NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 8, 2023) – A repeat offender from Akron will spend the next 18 months in prison after he brought a stolen vehicle and handgun into a Dover neighborhood back in December.
Keith Waterbeck, 29, had pleaded guilty to felony charges of receiving stolen property and having a weapon while on probation before Judge Michael Ernest sentenced him Monday.
Sheriff’s Deputy David Gerber was among officers who responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle on Parkview Drive Dec. 3.
“Myself and one of the Dover units were walking down the roadway and Mr. Waterbeck was just walking up to us. He complied with us. While searching him, a firearm was found in his pocket. He was arrested and transported to the jail.”
Waterbeck has been arrested many times in Summit County, with convictions for domestic violence, drugs, and burglary among others. A Summit County visiting judge drew headlines and criticism back in 2015 for telling Waterbeck society would be better off if he killed himself during a hearing.
Waterbeck was on probation at the time of the incident. Ernest cited that when he handed down a sentence greater than the recommendations of both the prosecutor and the public defender.
“I can’t foresee how the minimum would ever be imposed when someone has multiple felony convictions and was on post-release control whenever this had taken place.”
Ernest sentenced Waterbeck to two years in prison on the weapons charge, giving him credit for the six months he’s been in jail since his arrest. Waterbeck will concurrently serve 12 months for each of the two receiving stolen property charges.
Waterbeck apologized and took responsibility for what he called bad but not violent decisions he made while on drugs.
The vehicle and gun were reported stolen from Norton. Prosecutors said the owner just wanted them back, and Summit County authorities were not pursuing charges there.