Man blames addiction for his actionsPublished 12:30pm Thursday, September 19, 2013
A man who broke into his grandmother’s home blamed an addiction to drugs for his actions Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.
Before being sentenced to prison, Warren Morford, attorney for Justin Shelton, 22, with an address at the Grandview Inn, South Point, said his client’s heroin problem caused him to commit the crime.
Shelton was charged with a third-degree count of attempted burglary after being arrested at the Grandview Inn following the break-in of his grandmother’s South Point residence on Aug. 1.
According to a police report, surveillance footage of the woman’s home showed Shelton and another person, Michael Omasta II, 24, of Route 3 Box 363, Fort Gay, W.Va., taking a TV from the residence.
Shelton pleaded guilty in front of Judge Charles Cooper.
Cooper asked Shelton if he knew how long heroin had been available in Lawrence County.
Shelton said he had used the drug for the past four or five years, but added that heroin has been in the county longer than that.
“I was surprised to hear it went back that far,” Cooper said after the hearing, adding that he had begun to notice the rise of heroin about a year ago.
Cooper sentenced Shelton to three years in prison.
Omasta also pleaded guilty to the same charge, saying he apologized to the victim, whom he had never met.
Cooper also sentenced Omasta to three years in prison.
In other cases:
Bobby Taylor, 35, of 1807 S. Second St., Ironton, was arraigned on four counts of fifth-degree trafficking in crack cocaine, to which he pleaded not guilty. Taylor was arrested earlier this month following a secret indictment by a Lawrence County grand jury.
Cooper set bond at $25,000 cash or surety plus $25,000 own-recognizance and set a pretrial for Oct. 2.