Fire truck thieves receive 17 months

Published 10:54 am Thursday, October 16, 2008

Two men who admitted they stole a fire truck from the Decatur Township Fire Department were sentenced Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Jeremy Basham, 34, of Jackson, and Courtney G. Fisher, 40, of Waverly, were each sentenced to 17 months in prison for the charge of theft of a motor vehicle but 3 years in prison for one count of tampering with evidence. However, those sentenced will be served concurrently.

Judge Charles Cooper agreed that both men may be eligible for judicial release after six months provided they enter a treatment program at the STAR Community Justice program.

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Basham and Fisher were arrested in connection with the theft of a Decatur Township Volunteer Fire Department truck this summer. The truck was stolen from the fire station grounds and then burned in an effort to remove the markings so it could be scrapped.

In another case, Heather Waddle, 20, of 1919 S. Fourth St., Ironton, was sentenced to 14 months in prison after Judge D. Scott Bowling found her guilty of violating her probation.

Waddle was placed on probation, also known as community controlled sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP) last fall after she pleaded guilty to charges of theft and disrupting public service. But during a CCS violation trial Wednesday, Probation Officer Lynne Stewart said Waddle did not complete required in-house drug treatment and has tested positive for drug use two of the three times she was drug tested since then.

“The court has given her ample opportunity to correct the underlying issue, which the drug problem that led to the felony convictions,” Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson told Bowling.

Waddle contended she had gone to the Stepping Stones treatment center and was there for more than 90 days. Waddle said she was pregnant at the time and left to keep from getting hurt. Waddle told Bowling she was scheduled for outpatient drug treatment and thinks it might be helpful, but she was arrested on the probation violation and put in jail so she was unable to have the sessions.

“The drug addiction had a tighter grip on her than what she realized,” her attorney, Samantha Fields said.

Bowling said after Waddle serves six months, she may be eligible for judicial release to the STAR Community Justice program.