Burglary, theft suspects make pleas

Published 10:04 am Monday, August 31, 2009

Two of four people arrested with a recent rash of break-ins were arraigned Wednesday on charges stemming from those incidents.

Ranae Schwab, 26, of 1021 S. Sixth St., Ironton, was arraigned in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court on a bill of information to two counts of burglary and two counts of complicity to burglary. She pleaded not guilty through her attorney, Warren Morford.

“These are extremely serious charges and we do have an admission,” Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr. said. He asked that a $75,000 bond set in a lower court be continued. But Morford contended Schwab was a lifelong resident of Lawrence County with three small children.

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“She is not a flight risk,” Morford said.

Judge Charles Cooper allowed the lower court bond to continue and scheduled a pretrial conference for this Wednesday.

One of Schwab’s alleged accomplices, Shon D. Williams, 24, of 1208 S. Second St., Ironton, was also arraigned on a bill of information to four counts of complicity to burglary.

He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Mike Davenport, who asked that his client be released on an own recognizance (OR) bond with, if necessary, electronically monitored home confinement.

“He is a lifelong resident of Ironton, his father is in the courtroom today. This is his first offense, he is not a flight risk,” Davenport said.

“But he managed to get himself into trouble,” Collier countered.

Cooper allowed bond set in a lower court to continue and told Williams to return to court this week for a pretrial conference.

Schwab and Williams were arrested earlier this month in connection with a string of daytime robberies in the Pedro and Kitts Hill areas and during discussions with police implicated two others, William R. Sexton, 26, 204 1⁄2 Mastin Ave., Ironton and Sara M. Branham, 23, of 1206 Raceland Ave., Raceland, Ky. Both Branham and Sexton were arrested in Kentucky and jailed there; charges are pending against them.

The four reportedly told authorities they went to homes they intended to victimize and first knocked on the door to see if anyone was home. If they got no answer they would break in. If the knock was answered the four reportedly told deputies they would pretend they were looking for someone and then leave.

In another case Wednesday, Michael R. Arnold Jr., whose last known address was Hillview Lane, South Point, was arraigned on one count of theft. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, David Reid Dillon. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson recommended a $5,000 cash or surety bond, noting that Arnold has a habit of not showing up for court when told to do so.

“The defendant failed to appear in this court and a capias (bench warrant) had to be issued. He has criminal history in Tennessee, a couple of failure to appear (charges), bond skipping so he has some history of not wanting to appear when told,” Anderson said.

He added that Arnold has another charge pending in the municipal court system.

Dillon countered Arnold had been out of town working and is eager to get the matter resolved.

Judge D. Scott Bowling set bond at $1,500 surety, added a $10,000 OR bond and ordered Arnold to appear in court Sept. 9 for a pretrial conference.