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Former deputy awaits felonious assault, domestic violence verdicts

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 @ 4:55 PM

Warren County judge to announce decision next week.

A former Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy is to remain free on bond while awaiting a verdict on felonious assault, domestic violence and drunk driving charges.

Warren County Common Pleas Judge Tim Tepe said he would render his verdict on Oct. 2.

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Douglas Gearhart, 44, was terminated from his job as a deputy sheriff after an incident on Feb. 15 at a home he shared with his wife, Kena, and her daughters. His wife lost three teeth during an altercation at their home in Franklin Twp. where he is also alleged to have assaulted one of the daughters.

He was arrested after driving away, before Warren County sheriff’s deputies and an ambulance crew arrived.

On Tuesday, an assistant county prosecutor and Gearhart’s lawyer made their final arguments in the one-day bench trial.

In a bench trial, there is no jury. The two sides make their cases directly to the judge.

Gearhart’s lawyer told Tepe that evidence showed the former deputy acted in self defense or was provoked during the incident.

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“Doug acts in self defense as Kena attacks him as he leaves through the garage door,” lawyer Ed Perry said.

Assistant Prosecutor Derek Faulkner played home surveillance video seized after Gearhart’s arrest showing the altercation started in the home and ended in the garage.

Although acknowledging she lacked memory of the incident, Faulkner said Gearhart left his wife with a bruised brain and other injuries.

“Only Kena and he walked in. And only he walked out,” Faulkner said.

Tepe said he would render his decision next week after reviewing the video, testimony and other evidence.