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Ky. man answers burglary charges

An Ashland, Ky., man who was shot while allegedly breaking into a Kitts Hill home was arraigned Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Joseph Willis, 37, of 1219 Penobscot Trail, pleaded not guilty to three counts of second-degree burglary and one count of third-degree grand theft.

Judge Charles Cooper set bond at $150,000 cash or surety and scheduled a pretrial for April 16.

Willis was arrested in March after allegedly breaking into the home in Kitts Hill. The homeowner shot Willis after which point Willis allegedly fled the scene.

A grand jury did not indict the homeowner, who it felt acted in self-defense.

The other burglary charges stem from separate incidents on separate dates. The grand theft charge is related to the theft of a firearm from another individual.

In an unrelated case, a Coal Grove man who was shot while trying to steal a motorcycle pleaded guilty.

Brandon Blake Danner, 19, of 201 Dutey Drive, pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree count of breaking and entering. Cooper ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for April 30.

Danner was attempting to steal a motorcycle from an outbuilding of a home in Coal Grove on Oct. 30 of last year. The homeowner in that case shot Danner and the grand jury also determined the shooting was justified in self-defense.

In other cases:

• Edward Hampton Jr., 35, of 2398 County Road 181, Ironton, was arraigned on a first-degree count of aggravated robbery, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Cooper set bond at $75,000 cash or surety and set a pretrial for April 16.

• Craig Wysong II, 24, of 2395 County Road 66, Proctorville, pleaded guilty to a second-degree count of robbery of a Proctorville Speedway, which was amended from a first-degree count of aggravated robbery.

Cooper sentenced the man to six years in prison and ordered him to pay $2,753 in restitution.

• Danny Martin, 58, of 56 Township Road 1101, South Point, was arraigned on a bill of information of third-degree counts of trafficking in drugs (oxycodone), possession of drugs and operating a vehicle under the influence.

Cooper set bond at $20,000 cash or surety or $40,000 property, as well as GPS monitoring.

A pretrial was set for April 16.

• Jeremy McClellan, 27, of 730 Rockwood Ave., Chesapeake, admitted probation violations and was sentenced to 11 months in prison.

• Clayton Pate, 30, of 421 Private Drive 1385, Ironton, was arraigned on a fourth-degree count of assault on a peace office and misdemeanor aggravated menacing, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Cooper set bond $20,000 cash, surety or property and set a pretrial for April 23.