Mt. Morris man pleads not guilty to drug charges, punching police officer

David D. Lowtharp, June 2024

OREGON – A Mount Morris man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to six felony charges, including possession of methamphetamine and cocaine with the intent to deliver and punching a police officer.

David D. Lowtharp, 55, is charged with possessing with the intent to deliver 15 to 100 grams of methamphetamine and 15 to 100 grams of cocaine, aggravated assault and aggravated battery to a police officer, and resisting arrest that led to the injury of a police officer.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared in Ogle County court Tuesday for an arraignment with his attorney, Ogle County Public Defender William Gibbs.

Lowtharp was arrested by Mount Morris police at 5:30 a.m. June 1 for disobeying a stop light in the 100 block of East Hitt Street, also known as Route 64.

According to a news release issued by Mount Morris police, Lowtharp fled from the officer in a southeastern direction but later was found in the 200 block of East Main Street, where the officer tried to take Lowtharp into custody and a physical struggle ensued.

With assistance from the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office, Lowtharp was arrested, taken into custody and transported to the Ogle County Jail.

According to court documents, Lowtharp punched the Mount Morris officer without legal justification and also put her in “reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery” when he swung a 2-foot-by-4-foot piece of wood at her during the physical struggle.

He also is charged with resisting arrest by an Ogle County deputy who assisted at the scene. In that charge, Lowtharp is accused of physically struggling with the deputy and injuring him.

On Tuesday, Gibbs asked that Lowtharp be released from jail as his case proceeds through the court system.

“His business is suffering,” Gibbs told Judge John Redington.

Assistant State’s Attorney Allison Huntley objected to his release and asked that Lowtharp be held in custody. Redington agreed and remanded Lowtharp back to the county jail. He set Lowtharp’s next court appearance for 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 12.

The drug charges are Class X felonies that could be punishable by six to 30 years in prison. The aggravated battery to a police officer is a Class 2 felony, punishable by three to seven years in prison, and the other charges are Class 4 felonies punishable by one to three years in prison.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.