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Failure to report for prison may lead to more charges for Pedro man

A Pedro man who failed to report for prison after pleading guilty to two burglary charges was back in court Wednesday, answering new charges and explaining why he didn’t do what he was supposed to do.

Another man who absconded during a furlough was also in court.

Johnny Miller, 27, of 64 Private Drive 423, pleaded guilty to the first two burglary charges in October.

He was permitted a brief furlough before he was to report to the Lawrence County Jail for transfer to prison.

He never showed up and in the days before he was located and arrested, he allegedly committed one, possibly even two, new burglaries, Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said.

“I never intended to not show up,” Miller told Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge D. Scott Bowling. “I planned to come. I was just having fun with my family, my kids. I don’t get to see them much.”

Bowling sentenced him to six years on the first two burglary charges. Anderson said the prosecutor’s office is pursuing additional charges against Miller.

Robert L. Esque Jr., 22, of 52 Township Road 338, Ironton, was arraigned on charges of escape, theft and tampering with evidence. Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., said Esque recently pleaded guilty to drug charges and was given a brief furlough before being sent to prison. But Esque, who was required to have electronically monitored home confinement during his furlough, cut off his ankle monitor, hence the new charges.

Esque will serve a five-year sentence on the drug charges.

Bowling scheduled a pretrial conference for this week on the new charges.

Also Wednesday, Derik R. Blankenship, 20, of 50 County Road 5, Kitts Hill, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, one within the vicinity of a juvenile.

Bowling sentenced him to four years in prison and fined him $7,500.

If Blankenship stays out of trouble while he is in prison, he may be eligible for judicial release after six months if he is admitted to and successfully completes a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center.

Collier pointed out that while the charges are serious, the amount of drugs was smaller than what has been found on others arrested on drug charges and Blankenship has no prior criminal record.

“This is a young man who believes he does have a substance abuse problem and he made a few wrong decisions,” Mike Gleichauf, Blankenship’s attorney, agreed.

George Clutters, 53, of 2426 ½ S. Fifth St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to charges of possession of crack, obstructing official business and resisting arrest.

“He is willing to accept responsibility for his actions, and wants to put this behind him, serve his time and return to a responsible position in society,” Clutters’ attorney, Warren Morford said.

Bowling sentenced him to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP), ordered him to complete a program at STAR and fined him $2,500.

Julius Sudderth, 53, of 615 S. 10th St., Ironton, pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of domestic violence. Bowling sentenced him to four years CCS/ISP and ordered him to complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center.

By pleading guilty on a bill of information, Sudderth avoids having his case heard by a grand jury and common pleas jury, admits his guilt and proceeds to sentencing for his crime.

In another case, Mary E. Jenkins, 38, of Huntington, W.Va., was arraigned on one count of theft.

She pleaded not guilty through her attorney, David Reid Dillon. Bowling allowed a $3,000 bond Jenkins posted in a lower court to continue and added a $25,000 own recognizance bond. Jenkins must return to court Jan. 27 for a pretrial conference.

Iva Charlene Kingery, 67, of Huntington, W.Va., was arraigned on one count of receiving stolen property.

She pleaded not guilty through her attorney, Luke Styer. Bowling set a $25,000 OR bond and scheduled a Jan. 27 pretrial conference.