Grand jury indicts driver of fatal accident

Published 11:05 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Lawrence County grand jury has indicted the driver in a fatal traffic accident earlier this year.

James Ratliff Jr., 41, of 48 Private Drive 4015, Chesapeake, was indicted on one count of aggravated vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated and failure to stop after an accident. The incident occurred Oct 9.

Wendell Bryant, 50, of Willow Wood, was killed, reportedly as a result of it.

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Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson said Bryant was one of two people riding in a pickup truck with Ratliff when the vehicle left the pavement and hit a utility pole. The other passenger was injured but survived.

Ratliff reportedly fled the scene but was later apprehended. Authorities said his blood alcohol level was .19 — more than twice the legal limit allowed under Ohio law.

“These people were all friends, obviously, they were all out together. This is a real tragedy, an unfortunate thing. I think the things that make this aggravating were that he was under the influence and that he may have been operating the vehicle recklessly, and the fact he left the scene after this happened,” Anderson said.

Ratliff faces up to 13 years in prison if he is convicted of all the charges against him.

Also, a Proctorville couple was indicted on sex charges involving a 13-year-old boy.

Virginia McCoy, 27, of 86 Private Drive 8700, was indicted on one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Her boyfriend, Jesse Scarberry, 33, of the same address, was charged with one count of complicity to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

In another sexual abuse case, Thomas Kimmle, 61, of 501 Pike St., Coal Grove, was indicted nine counts of rape and nine counts of sexual battery.

The grand jury considered 30 cases and returned indictments in 29 of those cases. One of the 29 was a secret indictment for criminal non-support.

Others indicted were:

— Clifton West, 20, 104 Wallace Lane, Proctorville, aggravated burglary with a firearm specification, two counts of felonious assault with a firearm specification, and vandalism.

— Richard Turvey, 37, Ironton, burglary.

— Justin Kersey, 21, 611 Cliff St., Ironton, assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

—William Robinson, 25, 1300 S. Fourth St., Ironton, felonious assault.

— Wilbur Stapleton, 23, 1414 S. 10th St., Ironton, receiving stolen property.

— Derrick Richendollar, 19, 506 Lorain St., Ironton, burglary.

— Sharla Spangler, 28, 76 Private Drive 2820, South Point, burglary.

— Daniel Jenkins, 43, 603 N. Fifth St., Ironton, five counts of aggravated arson in connection with a Sept. 18 apartment building fire.

— Tony Wilson II, 19, 2549 County Road 5, Kitts Hill, complicity to aggravated robbery, complicity to aggravated burglary.

— Steven Triplett, 21, 9669 State Route 141, Kitts Hill, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery.

— Andrew Bare, 20, Raceland, Ky., complicity to aggravated burglary and complicity to aggravated robbery.

— Rosie Moreland, 26, 9669 State Route 141, Kitts Hill, complicity to aggravated burglary and complicity to aggravated robbery.

— Michael White, 23, 1780 County Road 47, Waterloo, complicity to aggravated robbery and complicity to aggravated robbery.

— Robert L. Esque Jr., 22, South Point, theft and tampering with evidence.

— Robert Richardson III, 41, 314 Marion Pike, Coal Grove, grand theft from the elderly.

— Jennifer Rood, 32, 433 Township Road 1055, Proctorville, complicity to identity fraud.

— Harry Rood, 35, 433 Township Road 1055, Proctorville, identity fraud.

— Larry Dailey, 42, Huntington, W.Va., possession of powder cocaine, criminal trespass, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest.

— Jennifer Payne, 33, Huntington, W.Va., theft.

— Colleen Cooper, 53, Huntington, W.Va., theft, possession of drugs.

— Carol McPherson, 56, Huntington, W.Va., theft.

— Mary Ellen Jenkins, 38, Huntington, W.Va., theft.

— Dakota Neff, 21, Wilmington, two counts of burglary.

— Christopher White, 18, Wilmington, two counts of burglary.