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72-year-old put on probation

Will spend 30 days on home confinement

A 72-year-old Chesapeake man who was caught driving with no driver’s license but a loaded handgun pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Gary Stark, 200 County Road 39, Chesapeake, also agreed to forfeit the .32 Browning Colt revolver he had in his pocket at the time of his April arrest.

Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced Stark to four years community control sanctions (CCS) plus 30 days of electronically monitored home confinement. A misdemeanor drug charge was dropped after Stark produced a valid prescription for it.

Stark’s attorney, Warren Morford, said Stark has been diagnosed with TIA’s (transient ischemic attacks, also known as mini-strokes) and it was likely Stark was suffering from such an attack when he was arrested.

“During these episodes he does not exercise good judgment and he does things he would never consider doing otherwise,” Morford said. “I think that was the case in April.”

Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson said Stark, who has not had a driver’s license since 1999, got into a car and drove it until he wrecked it. When the police were called, they discovered the loaded gun in his jacket pocket.

Also Wednesday, Stephanie Risner, 20, of 76 Private Drive, Chesapeake, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary. She was released on a $20,000 own recognizance bond with electronic home monitoring pending sentencing, which is set for Aug. 8

“I’m giving you some rope here and if you take the rope and hang yourself you know what will happen,” Bowling cautioned.

“I’ll go away for a long time,” Risner replied.

“You’ll go away for a long time,” Bowling agreed.

Johnny Carter, 30, of 11183 County Road 1, Chesapeake, admitted he violated his probation, also known as community control sanctions, by failing to report to his probation officer and failing to pay his probation supervisory fee.

Bowling sentenced Carter to 17 months in prison; however, Carter’s attorney, Randall Lambert, said at some point judicial release would be sought with the stipulation that Carter be sent to the STAR Community Justice Center for a treatment program after he is released from prison.

Lambert said any request for judicial release would be based “on conduct and what he does to help himself while he is in prison.”

Carter told Bowling, “sorry” while wiping tears out of his eyes.

Gregory Riggs, 22, of 7685 State Route 243, South Point, pleaded guilty to a felony count of tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor count of assault.

Bowling sentenced him to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP), a rehabilitation program at the STAR Community Justice Center and 200 hours of community service.

His attorney, Warren Morford told Bowling that Riggs has a severe drug problem. He has a child on the way and a stepchild he is helping to raise. Morford said Riggs has taken some steps to get clean.

“If he gets his head where it needs to be you won’t see him in here again,” Morford said.

A Troy couple arrested on drug charges appeared together in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Wednesday and admitted their guilt.

Stephanie Fleet, 26, of 415 Ohio Ave., and her husband, Jeremy Fleet, 32, of 1254 W. Main St., will be sentenced Aug. 8 following a pre-sentence investigation.