HAMILTON, OhioFOX19) - There is another delay in the case of Butler County businessman accused of assaulting his wife.
Four Butler County Common Pleas Court judges have recused themselves from the case since Dec. 16, court records show. They are: Keith Spaeth, Greg Stephens, Charles Pater, and Noah Powers II.
Now, Judge Michael Oster Jr. has it.
The judges provided no reason for recusing themselves and are not required to.
Jeffrey Couch, 51, owner of Jeff Couch’s RV Nation in Trenton, was indicted March 12, 2019, on two charges of felonious assault and one count each of attempted felonious assault and misdemeanor domestic violence.
Couch’s wife told West Chester police he punched her in the face multiple times and slammed her head onto a paved driveway multiple times causing serious physical harm when they arrived home early March 2, 2019, after an evening out, according to a copy of a criminal complaint.
She went to a neighbor’s house for help and was taken to a hospital, treated and released, police records show.
Couch has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $16,000 bond.
The jury was expected to visit the scene of the alleged attack outside the couple’s home in the gated Wetherington subdivision off Tylersville Road west of Interstate 75. They also were expected to hear an audio recording of the incident, but a September trial date was canceled.
A pre-trial hearing scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Monday was moved to 1 p.m. Thursday.
Couch’s attorney, Scott Croswell, said he did not know why the judges have recused themselves.
Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser wrote in court records last year the couple’s neighbor, Ericka Naber, heard what she described as an argument close in time to the alleged assault through her bedroom window.
“She had the good sense to record the voices she heard by her cell phone and recognized the voices she heard as her neighbors, Defendant Jeffrey Couch and Shelley Couch, the alleged victim," Gmoser wrote.
“In addition to her recollection and impression of the words spoken, on the recording (Jeffrey Couch) is clearly heard saying ‘F--- you. Go call the cops. Let’s go inside first.’ Shelley Couch responds yelling ‘help’ and is then heard with a shrieking scream."
Couch was held without bond the entire weekend of his arrest before his initial court appearance.
While he was locked up, West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog asked an employee of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office to visit Couch “as a friend” at the jail, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones told FOX19 NOW last year.
The veteran law enforcement official said the request surprised him. He refused to allow it and then alerted the prosecutor.
Gmoser said West Chester police conducted a “complete and professional investigation. Then he took the case directly to a grand jury to ensure transparency in the case of the well-known businessman.