Defendants plead guilty to variety of charges in court

Published 10:19 am Monday, January 12, 2009

Public indecency, probation violation and sexual misconduct were among the issues getting attention Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Ernest Messer, 32, of Minford, pleaded guilty to two amended counts of public indecency.

Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced him to six months in jail but suspended four of those months and ordered him to serve three years probation following his jail stay.

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Messer was also fined a total of $1,500. Bowling ordered Messer to refrain from going around his victims and to undergo counseling.

Aaron Wiley, 24, whose last listed address was 136 Elizabeth St., Proctorville, pleaded guilty to one count of failure to appear and admitted he violated his probation by failing to report to his probation officer as required.

“A family crisis is the reason he didn’t show up,” Wiley’s attorney, Philip Heald, said. “He knows he was wrong. He is remorseful for not having done what was required of him.”

Wiley’s mother told Bowling she was “begging for mercy” and that it was not her son’s fault he did not make his probation reports. She said he had been living with her in West Virginia in an attempt to stay out of trouble and sometimes did not have transportation.

“He’s not drinking, he’s not doing drugs, he’s not breaking and entering and he’s not robbing people,” she said. “To lock him up would make him a burden to the taxpayers.”

Bowling sentenced Wiley to a total of 12 months in prison but gave him credit for time served in jail awaiting resolution of his situation.

Jerad D. Snead, 27, of 602 Lane St., Coal Grove, admitted he violated his probation and was guilty of a single count of resisting arrest. Judge Charles Cooper sentenced him to 90 days in jail on the count of resisting arrest and 12 months in prison for violating his probation.

Warren Morford, Snead’s attorney, said his client “readily admits he has a problem with drugs” and wants to get help for that problem so he can turn his life around.

Snead said drugs were “what’s gotten me in trouble for the last 10 years.”

Morford said Snead has a newborn in intensive care at a local hospital and wanted a brief furlough so he could see the child before being sent to prison. Cooper granted the request.

Jeffrey S. Wilson, 19, of 972 County Road 67, South Point, admitted he violated his probation. He was placed on probation after pleading guilty to burglary but failed to complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center, failed to report to his probation officer and failed to complete community service.

Bowling sentenced him to four years in prison and chastised him for breaking the terms of his probation.

“It’s not like the state and adult probation and everyone else has not tried to help you and for whatever reason you’re here again,” Bowling said. He added he might be willing to grant a judicial release at some point but told Wilson, “You’ve got to learn to follow the rules like the rest of us try to so.”

Also Wednesday, Thomas Petty, 26, of 271 County Road 1, South Point, pleaded guilty to one count of gross sexual imposition involving a boy under the age of 13. Cooper sentenced him to three years in prison and ordered him to register as a Tier II sex offender for 25 years.

Richard Dailey, 43, of 8415 County Road 2, Willow Wood, pleaded guilty to one count of failure to comply with the order and signal of a police officer.

Bowling sentenced him to three years in prison. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson noted Dailey had led authorities in three states on a high speed chase, creating potential harm to a number of people.