Extended furlough means long sentence for man

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 29, 2007

A brief furlough is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. A Chesapeake man learned that lesson the hard way last week and now, instead of going to prison for less than a year, he will stay behind bars for nearly five.

Charles Holley, 33, of 75 Township Road 1039,

pleaded guilty earlier this year to drug charges and was sentenced to four years in prison. Under the terms of his sentence, Holley was to have been eligible for judicial release after less than a year.

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But he was allowed out of jail briefly before being sent to prison so he could handle his personal affairs. While he was admonished to report to authorities on time at the end of his furlough, he failed to show up. Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., then filed the escape charge.

“He was going to get out in nine months but once he didn’t show up, our agreement was off the table,” Collier said. “So now he will serve the four years plus what he gets for the escape charge.”

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Holley to nine months in prison for the escape conviction. That nine-month sentence must be served consecutive to the four years for the drug convictions.

“He just got into a bad situation, facts we can’t delve into,” Holley’s attorney. Chris Delawder said. “It doesn’t change the fact he didn’t report. We still plan to ask for judicial release.”