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Pharmacist sentenced to drug treatment program

A former Kmart pharmacist avoided prison time Wednesday by asking to seek substance abuse treatment in lieu of conviction.

Christy T. Stricker, 56, of Granville, admitted to one count of theft of drugs and one count of possession of drugs during an appearance in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court before Judge D. Scott Bowling. She was accused of taking drugs from the Chesapeake Kmart Pharmacy where she worked in August 2008.

“Because she had no prior convictions she was eligible for treatment in lieu of conviction,” Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson explained. “She is pleading guilty but she is not being sentenced. Sentencing is stayed (delayed) for one year. If she stays clean the case is dismissed if not then she will be sentenced.

In exchange for the delay of sentencing, Stricker agreed to receive treatment for her substance abuse problem and refrain from using drugs. Authorities said Stricker’s pharmacist’s license has been suspended for two years.

Also Wednesday, Donald E. Hackworth, 39, of 36 Township Road 618, South Point, pleaded guilty to trafficking in marijuana and trafficking in drugs. Judge Charles Cooper sentenced him to four years community controlled sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP) and ordered him to pay a $3,750 fine.

Much of Wednesday’s common pleas docket pertained to drug abuse and its consequences. Nancy K. Ballengee, of Huntington, W.Va., pleaded guilty to complicity to aggravated robbery, tampering with evidence and trafficking in crack cocaine. Cooper sentenced her to four years in prison and fined her $2,500.

Letitia Fox, 28, of 69 Township Road 1026, South Point, pleaded guilty to one count of permitting drug abuse. She was sentenced to four years CCS/ISP and ordered to surrender her driver’s license for six months. Drug charges are pending against her husband Robert Fox, who was arrested with her at their home in early June.

Debra K. Hurley, of 1989 County Road 56, Ironton, pleaded guilty to aggravated trafficking in drugs and trafficking in marijuana. Bowling sentenced her to four years CCS/ISP, ordered her to surrender her driver’s license for six months and successfully complete a rehabilitation program. Hurley’s partner, Troy Bentley, of the same address, pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in marijuana. He was also sentenced to four years CCS/ISP and was ordered to forfeit two guns and $815 in cash confiscated by the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force at the time of his arrest.

John R. Lindbeck, 66, of 503 Third St., South Point, was granted judicial release from prison provided he agree to remain in the care of a residential facility, not leave the facility without the consent of the Lawrence County Adult Probation Agency and abstain from drug and alcohol use.

Lindbeck was arrested last year on a domestic violence charge and later pleaded guilty to it. He was given probation. But while he was on probation he was caught using alcohol and was sent to prison.

“I think you’d be a likeable individual when you’re not on the bottle,” Bowling told Lindbeck.

“He may be likeable even then (when he is drinking) but he doesn’t do the right things,” Lindbeck’s attorney, Philip Heald said.