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Couple pleads guilty to growing marijuana

Two people whose home was the focus on a police drug raid and a woman who admitted she severely beat an elderly man late last year were among those making appearances Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Robert Ellis, 43, and Selena Ellis, 45, both of

1412 S. Ninth St., Ironton, both opted to avoid grand jury indictments and trials by pleading guilty on bills of information to charges against them stemming from a Dec. 12 raid at their home.

Robert Ellis pleaded guilty to illegal cultivation of marijuana and theft of a 1998 Dodge Caravan. He will spend a total of 12 months in prison. He asked for a brief furlough to allow him to consult a doctor about an ankle injury and to get his personal affairs in order.

Selena Ellis pleaded guilty to one count of illegal cultivation of marijuana and was also sentenced to 12 months in prison. She also requested a brief furlough to seek medical care. Judge Charles Cooper granted both furlough requests.

Police were called to their home in response to a domestic between Robert Ellis and his stepson, Russell Deerfield, 24, of South Point. While there, officers discovered a pot-growing operation in the basement.

Also Wednesday, Tammy Howell, 35, of 218 1/2 S. Fourth St., Ironton, was sentenced to four years in prison for her guilty plea to a felonious assault charge.

Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson said the prosecutor’s office had originally planned to not oppose any request for judicial release after 18 months of incarceration in exchange for Howell’s guilty plea. However, since she failed to appear in court last week as scheduled for sentencing, that office will now oppose any such request until she serves 24 months.

“I’m sorry about last week, I didn’t make it,” Howell told Judge D. Scott Bowling.

Reading from a report that stated Howell had reportedly taken a “handful of pills of Dilantin” because she was depressed over the court appearance, Bowling said he considered last week’s failure to appear a “voluntary act, voluntary failure to appear.”

Anderson said the beating of elderly Carl Palmer was the result of a “domestic dispute.”

“I’m sure alcohol or drugs were involved on her part,” Anderson said.

In another case, Shirley Bishop, 40, of Ashland, Ky., was sentenced to four years community controlled sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP) and must complete six months in a community based correctional facility (CBCF) for her guilty plea to one count of possession of drugs.

“If there was anyone I have represented that I thought could benefit from the experience of going to a CBCF and whose success I could predict (it would be she),” Bishop’s attorney, Philip Heald said, adding that Bishop was caught in a situation that got out of control.

“It is to your credit that the

charge against you was possession of drugs and not the sale of drugs,” Cooper told Bishop. “I think a CBCF is a wise choice for you.”

She will report to authorities Feb. 1.

Meaka Carter, 36, of 618 S. Eighth St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of assault. Bowling sentenced her to 60 days electronically monitored home confinement and one year probation. If Carter stays out of trouble while she is on home confinement, she may be released from it after 45 days. She was ordered to stay away from her victim.

Katheryn Roberts, 19, of 611 Railroad St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in crack cocaine. Bowling sentenced her to six months in a CBCF and four years probation. She must also surrender her driver’s license for

six months.

Kelli Stamper, 29, of

216 Orchard St.

Coal Grove, pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of theft of drugs and one count of theft.

“I want to point out Ms. Stamper has previously served a six month prison term for theft. The only reason we’re not recommending it this time is the victim is her grandmother and she has asked us not to. Her family believes Ms. Stamper has a serious problem with drugs and they want her to go to STAR and get help,” Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson said.

Bowling sentenced her to four years CCS/ISP and ordered her to successfully complete a program at the STAR Criminal Justice Center.

John S. Ackison, 21, of 605 S. 10th St., Ironton, was sentenced to four years CCS/ISP for convictions on theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Ackison must also serve 30 days home confinement and make $2,500 restitution to his victim either jointly or severally with a co-defendant, Benjamin Hughes, 33, 2553-1/2 S. Third St., Ironton, whose case is pending in common pleas court.