MIAMI COUNTY — Two Union Township men were sentenced on Tuesday to serve six years in prison for threatening, firing gunshots and “inflicting terror” upon a repossession worker in May 2017.
Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee found Eric Brown, 55, and Mathew Naff, 35, both of Troy, guilty of second-degree felony assault and third-degree discharge of a firearm on or near a prohibited premises on May 24 following a bench trial. Both charges had a three-year gun specification.
Brown and Naff were charged after firing shots in the direction of a Franklin man who had stopped at the home to repossess Naff’s wife’s vehicle in May 2017. Both could have faced up to a maximum 11 years in prison for the charges.
Brown made no comment prior to sentencing. Naff said he would take full responsibility for his actions and hoped the victim would forgive him, before turning to the victim in the courtroom and apologizing to him.
Miami County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Watkins asked for the court to impose a high-end sentence, stating the defendants both “are extremely violent.”
Judge Gee found neither defendant expressed genuine remorse and made up stories surrounding the incident during the investigation.
Gee said the harm done to the victim was so great that the victim said he didn’t sleep for an entire year until Naff and Brown were incarcerated last May. The victim, who was present for the sentencing but did not comment, also had to change careers due to the incident, Gee said.
Gee recounted the pair’s actions, which he described as cruel, including how the victim could feel the heat of the gun as Naff tried to block him from retreating into his truck before taking cover behind a tree as they continued to fire shots toward him. Gee also found Naff’s wife Lisa’s testimony not credible as she claimed the victim was trying to break in the home.
The victim testified to the court how he stopped at the residence in the 8000 block of State Route 571, Union Township, to speak to Naff’s wife, the owner of a vehicle he was sent to recover on May 22, 2017. The victim claimed he was leaving a note on the door for Lisa Naff to contact him when he was allegedly accosted by Naff and Brown, who lived in a camper on the Naff property. Lisa Naff testified to the court she believed the victim was attempting to break into the home. Sheriff’s deputies testified she did not fill out a victim statement at the time of the incident.
Naff was represented by attorney Jose Lopez and Brown by public defense attorney Steve Layman.
Naff was credited 50 days of jail credit and Brown was credited 113 days served. Both will have to serve up to three years of post-release control upon release.