CLEVELAND - A man who bilked churches out of thousands of dollars and assaulted the priests who confronted him about it, pleaded guilty to related charges and agreed to pay the churches back.
William Horning, 52, of North Olmsted entered his plea at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center Wednesday morning.
Two Cleveland churches in the Tremont neighborhood paid Horning for various jobs. St. George Orthodox Church in Tremont paid him $27,000 to restore liturgical items and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church paid him $2,000 for pew work.
But the churches claimed Horning never finished the work they paid him for. In February, Father Dean Dimon of Annunciation and Father John of Saint George confronted Horning.
Police said Horning headbutted Father John then hit Father John in the back of the head with an implement.
Horning ran outside and got into his car, when two undercover police officers stepped in front of his vehicle, identified themselves and drew their weapons.
The officers claim Horning took his hands off the wheel as if to surrender, only to drive directly at the officers, striking each of them as they tried to dive out of the way.
The officers were treated at a hospital and released. The priests did not need medical attention.
Police arrested Horning on Feb. 25.
On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to three charges of grand theft against St. George and Annunciation, two charges of attempted felonious assault for his actions against the officers, two counts of simple assault against the priests, and two counts of theft for several cases.
Horning agreed to restitution, and will pay $27,000 to Annunciation and more than $8,000 to Annunciation. In separate cases, he will pay $2,000 to Christ the Savior Church and more than $18,000 to Liberation United Church of Christ.
Four other charges were dropped or amended.
Horning’s sentencing is set for Sept. 24.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Charges against the man arrested in connection with a brutal east side murder have been dropped.
Ten years after shooting spree at CWRU, the Cleveland police SWAT team continues to be one of the busiest SWAT teams in the country, serving warrants, freeing hostages and capturing criminals.