MUSKINGUM COUNTY, Ohio — An Ohio Valley man was found guilty for perjury after lying during grand jury testimony
A Muskingum County jury found Wayne Gheen, 40, of Zanesville, guilty of perjury on November 7 after hearing from Det. Randy Wilson in a case presented by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gerald Anderson.
According to detectives, Gheen was at a bar when a dispute broke out between a Columbus motorcycle gang member and a female patron. The Columbus man pulled out a gun, a local man also produced a gun, and the crowd at the bar rapidly dispersed.
Gheen was seen on video observing the persons leaving the bar.
Officials say many witnesses were uncooperative with law enforcement or pretended not to witness the events that unfolded to not participate in the criminal case.
Gheen and numerous other bar patrons were called before the Muskingum County Grand Jury to testify about what occurred there.
According to officials, after being sworn in, Gheen lied about what occurred at the bar, what he saw, and his previous interactions with officers.
Officials say being subpoenaed to the Grand Jury as a witness is considered a civic obligation. Like service on the jury, being a witness is not a voluntary process, and anyone served with a subpoena must appear. Further, persons can neither refuse to testify nor lie under oath.
Perjury is a crime that occurs when a person tells a lie while under oath, and the lie pertains to material and relevant information.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the trial jury heard from Det. Randy Wilson, who investigated the case, had access to the grand jury transcripts and audio recordings, which proved Gheen lied during his testimony before the grand jury.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing perjury occur more and more often, and it’s one of the crimes that fundamentally undermines our judicial system,” Assistant Prosecutor Anderson said. “We take it very seriously because justice can only be obtained when the truth comes out in our legal proceedings.”
The crime of perjury is punishable by imprisonment for up to 36 months.
It is reported that Gheen faces sentencing at a later date.
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