Most Wanted offender sent to prison

Published 10:29 am Thursday, January 23, 2014

One of Lawrence County’s Most Wanted probation violators denied wrongdoing Wednesday in common pleas court.

A community control sanctions trial was held in Judge Charles Cooper’s courtroom where Adult Probation Agency officer Jonathan Sexton took the stand to testify that Phillip Yates had in fact violated his probation.

Yates, 22, of Ironton, last reported to the APA on Aug. 29, 2013, Sexton said, and a warrant was issued for his arrest following attempts to contact the man at his South Point address.

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Yates made the Most Wanted list on Dec. 23 and was arrested that same day by the APA and Ironton Police.

Sexton said the man also tested positive for marijuana and benzodiazepines after he was arrested, which is another violation of his CCS orders, as well as admitted he changed residences without notifying the probation department.

Cooper sentenced the man to three years in prison with credit for 181 days he had spent in jail and STAR Community Justice Center.

In an unrelated case, a South Point man who was sentenced to CCS and STAR was given a grave warning by the judge after testing positive for drugs at his sentencing.

Michael Cook, 38, of 157 Township Road 1425, pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree count of possession of drugs. Cook had been out on bond during the case and was given a drug test.

The probation department, which administers drug tests for all defendants out on bond, reported Cook tested positive for oxycodone, benzodiazepines and cocaine.

“This is your last chance,” Cooper said. “I’m really disappointed in you. … This is three different major drug felonies you have come in here under the influence of today.”

Cook was sentenced to four years CCS under intensive supervised probation and STAR, as well as a $1,250 fine and a six-month driver’s license suspension.

Cooper told the man he would have to undergo weekly drug testing until his Feb. 8 report date to the county jail before being transferred to STAR.

If Cook continues to test positive for drugs, Cooper warned that he may go to prison for up to 11 months.

“You are an eyelash away form serving time in the state penitentiary,” Cooper said.