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Clark gets 4 years for assaulting officer

He pleaded guilty last month to assaulting a former Ironton police officer and on Wednesday an Ironton man got a four-year prison sentence and a warning from a judge to behave himself while he is behind bars.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper told Shannon L. Clark, 22, of 4017 County Road 21, Ironton, he may be eligible for judicial release after one year if he can get into a community-based correctional facility such as the STAR Criminal Justice Center — and if he doesn’t get into any more trouble.

“This is a bad set of circumstances,” Cooper told Clark. “The victim was a police officer who had dealings with you prior to this. To commit felonious assault against him because he was doing his job is not only illegal, it is a violation of society’s concept of law and order.”

Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson said Clark, who was out of jail on bond until Wednesday’s sentencing, was alleged to have told someone he planned to “get even” with Rawlins once he is released from prison and that the next time Rawlins would not be around to file charges against him.

“Technically, this is retaliation, a third-degree felony,” Anderson said.

“I know the defendant denies it. We’re not intending to charge him and we’re not changing our plea agreement but we want him to know we’re aware of this police report.”

Clark’s attorney, Warren Morford, said Clark indeed denies making such a statement and does not know the man who accused him of making the threat against Rawlins.

“He understands the gravity of such a thing and he denies doing such a thing,” Morford said.

Cooper issued a restraining order and told Clark he had to pay $14,500 in restitution to cover the victim’s medical bills. He denied a request for additional time out of jail before Clark is sent to prison.

Authorities contend Clark and Rawlins ran into each other at Illusions bar earlier this year and Clark assaulted Rawlins. Rawlins, who is no longer in law enforcement, once took Clark to jail after Clark was arrested by another Ironton officer.

In another case Wednesday, David Barrow, 29, of 401 S. Eighth St., Ironton, was sentenced to a total of one year in prison and fined $15,000 after he pleaded guilty last month to a five-count drug indictment.

As part of his punishment, Barrow must also surrender his driver’s license for a year.

“The defendant comes from a good family,” Anderson told Judge D. Scott Bowling. “He got involved in this and it’s certainly bad judgment, but he is a good person and I know he wants to put this behind him. Hopefully something good can come of this.”