ELKHART — A Goshen man who pleaded guilty to felony criminal confinement is asking the court to reduce his crime to a misdemeanor.
Ryan Rebar, 43, admitted to criminal confinement and unlawful possession of a syringe, both as Level 6 felonies, and was sentenced in August 2018. He was originally charged with confinement resulting in serious injury, a Level 3 felony, after a woman told police he put a gun to her stomach after taking her out to his car during a meal at a downtown Goshen restaurant in September 2017.
He allegedly told her, "The great thing about a stomach wound is that it is very hard to stop the bleeding." He later said the gun wasn't loaded, according to a recorded conversation the victim gave Goshen police.
Rebar was given 2-1/2 years on probation in the plea agreement. The judge remarked at sentencing on the "Jekyl and Hyde" character of his situation, but said he accepted responsibility and that the plea holds him accountable.
In September, Rebar's lawyer filed a request that Superior 1 Court Judge Kristine Osterday have his felonies reduced to misdemeanors. Attorney David Francisco notes that the request is allowed under the terms of his plea agreement.
Francisco reports, based on conversations with Rebar's probation officer, that he successfully completed all the terms of his sentence with no known violations.
"Rebar is gainfully employed and has no prior convictions," he wrote. "This reduction is in the best interest of justice."
Rebar was arrested on a domestic violence charge in Allegan County, Michigan, in July 2015. The Michigan court dismissed his charge under a plea he entered in April 2016, which allowed the Indiana court to consider him as having a clean record.
Franscisco also says in the petition that he believes the victim doesn't oppose Rebar's request.
The Elkhart County Prosecutor's Office disputes that claim in a motion filed Thursday opposing the request.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ashley Fair says in the motion that the State of Indiana strongly objects to the petition and believes Rebar's conviction warrants staying as a felony. She points to the seriousness of the facts of the case, specifically the use of a firearm, and the crimes that Rebar ultimately pleaded guilty to.
She wrote that, while Rebar's probation officer did say he completed the terms of his sentence on probation with no known violations, she also "informed the state that because of the nature of the underlying offense, she was not comfortable making a recommendation either for or against the reduction to the misdemeanor."
Court records indicate that Osterday will weigh the request after reviewing the state's response as well as a progress report from the county probation department.