Thief gets prison after car hit deputy in fight

Posted at 12:19 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 12:29:31-04

BATAVIA, Ohio – The 18-year-old thief who scuffled with a sheriff's deputy in the road and fled after a passing car hit the deputy was sentenced to 18 ½ years in prison Monday. 

Trent Austin Skeene was arrested in late December after a nine-hour manhunt. The New Richmond man pleaded guilty in April to assault on a police officer, grand theft, theft of a firearm, robbery, and two counts of burglary.

Skeene had faced up to 26 years in prison.

Last Dec. 28, Clermont County Deputy William Brewer got into a scuffle with Skeene outside a Walmart store on Ohio Pike, where Skeene was suspected of trying to steal a big-screen TV, the prosecutor's office said.

Walmart employees stopped Skeene after he had passed the checkout lines, and he elbowed one of them in the face, the prosecutor's office said. Then Skeene jumped into a waiting car.

Brewer was responding to a call and arrived at Walmart in time to see Skeene leaving the store. The deputy stopped the car as soon as it left the parking lot, the prosecutor's office said.

Brewer started to handcuff Skeene and he resisted, OSHP Lt. Wayne Price said the night of the incident. As the two fought, a passing vehicle hit Brewer.

The deputy was able to call for help and was transported to Anderson Mercy Hospital. Brewer did not suffer life-threatening injuries and has since returned to duty. The 16-year-old driver who struck Brewer immediately stopped and cooperated with the investigation, Price said. She was not charged.

After Brewer was struck, Skeene ran from the scene with one arm handcuffed. He was taken into custody the next morning.

According to the prosecutor's office, Skeene also had broken into two homes, taking firearms, money and jewelry, among other items.