Trial date set for alleged drug traffickers

Published 3:31 pm Thursday, September 4, 2008

The trial of three people accused of drug peddling is scheduled to begin Monday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. The judge expected to hear the case issued a stern warning Wednesday that the defendants should show up in court or face severe consequences.

Chartese Love, 24, of Huntington, W.Va., Eugene Walmsley, 27, of St. Inkster, Mich., and James Daniel, 29, of Wayne, Mich., each face one count each of trafficking in powder cocaine.

Walmsley and Daniel were supposed to have been in court last week for a pretrial conference, but failed to show up. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Jeff Smith asked Judge D. Scott Bowling to revoke their bond since they didn’t appear.

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Attorney Warren Morford, who represents Daniel, said he had spoken to his client only a few moments before Wednesday’s conference and Daniel does intend to show up for the trial next week.

Attorney Tyler Smith, who represents Walmsley, said his client is coming to his office today to prepare for the trial and said he, too, plans to show up. Tyler Smith objected to Jeff Smith’s motion to revoke bond.

“I found out about the bond hearing 10 minutes before I walked into the courtroom,” Tyler Smith said.

Bowling did not revoke the bond for the two men— for now.

“But we’ll go through these hoops again if they’re not here (Monday),” Bowling said. “I’ve got 60 prospective jurors summoned to appear and if they’re (Daniel and Walmsley) not here Sept. 8 I will set the bond so high their noses will bleed on a mountain top.”

All three will be tried together. They were arrested by Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers in October 2007 following a traffic stop. They were first indicted on crack cocaine charges until tests confirmed the substance was actually powder cocaine.