Several get jail time for not obeying rules of probation

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Several area residents learned the hard way Wednesday that violating probation, also known as community controlled sanctions, can have serious consequences.

Retina Meek, 26, of 413 McGovney St., was sentenced to six months in prison after Judge Charles Cooper found her guilty of violating her probation.

During a trial Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, probation officer Carl Bowen testified that while she was on probation, Meek tested positive for illegal drugs, had contact with other drug users and had moved out of the immediate Tri-State area at one point and was living with her mother in Johnson County, Ky. While on parole, she was required to live either in Lawrence County or one of the contiguous counties in Ohio, Kentucky or West Virginia, Bowen said. He also said Meek sometimes did not report in person to the Adult Probation Agency as she was required to do. Bowen further told the court Meek was stopped by Kentucky authorities for traffic violations while she was living in Johnson County.

Email newsletter signup

During her testimony, Meek contended she moved in with her mother to get away from a bad home situation in Ironton and had asked another probation officer beforehand if this move was acceptable. She denied she was using drugs while on probation. She said the traffic stop in Kentucky concerned her driving a car without proper tags and insurance. She also contended she has had a difficult time lately: one of her children died and she is pregnant now and suffering medical complications.

“Please let me go home. Give me one more chance,” Meek said. “I will come in every time. I do understand I shouldn’t have called, I should have come in. I didn’t think it was as serious as this.”

Cooper gave her credit for time served in jail awaiting resolution of her case.

In another case, Scotty McDonald, 20, of

3538 County Road 31, Chesapeake, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison

after he admitted the day before to violating his probation.

Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said McDonald was arrested after he dragged a man out of the man’s car, struck him in the face and head with his fist and then kicked the victim while he was down on the ground.

Anderson had asked Cooper to send McDonald to prison but McDonald’s attorney, Warren Morford, said the court had other options available and asked Cooper to employ these instead.

“Mrs. McDonald needs her son here because she has medical problems. He has volunteered to go to anger management classes and serve more community controlled sanctions. The incident that happened on May 6 of this year was regrettable. I don’t think it warrants imposition of the (prison) sentence reserved when he was originally sentenced,” Morford said.

In sending McDonald to prison, Cooper said the assault charge was “far beyond what I consider to be mild or modest violation of community controlled sanctions.”

Also Wednesday, Jared Snead, 26, of 1744 Campbell Ave. admitted he violated his probation by using drugs. Cooper sentenced Snead to complete a rehabilitation program at the Star Criminal Justice Center.

In another case, Gary E. Willis, 27, of 3957 C Haverhill Furnace Road, Ironton, admitted he violated his probation when he tested positive for drugs. Judge Richard Walton sentenced him to 60 days in jail but gave him credit for time served in jail awaiting resolution of his case. Willis was originally sentenced to probation for a grand theft conviction in 2005.

Rodney Miller, 23, of 740 County Road 53, Kitts Hill, was sentenced to six months in prison Wednesday after he admitted he violated his community controlled sanctions.

Authorities said Miller, who was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct minor charge, tested positive for drug use.

Cooper denied his request for a couple days furlough so he could spend some time with his pregnant girlfriend.