Inmate sentenced for punching corrections officer

Nickel, 26, to serve year in prison

By Melanie Yingst -



MIAMI COUNTY — A Piqua man was sentenced in Miami County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday to serve a year in prison for the assault of a Miami County corrections officer.

Blake Nickel, 26, entered a plea of guilty to the fifth-degree felony assault charge, which occurred on April 29.

Nickel struck a corrections officer in the eye with a closed fist as he was being removed from the pod after being reprimanded by officers for attempting to communicate with females in an adjacent pod at the Incarceration Facility.

Miami County Prosecutor Anthony Kendell said, “The longer you take him off the streets, the better off the community is going to be.”

Judge Christopher Gee considered Nickel’s previous record, which includes multiple prison terms and his lack of remorse before sentencing him to serve 12 months in prison.

In other court news:

• Katharine Wells, 57, was found mentally incompetent to stand trial on one count of first-degree felony aggravated arson and was determined to be mentally ill by staff at the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio, according to records filed on June 13. Wells was ordered by Judge Jeannine Pratt to be committed to the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo for inpatient treatment. She may be released if she is found to no longer be a mentally ill person, her maximum prison term of 11 years expires and the court enters an order terminating her commitment.

The alleged arson took place at a residence on the 200 block of Janet Drive in Piqua on Aug. 23, at approximately 12:30 a.m.

According to reports, Wells was at the residence and watched as the home burned before leaving the scene when officers arrived.

• Angel Levay, 40, of Troy, was sentenced to serve 11 months in prison for fifth-degree aggravated possession of methamphetamine by Judge Pratt in Miami County Common Pleas Court on Monday.

Levay said,”I’m ready to get my life together. I’m too old for this … I’m tired.” Levay shared how she was homeless for seven months before being arrested. Judge Pratt said she was concerned due to Levay’s lack of employment and her previous court record. Judge Pratt also noted the many opportunities Levay had to seek treatment for her addiction.

She was ordered to pay $150 in restitution and was given 89 days of jail credit.

Nickel, 26, to serve year in prison

By Melanie Yingst