Defendants appear in Common Pleas Court

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

Two people accused of holding up a Proctorville business were among those making appearances Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Bryan K. Willis, 23, of 161 Township Road 248, Kitts Hill, was arraigned on two counts of burglary and one count of receiving stolen property in connection with break-ins that occurred at two Lawrence County buildings April 21 and May 13.

Willis entered a not guilty plea through his attorney, D.L. McWhorter. Judge Richard Walton set bond at $100,000 cash or property and ordered Willis to return to court June 14.

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Nikki Lewis, 27, of 50 Township Road 1059, was arraigned on one count of complicity to aggravated robbery with a firearm specification and one count of fleeing and eluding a police officer. She entered a plea of not guilty through her attorney, David Reid Dillon, who asked that the gun specification attached to the robbery charge be removed, since the law stipulates the firearm specification applies only to the person who actually had the gun at the time the crime was allegedly committed.

“According to the allegation she was in complicity with someone who had the gun,” Dillon said. “I don’t feel this is sufficient cause to charge her with it.”

Walton told Dillon to present his motion in writing and set bond at $100,000 cash or property at the request of Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson.

“Due to the severity of the charges and due to the fact Mrs. Lewis drove the getaway car, with the police in pursuit, and drove the car into West Virginia and then fled on foot after she ditched the car, we certainly think there is a risk of flight,” Anderson said.

Dillon argued that Lewis is a resident of the county and does not pose a flight risk.

One of her two alleged cohorts, Thomas Allen, 21, of Huntington, W.Va., was arraigned on a charge of aggravated robbery. He entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney, Chris Delawder. Walton set his bond at $150,000. A third man accused of acting with Lewis and Allen, Johnny Belcher, 22, of 22022 state Route 243, Proctorville, remains at large. The three people are accused of holding up the Game Room in Proctorville April 5.

Also Wednesday, A South Point man accused of violating the terms of his probation was sentenced to seven months in prison.

Danny Martin, 50, of 56 Township Road 1101 W., South Point, was originally sentenced to four years probation, or community controlled sanctions in March 2003 after he pleaded guilty to drug charges. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said Martin has failed to report to his probation officer as he was ordered to do, as well as drinking alcohol, being arrested for DUI and driving without a license.