No-show in court earns prison time

Published 11:05 pm Saturday, May 30, 2009

Failing to show up for court as you’re supposed to do has its consequences, a South Point man learned Wednesday.

Damon Harris, 29, of 118 Township Road 1019, South Point, pleaded guilty in August 2006 to charges of trafficking in crack cocaine and possession of crack cocaine. He was ordered to return to court the following month to be sentenced.

But he didn’t and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Authorities said Harris was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Minnesota earlier this month and returned to Lawrence County to finally learn his fate.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Harris to eight years in prison — a harsher sentenced than he would have gotten if Harris had shown up as he should have.

“He was supposed to have gotten six years,” Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Jeff Smith said.

In another case, Paul Sergent, 31, of 164 Township Road 283N., Ironton, pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property and forgery. Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced him to six months in prison.

“I’m sorry for what I did, your honor,” Sergeant told Bowling.

Michael Floyd, 46, whose most recent address was the Lawrence County Jail, was committed to the Appalachian Behavioral Health Center in Athens after he was found incompetent to stand trial.

This came after Shawnee Forensics Center submitted a report indicating Floyd suffers from mental defects. Floyd was charged with assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest.

Also Wednesday, Corey T. Dalton, 20, of Scott Depot, W.Va., was arraigned on charges of felonious assault, receiving stolen property and failure to comply with the order and signal of a police officer.

He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, D.L. McWhorter.

Cooper allowed a $50,000 bond set in a lower court to continue and scheduled a pretrial conference for Wednesday.

Raymond Parks, 27, of Detroit, Mich., was sentenced to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP) after an earlier guilty plea to drug charges.

Bowling also ordered him to successfully complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center and pay a $7,500 fine.