Update: Hearing for Wichman monuments owner passed until next month
Wichman appeared briefly in the court with his attorney.
The hearing ended with Judge Barry Steelman agreeing to pass the case until September 19th.
The District Attorney's office told the judge they wanted more time to interview victims. The D.A.'s office has interviewed 7 of them, and want to interview one more before proceeding.
Wichman's attorney would not speak with us on camera after the hearing ended.
Depend on us to keep you posted on this case.
Trent Wichman, the owner of Wichman Monuments who was charged with not finishing head-stones that were paid for by customers is due in court Wednesday morning. Some of his alleged victims have been given notice that a plea deal is possibly in the works.
NewsChannel 9 covered the story extensively after grieving families reached out to us in February of 2018, saying owner Trent Wichman took their money to purchase headstones for their loved ones and did not follow through on purchases. A grand jury indicted Wichman on eight counts of theft in November of 2018. The company eventually closed and turned over the handling of its business to a third party.
One of the victims, Jim Mykytyn, whose father’s headstone was involved, says he spoke to the office of Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston last week. He told us they told him they are “working on a plea deal,” and Wichman’s attorney is asking for no additional jail time above what he served when he was arrested before he made bond.
Court documents show a warrant went out on July 12th for Wichman. Wichman bonded out the same day, serving less than 24 hours behind bars.
Mykytyn told us the D.A.’s office wanted to get a feel for how the victim’s felt about that. Several other victims we reached out to told us they were angry about this possible plea.
Many of the families who originally paid Wichman have now received headstones for their loved ones, including the man who originally reached out to us about his situation. A&R Holdings told us their company has completed about 120 headstones for families who originally paid money to Wichman. He says there are only two outstanding accounts and they are having trouble getting in touch with those families. Other families opted for a refund instead.
NewsChannel 9 has reached out to the DA’s office to ask if they are considering a plea, but a spokesperson said they can't comment. We've also reached out to Wichman's attorney for comment. News Channel 9 has not heard back.
NewsChannel 9 will have a crew in court for Wichman's scheduled appearance, and we plan to stream the hearing live.
Depend on us to keep you posted as we learn more.