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Drug offenders, others plead guilty

A trial date was set Wednesday for a Proctorville man accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl at his residence in July 2009.

Thomas B. Butler, 45, of 549 Township Road 1233 will stand trial May 17 and 18 in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court before Judge Charles Cooper.

Butler is charged both with three counts of sexual battery and three counts of rape.

Also Wednesday, Eloise Elswick, of 275 N. Third St., Ironton, pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of complicity to aggravated trafficking in drugs.

Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced her to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation and ordered her to successfully complete a rehabilitation program at a community based correctional facility.

He fined her $2,500 and suspended Elswick’s driver’s license for six months.

Her husband, Darren Elswick of the same address, pleaded guilty to a four-count bill of information alleging drug peddling and possession.

Bowling sentenced him to nine months in prison and fined him $5,500.

“This is the result of a drug addiction,” Darren Elswick’s attorney, Warren Morford said. “He would like to put this behind him. He has a wife and two children.”

By pleading guilty on bills of information, the Elswicks admit their guilt, avoid having their cases heard by the grand jury and a common pleas jury and proceed with sentencing for their crimes.

In another case, Diana Waddell, 57, of 1625 Fourth St., Ironton, entered an Alford plea of guilty to complicity to aggravated trafficking in drugs.

She will be sentenced April 28. By entering what is commonly called an Alford plea, Waddell does not admit or deny her guilt but agrees the offer made to her is too good to pass up.

Also Wednesday, Devon K. Harmon, 31, of 615 Monroe St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft.

Bowling sentenced him to nine months in prison and ordered Harmon to pay $2,800 is restitution to his two victims.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” Harmon told Bowling.