Tentative trial date set for Blanton

Published 9:57 am Friday, August 19, 2011

Ex-officer opts for judge to hear trial

A judge will decide the case against a former Hanging Rock police officer accused of pocketing traffic fines.

Ronald Blanton, 28, of Franklin Furnace, requested a bench trial in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court in front of Judge Charles Cooper. Cooper Wednesday set that trial for Oct. 21.

Blanton, along with co-defendant Thomas S. Trent Jr., 22, of Portsmouth, is charged with tampering with evidence and theft in office. Both have pleaded not guilty.

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In other cases:

Randall Camp, 40, of 1202 S. Second St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to fifth-degree breaking and entering, fifth-degree theft from an elderly person, misdemeanor contributing to the unruliness of a child and misdemeanor illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

Cooper sentenced Camp to four years of community-control sanctions and reserved 11 months in prison if he violates the terms of CCS. Camp is also ordered to pay $300 in restitution, minus any credit he may already have toward that amount.

Brian S. Swed, 25, of 265 Township Road 155 E., Pedro, admitted to violating CCS. Cooper sentenced Swed to 18 months in prison with credit for the 115 days he has served already.

Gordon Lowe, 57, of 234 Ridgeway St., Coal Grove, pleaded no contest to securing writing by deception, a misdemeanor. Cooper found Lowe guilty and sentenced him to a sixth months suspended jail sentence and two years of non-reporting probation. Lowe was also ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution and court costs.

Jonathan Harmon, 28, of 311 Township Road 102, Ironton, pleaded not guilty to complicity to burglary, a second-degree felony.

Cooper set a $100,000 OR bond with home confinement and scheduled a pretrial hearing for Aug. 24.

William Nickles, 33, of 94 C St., Louisa, Ky., denied a CCS violation. A CSS trial has been set for Aug. 24.