Repeat walnut tree thief sentenced to more prison time

Published: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 @ 5:59 PM

Daniel Padgett
Daniel Padgett

A Tipp City man already serving prison time and facing orders for restitution totaling more than $100,000 for stealing walnut trees in Miami and Greene counties was back in court Tuesday, Aug. 29, to face additional theft charges, this time involving trees owned by the city of Tipp City.

Daniel Padgett, 29, pleaded guilty in Miami County Common Pleas Court to a fourth-degree felony theft charge for the theft of trees in the area of the Tipp City Nature Center near the Great Miami River. The theft occurred between Dec. 25 and Jan. 29, according to court paperwork.

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He pleaded this spring in the same courtroom to theft of walnut trees on private property owned by two individuals and the Tipp City Eagles and to selling the wood without permission.

Padgett told Judge Christopher Gee in May that methamphetamines had taken control of his life.

He initially was sentenced to $94,500 restitution and 60 days in the county jail but was returned to court the following day after a deputy found a bottle of urine taped to his leg while taking him to jail following the sentencing. He then was sentenced to nine months in prison.

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In court Tuesday, Padgett was sentenced by Gee to six months in prison and ordered to pay $22,000 restitution to Tipp City. The prison time will be served concurrent to the sentence Padgett now is serving.

Padgett pleaded guilty earlier this summer in Greene County to two counts of theft in March of trees from property owned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. He was sentenced to nine months in jail, concurrent to the Miami County time, and ordered to pay $9,000 restitution to the ODNR.