Court no-show will have to make appearance in jail

Published 12:43 am Sunday, July 5, 2009

Failing to show up for court appearances and testing positive for pot use when you finally do will get you jail time, a South Point woman discovered Wednesday.

Amy L. Malone, of 53 Private Drive 72, had pleaded guilty to drug charges in November 2008. At that time, she had agreed to testify in the trial of a codefendant, Mark Eubank, who later pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr. said Malone was twice scheduled for hearings in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court but failed to show up. A bench warrant was issued.

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When Malone showed up on her own Wednesday, she was taken into custody and given a drug test. She tested positive for marijuana use.

Collier told Judge Charles Cooper that he had originally planned to recommend Malone be sent to a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center and be placed on probation.

But now there is not a bed available for her at STAR and Collier said he is concerned what might happened if she was allowed to stay out of jail until a bed is ready for her.

“I have some reservations about Ms. Malone,” Collier told Cooper. “She has been accepted into STAR but she does not take this as seriously as she should.”

Malone’s attorney, Tyler Smith, told Cooper the first hearing had to be continued and she got no notice telling her about the second one. He pointed out she did show up voluntarily Wednesday.

“It was miscommunication,” Smith said. “She is not trying to avoid sentencing and going to STAR. She does have drug counseling issues and STAR would be perfect for her.” Smith asked that she be allowed to stay out of jail until STAR is ready to accept her. Malone, crying, reiterated that plea.

“I’m sorry I didn’t show up for court. I got nothing to show I had to,” she said. Much of her address to Cooper was inaudible because she was crying.

Cooper sentenced her to complete the program at STAR and four years probation, or community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP).

He ordered her to jail until she is accepted at the Franklin Furnace facility.

Also Wednesday, April Mize, of 515 S. Ninth St., Ironton, was arraigned on three counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs and one count of trafficking in powder cocaine.

She pleaded not guilty through attorney, Derick Fisher.

Although she was initially appointed a lawyer (Fisher) at taxpayer’s expense, Cooper ruled she was not eligible for a court-appointed attorney and told Mize she must pay for her own lawyer, either Fisher or someone else.

“It seems like today all we’re getting is repeat offenders,” Collier said, noting that many of the people who had court appearances had been to court previously on other charges.

“Mrs. Mize has previous charges. She was off paper (her probation had ended) not too long ago.”

He asked for a $50,000 cash bond for Mize.

“This is true but she is not a flight risk,” Fisher countered. “She has two children, a nine-year-old and a five-year old. She has been a resident of Ironton all her life.”

Cooper set bond at $50,000 cash or $25,000 property with a $25,000 own recognizance bond and electronically monitored home confinement. He ordered her to return to court in one week for a pretrial conference.