Ky. woman gets mental evaluation after pleading insanity

Published 9:14 am Monday, May 21, 2012

An Ashland, Ky., woman whose parked vehicle was hit by a train in late April was arraigned on a bill of information last week in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Sacha N. Dees, 34, of 2604 Monroe St, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of inducing panic and interference with the operation of a train.

Judge Charles Cooper ordered a mental evaluation for Dees, who remains at Appalachian Behavioral Health Care in Athens. Cooper also set a June 6 pretrial conference.

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Dees was arrested late in the evening April 30. Authorities allege she parked her van on train tracks near the Coal Grove boat ramp, got out of the vehicle with two dogs and then stayed on the train tracks, aware that a train was coming. The train hit the vehicle and came within a few hundred feet of hitting Dees.

(Editor’s note: Based on information provided by law enforcement, it was initially reported that the train came within a few feet of hitting Dees. However, statements by CSX employees indicate the train was approximately 300 feet away before it stopped. We regret the error and are happy to correct it.)

Also, Christopher Talbert, 20, of 3587 Pine Ridge Road Lot 15, Huntington, W.Va., admitted he violated his community control sanctions, also known as probation, after he was tested positive for use of marijuana and benzodiazepines. Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced him to seven months in prison. Talbert was on probation for an earlier drug conviction.

Teddy R. Nelson 37, of 342 County Road 51, Pedro, admitted he violated his probation by testing positive for drug use and being convicted in municipal court for DUI and driving left of center. Bowling sentenced him to 11 months in prison.

“I appreciate everything you’ve done for me,” Nelson said. “I’ve definitely learned a life lesson.”

Ronald S. McGinnis, 30, whose address is listed on court documents as The Lawrence County Jail, admitted he violated his probation when he failed to report to his probation officer, did not complete a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center and was arrested on new charges in Kentucky. Bowling sent him back to STAR and added 200 hours of community service to his sentence. McGinnis was on probation after pleading guilty to theft and forgery charges.

Matthew A. McDonald, 28, of 3148 County Road 127, Chesapeake, admitted he violated his probation by failing to report and testing positive for “a number of drugs,” Bowling noted as he read the complaint against McDonald.

“You were close to going to prison this time,” Bowling sternly told McDonald. He ordered McDonald held until he was transferred to STAR to begin a rehabilitation program. At some point McDonald must serve 200 hours of community service. Bowling denied a request that McDonald be released on home confinement until he is sent to STAR. McDonald was placed on probation after pleading guilty to a breaking and entering charge.

Hollie A. Davis, 43, of 5866 Davis Creek Road, Barboursville, W.Va., was arraigned on one count of trafficking in cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, John Kehoe. Judge Cooper set bond at $50,000 cash or surety and scheduled a pretrial conference for May 30.