Judges hand down sentences in drug, probation cases

Published 9:54 am Thursday, July 9, 2009

Probation violations and drug charges were chief among the matters addressed Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Brenda Reynolds, whose last known address was 69 Township Road 322, Ironton, was sentenced to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP) for an earlier guilty plea to drug charges.

Reynolds’ driving privileges were restricted for six months; she may not operate a car except to go back and forth to doctor visits. Judge D. Scott Bowling also fined her $1,250.

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Richard W. Gee, of 1125 S. Seventh St., Ironton, admitted he violated his community control sanctions, also known as probation, by failing to report to his probation officer and failing to pay on his child support arrearage.

Bowling sentenced Gee to 11 months in prison and acknowledged this case is a first for him in his roughly two years on the bench.

“You’re the first person, in two years, I’ve sentenced to prison for non support,” Bowling told Gee. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson said Gee’s arrearage was approximately $23,000.

Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Gena R. Thornton, of 1202 South Seventh St., Ironton, to six months in prison after she admitted she violated her probation. Authorities said Thornton, who was on probation for an earlier drug conviction, recently tested positive for drug use.

Also Wednesday, Jerry D. Lewis, of 148 Township Road 606, Ironton was sentenced to 17 months in prison for earlier drug convictions.

Lewis had pleaded guilty last month to a three counts of trafficking in drugs. Cooper agreed to a 2-3 week furlough before Lewis is sent to prison.

Danny E. Short, of 17220 State Route 217, Crown City, pleaded guilty to charges of breaking and entering and theft.

Bowling ordered Short to successfully complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center and four years CCS/ISP. Short must also pay $125 restitution to the victim.

James F. Unrue III was sentenced to 29 months in prison after he violated his probation.

In February 2008, Unrue was sentenced to three years in prison for a theft conviction. He was granted judicial release in September 2008 and sent to the STAR Community Justice Center to complete a rehabilitation program. But Unrue was discharged for medical reasons without completing the program. Since then he has twice tested positive for marijuana use, authorities said.

In asking for the prison sentence, Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Jeff Smith said, “We’re sort of left with very little alternative. We suggest 29 months. We might still do the judicial release again. There is no reason why he can’t do well but he has to take the bull by the horns himself.”

Bowling granted Unrue a brief furlough to take care of medical problems before he is sent to prison.