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Drug, theft cases come before courts

Drug charges, failing to pay child support and theft were among the crimes addressed Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. Judges Charles Cooper and D. Scott Bowling heard more than 40 criminal cases during the morning court session.

Troy D. Earles, 37, who is an inmate at the Pickaway Correctional Institute, was arraigned on one count of theft stemming from an incident that occurred before he was incarcerated.

He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Mark McCown, who waived the issue of bond because Earles is an inmate. Bowling scheduled a pretrial conference for this week.

Amanda Blake, 28, of 809 S. Ninth St., Ironton, was arraigned on two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs.

She pleaded not guilty through her attorney Mike, Davenport. During her hearing she sat with her head down, shaking visibly and wiping tears from her eyes.

“This stems from an undercover investigation by the drug task force,” Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., explained. “Obviously these are serious charges.”

But Davenport contended Blake deserved to be released on her own recognizance.

“This is her first offense. She is a native to this area and is not a flight risk,” Davenport said.

Cooper set bond at $50,000 cash, surety or property and scheduled a Nov. 10 pretrial conference.

Christopher Friend, 28, of 34 Private Drive 3477, Kitts Hill, was arraigned on one count of burglary.

He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Warren Morford. Cooper allowed a bond set in Ironton Municipal Court to continue and scheduled a Nov. 10 pretrial conference.

James Hildreth, 39, of 211 Orchard St., Ironton, was arraigned on two counts of criminal non-support. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Luke Styer. Cooper set a $50,000 own recognizance (OR) bond.

Frank Lewis, 45, of 2212 N. Fifth St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft and three counts of theft. Bowling sentenced him to a total of 30 months in prison.

“My client readily admits his guilt and cooperated with authorities,” Lewis’ attorney, Warren Morford said.

Randall White, 25, of 16132 State Route 7, Crown City, pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, domestic violence and two counts of aggravated menacing. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail with 120 days suspended.

After his release White will be placed on three years’ probation. Cooper issued restraining orders, requiring White to stay away from his victim.