Lumber thieves waive to grand jury

Published 10:00 am Friday, July 8, 2011

Heaberlin case continued two weeks

Two men arrested earlier this week in connection with the theft of construction materials both waived their right to a preliminary hearing in Ironton Municipal Court Thursday but saw their bond increased; meanwhile, the case against a man accused of driving while intoxicated and hitting an ambulance was delayed two weeks.

William Eastham, 38, of 717 Buckhorn St., Ironton, and Kenneth J. Bentley, 22, of 832 Turvey St., Flatwoods, Ky., each appeared before Ironton Municipal Court Judge O. Clark Collins and each agreed to forego the municipal court preliminary hearing and have their cases sent to Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. However, Eastham’s attorney, Warren Morford, said his client will likely plead guilty on a bill of information. If he does so, this means Eastham would admit guilt and proceed with punishment.

Collins raised the bond of each man from $15,000 cash to $50,000 cash because Eastham has a prior criminal and Bentley is an out of state resident, meaning there is an enhanced risk of flight.

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Eastham and Bentley were each charged with two counts of theft and one count of criminal trespass. They were arrested after witnesses said they saw two men stealing lumber from a Scott Avenue construction site.

Richard “Rick” Heaberlin, 41, of 204 Rose St., Ironton, was also scheduled to appear before Judge Collins. But his preliminary hearing was delayed two weeks. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said he is waiting on some medical records and victims’ statements before proceeding. Heaberlin’s preliminary hearing was rescheduled for July 21.