News thief gets time in prison

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

He was apparently looking for more than just the local news.

An Ironton man accused of stealing and/or breaking into The Ironton Tribune newspaper boxes was among those entering guilty pleas Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Scott Christian, 26, of 1105 McGovney St., told Judge Richard Walton he was guilty of one count of vandalism and one count of theft.

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Walton sentenced Christian to nine months in prison but gave him credit for time served in jail awaiting resolution of his case. He must also pay $2,851 in restitution.

Christian signed a bill of information, meaning he waived his right to have his case heard by a grand jury and pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

Also Wednesday, an Ashland, Ky., man was sentenced to four years community controlled sanctions after he pleaded guilty Wednesday to complicity to possession of marijuana.

Paul D. Brown, 21, must also pay a $1,250 fine and surrender his driver’s license for six months, a point he apparently wanted to argue with Judge Richard Walton.

“Without a driver’s license, how do you expect me to report (to a probation officer)?” Brown wanted to know.

Walton countered he that he had no control over this portion of the sentence, Ohio Revised Code specifies that if convicted of a crime such as the one Brown pleaded guilty to, he could lose his driving privileges for six months.

“‘Mandatory’ means ‘thou shalt,’” Walton told him. “I have no discretion in this.”

A Chesapeake man was arraigned Wednesday on a bill of information that contained one count of fleeing and eluding and one count of assault on a peace officer.

Dakota L. Johnson, 18, of 374 Township Road 103, Chesapeake, entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney, Tyler Smith. He will return to court July 5 for a pretrial conference. Assistant Lawrence County prosecutor Mack Anderson said Johnson was arrested June 13 after he allegedly threw a beer bottle at Chesapeake police officer Jason Newman as he passed him on the street.

He then allegedly led Newman and other officers on a high speed chase from Chesapeake northward to Gallipolis, often at a speed of 105 miles an hour.

“Is there no way I can get an OR (own recognizance) bond so I could have a little time with my daughter until my next court date?” Johnson asked Walton. “Or could I get my bond reduced?”

“Not at the present time,” Walton replied.

He remains in the Lawrence County Jail.