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Pedro man gets second chance after gun incident

A man who was involved in a gun incident at Ellisonville Park in February will get a chance to turn his life around and deal with the issues that caused his problems in the first place.

Joshua H. Wiseman, 25, of 478 Private Drive 13, State Route 93, Pedro, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle.

Judge Charles Cooper sentenced him to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP) and ordered him to complete a program at the Septa Correctional Facility in Nelsonville.

Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said Wiseman had become addicted to painkillers prescribed because of an illness and his life had taken a bad turn since then, prompting him to take a gun to the park Feb. 16 with the intention of hurting himself.

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputies and Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers were called to the park after people reported seeing a man with a gun.

Wiseman fired the gun through his vehicle window with a sheriff’s deputy standing at his window.

Both Wiseman and his attorney, Warren Morford, thanked authorities for working with them to find a rehabilitation program that would enable Wiseman to deal with the issues that plagued him.

“He is truly remorseful and he is happy no one got hurt,” Morford said.

“This started off as a scary situation with a firearm and a vehicle and an officer,” Cooper agreed. Turning to Wiseman, he added, “I hope you take this to heart and turn it to your advantage. Listen to what they’re telling you at Septa and let them help you out.”

Wiseman had initially been charged with felonious assault and disorderly conduct.

Also Wednesday, Angela M. Stafford, 32, of 52 Township Road 1404, South Point, was sentenced to a total of six months in prison for her guilty plea to four counts of theft and one count of criminal trespass.

Judge Charles Cooper agreed to delay her report until Friday to allow her time to find a home for her children.

Stafford told Cooper she thought she had arranged for someone to look after her children while she was incarcerated but those plans fell through and she was left struggling to find someone to care for them.

“Thank you so very much for letting me out to get my children taken care of,” Stafford told Cooper. “God Bless you sir.”