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Man Alleged In The Plains Stabbing Appears on Charges

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A man who is accused of stabbing another man in an incident that caused the lockdown of The Plains Elementary has entered a plea to the charges.

James D. Warrener, 41, entered a plea of not guilty before Athens County Common Pleas Judge George McCarthy to two counts of aggravated burglary and two counts of felonious assault, according to a release from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.

Warrener was arrested by the Athens County Sheriff’s Office after an “altercation” was reported on May 11 on LeMaster Road, according to previous WOUB reporting.

Investigators alleged that Warrener stabbed a male victim, identified as Ralph Hartman, on Hartman’s property. After Warrener allegedly stabbed Hartman in the back, the victim was transported to OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital in stable condition.

A pocket knife was identified as the alleged weapon, but the release from the Prosecutor’s Office also alleged that Warrener chased the victim with a two-by-four. Warrener is also charged with aggravated burglary based on allegations that he stayed on the victim’s property after being told to leave.

The sheriff’s office notified The Plains Elementary that an incident had occurred at about 1:30 that day, and the school was locked down as a precaution until the school day ended. School principal Heather Skinner told WOUB, the lockdown did not affect dismissal.

McCarthy set Warrener’s bond at $100,000 with no 10 percent allowed and scheduled a jury trial for July 7.