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Grand jury indicts armed robber, pot growers

An Ironton man accused of molesting a young girl, a man who held up a South Point business with a shotgun and a couple recently arrested for an alleged pot growing operation were all indicted late last week by a Lawrence County Grand Jury.

Paul E. Barnes, 53, of 2810 S. Fifth St., Ironton, was indicted on two counts of felonious assault and one count each of gross sexual imposition, importuning and resisting arrest.

In November 2009, Barnes was arrested after he allegedly had sexual contact with the child.

When the parents of the girl confronted him, Barnes allegedly pulled a knife on them.

When police officers arrived, Barnes allegedly tried to stab them as well and then barricaded himself in his residence.

Barnes was arrested when he left his home and got into a struggle with police who used a Taser to bring him under control.

Also indicted:

Walter Ballard, 21, of 477 County Road 119, Ironton, was indicted on one count of aggravated robbery and one count of kidnapping. Each of those charges carries a firearm specification because he allegedly used a gun to commit them.

On Jan. 11, a cashier at Clarks Pump ‘N’ Shop on County Road 450, next to the Grandview Inn, told sheriff’s deputies a man wearing a mask and gloves and carrying a .12 gauge shotgun walked into the store just before 4 a.m. and demanded money, cigarettes and the cashier’s identification.

The robber threatened to hurt the cashier’s family but dropped the gun when he ran out of the store. Ballard was arrested a short time later.

Stephen C. Preston, 58, and his wife, Shannon Lynn Preston, 31, both of 595 County Road 15, South Point, were each indicted on charges of illegal manufacture of drugs or cultivation of marijuana, trafficking in marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession on criminal tools.

The Prestons were arrested earlier this month after authorities said they found a marijuana growing operation in their basement. The set up included a small irrigation system.

According to information from the office of Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., the grand jury examined 29 cases and returned indictments in all but two of them. Others indicted were:

Kyle J. Hinkle, 19, 396 County Road 70, Lot 30, Proctorville, burglary.

James A Chaffin, 36, 784 County Road 411, Proctorville, felonious assault and misdemeanor counts of theft and criminal trespass.

Jerome M. Leggette, 36, Ashland, Ky., failure to comply with the order and signal of a police officer.

Breanna Boggess, 21, Ashland, Ky., two counts of complicity to burglary and her codefendant,

Johnny L. Miller, 27, 64 Private Drive 423, Pedro, two counts of burglary.

Jeremy D. Riffe, 32, Greenup, Ky., breaking and entering. He is accused of stealing copper from the old West Ironton School earlier this year.

Alexander W. Huddle, 30, 4644 County Road 29, Pedro, aggravated burglary with a firearm specification, disrupting public service and two counts of aggravated menacing.

John W. Adkins Jr., 31, 358 Private Drive, Chesapeake, complicity to aggravated robbery and his codefendant,

Paul W. Moore Jr., 41, Huntington, W.Va., aggravated robbery.

Colleen Snyder, 32, 117 Meadow Lane, South Point, theft, aggravated possession of drugs and two counts of misdemeanor possession of drugs

Randy E. Jackson, 32, 2418 S. Fourth St., Ironton, surrender of cancellation of a certificate of title, issuance of salvage title, rebuilt salvage certificate of title.

Stephen V. Wilcox, 58, 107 Oakwood Drive, Coal Grove, aggravated theft.

Aimee L. Busick, 22, 50 Township Road 1202, Chesapeake, theft.

Jeffrey A. Penwell, 51, 289 Township Road 155E, Pedro, resisting arrest, assault on a peace officer and disorderly conduct.

Ryan E. Cooper, 31, 807 N. Fifth St., Ironton, breaking and entering. He is accused of breaking into the Ironton city garage last month.

Gary F. Akers, 32, Worthington, Ky., felonious assault.

Joshua D. McKenzie, 25, Oak Hill, theft.

Melissa D. Clutters, 27, 818 ½ S. Fourth St., Ironton, aggravated possession of drugs, possession of drug abuse instruments

Alexa N. Keaton, 18, 121 Township Road 1105, Proctorville, burglary and theft and her codefendant,

Joshua J. Johnson, 21, Huntington, W.Va., complicity to burglary.

Angela M. Stafford, 32, 52 Township Road 1404, South Point, theft, misdemeanor criminal trespass and two misdemeanor counts of theft.

Thomas M. Butler, 45, 549 Township Road 1233, Proctorville, three counts of sexual battery. Butler was indicted on other sex charges last year.

Kaye F. Ross, 47, 78 Township Road 1425, South Point, two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs.

These new charges involve the same victim and same incidents, but clarify the allegation he had a parental role in the victim’s life.