DUI, drugs among top case in county court
A South Point man accused of driving drunk and wrecking his car with his two children inside pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular assault last week in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.
Judge D. Scott Bowling ordered Arthur Dennison, 32, of 705 Township Road 250, to successfully complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center and serve four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP), also known as probation.
As is the case with all people on probation, prison time is reserved if Dennison violates his probation. In his case, two years is reserved.
“I believe he has expressed remorsefulness,” Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson said. “His sons are ages 8 and 5. He was drinking, left home, and he took the kids because there was no one home to watch the children. He had a wreck and both children received injuries that required them to be hospitalized.”
Dennison’s attorney, Mike Gleichauf, agreed.
“To say Mr. Dennison made a mistake is an understatement,” Gleichauf, said. “He would do anything to take this back if he could. His actions that day will haunt him for the rest of his life.”
Bowling said he hoped Dennison would make every effort to conquer his addiction and avail himself of the programs at STAR that could help him do that.
“If you violate your CCS I will not for one second hesitate to impose that two-year prison sentence,” Bowling said.
In other matters, Ian T. Edens, 20, of 1010 S. Ninth St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated possession of drugs.
In exchange for his guilty plea, one other drug charge was dismissed. Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Edens to four years in prison.
Emily Gipson, 24, of 2523 S. Third St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to one count of felony tampering with evidence and one count of misdemeanor endangering children.
Bowling sentenced her to four years in prison. If she stays out of trouble while she is behind bars, she could be eligible for judicial release after one year.
Her partner, Paul D. Lewis, 26, of the same address, pleaded guilty to one felony count of aggravated possession of drugs and one misdemeanor count of endangering children.
Bowling sentenced him to a year in prison.
“What makes this case aggravating is that, not only were they buying drugs and abusing drugs but they were doing it in front of their children,” Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said.
Gleichauf, who is also Lewis’ attorney, agreed that Lewis’ drug problem has led him to make decisions that were neither in his nor his children’s best interest.
James C. Fugett, 50, of 2430 S. Eighth St., Ironton, a complicity to aggravated trafficking in drugs, trafficking in drugs, corrupting another with drugs and two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs. Cooper sentenced him to a total of four years in prison.
“I apologize to my family and to the court,” Fugett told Cooper. “I didn’t realize how bad my addiction was. They say you always hurt the ones you love and that’s what I’ve done. I plan to take a look at myself. I don’t want to repeat some things. It’s been a vicious cycle for more than 20 years.”
Ronald McSorley, 20, of 719 Vine St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs. Bowling sentenced him to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP).
McSorley must also successfully complete a rehabilitation program at a community based correctional facility (CBCF).
“My client is 20 years old, he has never been in trouble before. He is single,” McSorley’s attorney, Warren Morford, said. “He fell into the wrong crowd. He wants to put this matter behind him.”
Calvin Kersey Sr., 46, of 1125 S. Eighth St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in drugs and admitted he violated his probation. Bowling sentenced him to 18 months in prison.
“I apologize, your honor,” Kersey told Bowling.