A Cass County jury found a Monticello man guilty on Wednesday of three Level 6 felony charges.
The six person jury found Justin Hogg guilty of felony check deception, theft and counterfeiting in a verdict taken Wednesday afternoon, stated Noah Schafer, the Cass County Prosecuting Attorney.
According to the official announcement, Hogg’s conviction followed a two-day trial in which the jury heard evidence about a weekend in March of 2020 in which a series of forged payroll checks totaling over $6,000 were passed at a local business.
Subsequent investigation by bank fraud investigators and Detective Jason Rozzi of the Logansport Police Department revealed that the business that had purportedly written the checks, “Last Call, LLC”, didn’t even exist. Video evidence taken from the scene revealed the defendant Jason Hogg, along with codefendants Chad Myer and Gail Slavens, entering the bar multiple times over the weekend to pass checks written payable to him and to another individual. Codefendant Chad Myer testified in Hogg’s defense and claimed not to recognize Hogg in the security video, which had been admitted into evidence, citing his extensive use of crystal methamphetamine around the time of the incident for poor memory.
Following the jury’s guilty verdict, Hogg declined to continue to phase two of the trial, electing instead to admit the habitual offender enhancement which the State had charged. Hogg admitted under oath to prior felony convictions for Theft, Dealing in Methamphetamine, Auto Theft, and Illegal Possession of Anhydrous Ammonia. Anhydrous ammonia can be used to manufacture meth. Hogg had previously been sentenced to ten (10) years in the Department of Corrections for the meth dealing charge.
Hogg is scheduled to be sentenced on July 6, 2021. He faces more than eight years incarceration. Myer is scheduled to be sentenced on June 21, 2021. Codefendant Gail Slavens remains at large with outstanding warrants.
Schafer presented the case for the State with the assistance of Deputy Prosecutor James Hildebrand. Schafer commented regarding the outcome: “We’re very pleased with the verdict and grateful for service of our fellow citizens who acted as jurors. Logansport Police Department did a great job investigating the matter.”