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Probation violators sentenced for crimes

Several people had repeat engagements in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Wednesday.

Joshua Murrell, 24, of 411 Etna St., Ironton, admitted he violated his community control sanctions, also known as probation, by failing to pay court-ordered restitution and getting arrested on new charges that are now pending in Ironton Municipal Court.

Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced Murrell to four months in prison.

When people are placed on probation, a certain amount of time is “reserved” in case they violate their probation. As the probation progresses, the amount of reserve time is erased accordingly. The judge has the discretion to send the person to prison for the amount of reserve time they have left if they are found guilty of infractions of the rules.

The four months is the amount of time Murrell had left of his reserve period. Murrell was on probation for a 2010 theft conviction.

Thomas G. Clay, 28, 22895 State Route 141, Waterloo, admitted he violated his probation by failing to report to his probation officer, as he is required to do, and by getting arrested on new charges.

Bowling sentenced him to eight months in prison, a sentence agreed to by both the prosecutor’s office and Clay’s attorney, Mike Gleichauf.

“We feel that is a fair resolution of this matter,” Gleichauf told Bowling.

Jason Stapleton, 27, 303 Township Road 290, Ironton, admitted he also violated his probation for testing positive for drug use on more than one occasion and by being convicted of other crimes.

Bowling sentenced him to nine months in prison. Stapleton was on probation for a 2007 conviction for breaking and entering.

Samantha Pruitt, 28, of 145 State Route 650, Ironton, admitted she violated her probation by failing to pay court costs and probation supervisory fees and by getting arrested on new charges.

Bowling ordered her to undergo inpatient treatment at Mended Reeds and perform 200 hours of community service.

“I need help,” Pruitt told Bowling. “I want to be with my kids.”

Pruitt was on probation for a 2011 drug conviction.

Waymon Smith, 22, of 70 Private Drive 302, South Point, admitted he violated his probation by testing positive for drugs and getting arrested on a burglary charge.

He was on probation for an earlier theft conviction. He was sentenced to 156 days in prison, or, the amount of reserve time left on his probation. The burglary charges are pending in common pleas court.

Stella Tapscott, 27, of 1809 R Buffington Ave., Huntington, W.Va. pleaded not guilty on a bill of information to a drug possession charge.

Bowling allowed a $5,000 cash or surety bond set in a lower court to continue and added a $5,000 own recognizance (OR) bond to continue. Tapscott will return to court next week for a pretrial conference.