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Burglary, theft cases dominate court dockets

Burglary and theft were among the charges considered Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Jason Bell, 30, of 537B Coal Bank Hollow, pleaded no contest on a bill of information to charges of complicity to breaking and entering, complicity to grand theft and possession of criminal tools.

A plea of no contest means the defendant agrees there is evidence against him. By entering the plea on a bill of information, Bell avoids having his case heard by a grand jury and, if indicted, by a common pleas court jury.

Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced Bell to 10 months in prison. Bowling agreed to a brief furlough before Bell is sent to prison.

“His girlfriend is eight months pregnant; he wants to attend to personal matters and the birth of the baby,” Bell’s attorney, Warren Morford, said. “He did turn himself in and he was cooperative with authorities.”

But Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson countered that, “They were caught red-handed. He and his accomplice ran into the woods. He did come out of the woods and speak with an officer that evening.”

In another case, Daniel K. Wagner II, 23, of 70 Township Road 1335, South Point, pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, grand theft from the elderly, theft from the elderly and tampering with evidence.

In exchange for his guilty plea to these charges, two other charges, theft and theft of drugs, were dismissed.

Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Wagner to a total of four years in prison.