Butler Co. businessman pleads guilty to felony assault charge in wife’s attack
HAMILTON (FOX19) - A Butler County businessman pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of aggravated assault in connection with an attack on his wife.
The other charges against Jeffrey Couch, 51, owner of Jeff Couch’s RV Nation in Trenton, were dismissed.
They were two counts of felonious assault and one count each of attempted felonious assault and misdemeanor domestic violence.
Couch will be sentenced Feb. 24 at 1 p.m.
Prosecutors said in court they would not seek jail time.
Couch was permitted to move back into his home before sentencing.
Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Oster Jr. ordered him to wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle only to detect if alcohol was in his system.
Couch was indicted March 12 after his wife told West Chester police he punched her in the face several times and slammed her head onto the driveway several times on March 2, 2019, 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.
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Couch was under court order to stay away from his wife while the case went through the court. He also was ordered not to attempt to contact her in any way.
There were several delays in the case, mostly recently when four judges presiding over it recused themselves.
The judges provided no reason for recusing themselves and are not required to.
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.
If the case had gone to trial, the jury was expected to hear an audio recording of the attack taken by Couch’s neighbor after hearing it 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 court records last year.
“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."
Gmoser said in court Thursday a witness was intimidated by social media threats.
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