Several plead guilty to drug, other charges

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Kentucky man arrested on drug charges and an Ironton woman arrested for alleged theft were among those making appearances Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Charles R. Brown Jr., 23, of Ashland, Ky., pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs and one count of tampering with evidence. By agreeing to the bill of information, Brown admits his guilt and avoids having his case heard by a grand jury and avoids a court trial.

Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Brown to four years community controlled sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP) and ordered him to successfully complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center. Brown must also surrender his driver’s licenses for six months.

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“I’m very sorry for having brought everyone through this and I appreciate you working with me,” Brown told Cooper.

“One of the things that is a factor in your favor is that you don’t have a prior record and this speaks well for you at your age,” Cooper told Brown.

Also Wednesday, John Mathieson, 31, of Ashland, Ky., was sentenced to five years in prison for his guilty plea to a burglary charge.

Mathieson was employed by a local contractor to help renovate an Ironton residence.

After the renovations were complete and while the homeowners were on vacation, Mathieson broke into the residence and took a safe, a laptop computer and other items.

He pleaded guilty last month to the burglary charge half-way through his trial.

In asking for a lengthy sentence, Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson told Cooper that Mathieson is no stranger to the criminal court system.

“He has a criminal history of the same kind, receiving stolen property. He has served time in prison in California and Kentucky in the past,” Anderson said. He also noted Mathieson blames drugs for his life of crime and has shown remorse for what he had done.

Mathieson’s attorney, David Reid Dillon, acknowledged his client did have a criminal history but that he had never been given drug treatment in the past and is willing to get help now, especially since he has a young son to care for.

“This crime I think is an excellent opportunity for him to take inventory of his life and take whatever steps he needs to get himself straight and clean and come back and be a productive member of the community and an excellent father,” Dillon said.

Mathieson told Cooper he was sorry for what he had done.

“The court is also of the opinion that violence involving people’s homes, the place where they live and keep their personal property, our pictures, our lives is, to us as individuals, as sacred a territory as exists,” Cooper told Mathieson. “Crimes like this are frightening and understandably so, even when the victim is on vacation.”

Cooper told Mathieson he may be willing to grant judicial release after he has served half of his sentence if Mathieson is admitted to a community-based correctional facility.

In another case, Misty M. Ashworth, 31, of 525 County Road 1, Ironton, pleaded guilty to one count of theft.

She will learn her fate following a pre-sentence investigation.