Cambridge Man Gets Jail Time for Barnesville Shootout

Photo by Robert A. DeFrank Mitchell Tristan Metzler is sentenced Monday to jail and the Eastern Ohio Correction Center after he previously pleaded guilty as the aggressor in an altercation in Barnesville resulting in an exchange of gunfire.

Mitchell Tristan Metzler will serve three months in jail and an additional six months at the Eastern Ohio Correction Center after he exchanged gunfire with a man following an altercation last May in Barnesville.

Belmont County Common Pleas Judge Frank Fregiato also on Monday imposed three years of community controls on Metzler. If he violates his probation during that time, he will spend 18 months in jail.

The charges stem from an incident May 16 when Metzler, 32, of 12825 Battleridge Road, Cambridge, Ohio, confronted Greg Sears at Sears’ home on Franklin Street in Barnesville. According to law enforcement, Sears and Metzler had been having a dispute for some time, allegedly because of a relationship between Metzler and Sears’ estranged wife.

According to the Belmont County Prosecutor’s Office, Metzler visited Sears’ home twice, with the first visit resulting in a physical altercation during which time Metzler brandished a gun. Metzler returned later with his brother, Michael Smith, but Sears had also armed himself.

Reports of the incident indicate that Smith attacked Sears when he opened his door. Sears then drew his own gun and shot Smith. Metzler, who was nearby, apparently fired at Sears and into his residence. Sears then apparently shot Metzler.

The two wounded men drove themselves to a local hospital and were later flown by medical helicopter to Pittsburgh. A bullet reportedly was retrieved from inside the Sears residence. Prosecutor Dan Fry pointed out that the occupants of the house, including a juvenile, were placed in grave danger during this confrontation.

During sentencing, Metzler’s attorney asked Fregiato to consider his client’s prior record of solely misdemeanors, as well as Metzler’s six years of service in the Army National Guard, his honorable discharge and treatment records from the Veterans Affairs hospital in Cambridge indicating health issues and post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, as well as treatment for alcohol addiction.

Metzler apologized.

Metzler was taken into custody. Smith is charged with assault and a pre-trial conference is set for today at Belmont County Western Division Court.