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Arraignments dominate common pleas court docket

Published 9:34am Monday, September 3, 2012

He finally made it to court — in handcuffs and shackles.

A South Point man who skipped out on a pretrial conference in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court earlier this month and was allegedly found later that day tending to a methamphetamine lab was arraigned Wednesday on charges stemming from that meth lab bust.

Donald Workman, 29, of 306 Little Solida Road, South Point, was arraigned on one count of illegal manufacture of drugs (methamphetamine). Workman pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Scott Evans. Retired Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Richard Walton, who is filling in for Judge D. Scott Bowling, set bond at $100,000 cash or surety and scheduled a Sept. 12 pretrial conference.

Workman was originally scheduled for a pretrial conference on Aug. 3 in front of Bowling.

He failed to show up for that pretrial conference and Bowling issued a bench warrant for Workman’s arrest. Gary Sowards, of Sowards Bonding, then reportedly began to look for Workman and found him at the home of Workman’s aunt, Jan Bess, at 276 County Road 124, Chesapeake.

Workman was reportedly tending to an active meth lab. Bess and another woman, Jennifer Hinchman, 1129 Waco Road, Huntington, W.Va., were also arrested in connection with the meth lab and their cases are pending in common pleas court.

Also Wednesday, Bruce Ward, 37, of 146 Township Road 1207, Proctorville, was arraigned on charges of theft from the elderly, carrying a concealed weapon and trafficking in marijuana.

He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, John Kehoe. Walton allowed a bond set in a lower court to continue and scheduled a pretrial conference for Sept. 12.

Kevin Lunsford, 27, of 5679 State Route 243, Ironton, pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of breaking and entering.

Walton sentenced Lunsford to four years community control sanctions and ordered him to successfully complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center.

Walton also ordered Lunsford to complete 200 hours of community service and pay a total of $1,459 restitution to two victims.

By pleading guilty on the bill of information, Lunsford admits guilt and proceeds to sentencing, thus bypassing much of the criminal justice process.

Billy J. Booth, 26, of 429 County Road 411, Proctorville, was arraigned on charges of forgery and theft.

He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, J.T. Holt. Walton set bond at $2,500 cash or surety and scheduled a Sept. 12 pretrial conference.

Brittany Sikes, 26, of 1119 Center St., Wheelersburg, was arraigned on charges of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs and possessing criminal tools. She pleaded not guilty.

Walton set bond at $50,000 cash or surety and scheduled a Sept. 12 pretrial conference.

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