Butler County businessman Jeffery Couch appeared in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Monday for arraignment on a felony charges for allegedly assaulting his wife.
West Chester Twp. police charged Couch, 51, of Tamarron Drive in West Chester Twp., during the early-morning hours of March 2 for felonious assault and misdemeanor domestic violence.
The court documents say police allege he “did knowingly cause serious physical harm to Shelley Couch” when he punched his wife in the face “multiple times and slammed her head onto a paved driveway multiple times.”
On March 12, a Butler County grand jury returned indictments against Couch for felonious assault, attempted felonious assault and misdemeanor domestic violence.
Couch, who is free on $16,000 bond set by the municipal court judge after his arrest, appeared in Judge Greg Stephens’ courtroom on Monday represented by a new attorney, R. Scott Croswell III, of Cincinnati. He was previously represented by attorney Erik Niehaus, the former West Chester Twp. police chief.
Croswell entered not guilty pleas for his client, who is scheduled to be back in court for a pre-trial hearing on April 22.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser requested Couch have a no-contact order to stay away from his wife. Croswell requested Couch’s travel not be restricted because he travels extensively for his business.
Stephens ordered Couch to surrender his passport and said that any travel outside the state would have to be approved by the pre-trial services department ahead of time.
Croswell declined comment as he and Couch left the courtroom.
The case was taken directly to a grand jury by Gmoser, who said he wanted to make sure there was transparency in the case of the well-known businessman.
The prosecutor said that, in the case of a felony charge, cooperation from a victim is not needed.
“I am always concerned when I have injuries that do not rise to the level of anything more that a misdemeanor. I don’t like to chase those cases on misdemeanors because it may be a case where the parties can work something out and I don’t want to interfere with those given the criminal context,” Gmoser said earlier this month.
“However, in a felony charge, the victim is merely a witness in the case. This is a case brought by the state of Ohio. I handle murder cases all the time where the victim is dead. We don’t need the victim to tell me what they want to do.”
Couch is the owner of Jeff Couch’s RV Nation in Trenton. He was booked into the Butler County Jail and held without bond for a weekend. He was charged at 1:34 a.m. March 2 after police said he assaulted his wife on the way home from an event.
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