Ex-band treasurer arraigned, others plead in court

Published 10:26 am Thursday, May 21, 2009

He helped Fed Ex a shipment of pot, now he’s on probation and the county’s community service list.

Charles Newcomb, 38, of 64 Township Road 181, Ironton, pleaded guilty in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Wednesday to one count of possession of pot. In exchange for his guilty plea, charges of trafficking in marijuana and tampering with evidence were dismissed.

Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced Newcomb to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation. He also ordered Newcomb to serve 60 hours of community service. Newcomb was also fined $2,500.

Newcomb and a cohort, Thurman Harshbarger III, 34, of the same address, were arrested after they had a parcel containing 11 pounds of marijuana shipped to them from Texas in March. Harshbarger pleaded guilty to his part in the scheme. He will be sentenced June 10.

Also Wednesday, a former South Point High School band booster treasurer accused of taking money from the band boosters’ accounts was arraigned Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Sheila Pennisten, 41, of 106 Seventh St., South Point, pleaded not guilty to one count of grand theft as well as one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity that stems of allegations of misconduct at Wesbanco, where Pennisten was once a branch manager. Judge D. Scott Bowling set a $50,000 own recognizance (OR) bond and scheduled a June 10 pretrial.

Pennisten is accused of taking more than $5,000 from the band boosters.