on Cyprus St. on Sunday evening when they spotted a light blue van allegedly driven by James E. Freeze, 39, on the road. The vehicle had been reported stolen earlier that day. Officers tried to initiate a traffic stop with lights activated, but Freeze continued driving, leading police through the streets at speeds upwards of 80 miles per hour, according to a police report. When he was caught, police said Freeze told them he didn’t stop because he was scared and “voices in his head” told him to flee.

» READ MORE: Springfield man allegedly claims ‘voices’ lead to high speed chase

Cedarville woman pleads guilty to stealing $150,000 from local kennel

Heather Nelson, of Cedarville, pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing up to $150,000 from a kennel over several years.

Nelson, who had been the manager of King Kennel in Springfield, was accused of stealing money from the kennel in $100 and $200 increments between 2001 and 2014. She was arrested after the owner noticed discrepancies in the business’s finances.

Nelson had originally been charged with one count each of theft and tampering but pleaded guilty to one charge of grand theft as part of a plea deal.

» READ MORE: Woman pleads guilty to stealing $150k from King Kennel in Springfield

Alcohol use now suspected in Graham HS teen crash death

Champaign County deputies are suspecting alcohol use played a part in a November crash that left a Graham High School student dead.

Sara Hess, 15, was killed Nov. 3 when a car she was traveling in was rear-ended on Ohio 235 near Roswell and was forced into a ditch. Hess was wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver who rear-ended the vehicle, Dylan Lambert, 27, of St. Paris, allegedly hit the Accord Hess was in when he was attempting to pass as the vehicle was turning left. According to a police report, Lambert’s blood alcohol level at the time of the crash tested at .232 — three times the legal limit in Ohio.

» READ MORE: Alcohol suspected in Graham student crash death: What we know now

Man accused of stealing $2k worth of goods from local Walmarts

A Springfield man pleaded not guilty to several charges in the Clark County Municipal Court after being arrested on multiple outstanding warrants, including one where he allegedly stole over $2,000 worth of merchandise from Springfield Walmart stores.

Miles K. Ball, Sr. 31., was allegedly involved in a theft in August where he is accused of placing items including a laptop, router and clothing worth over $1,000 into a shopping cart at the Walmart on Tuttle Rd., and attempted to leave the store without paying.

In October, he allegedly filled a cart with $1,000 worth of merchandise at the Walmart on Bechtle Ave. and attempted to leave through a fire exit. When employees tried to approach and stop him there, he is said to have threatened violence against them.

» READ MORE: Springfield man accused of stealing $2k in goods from Walmart stores

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