Gun thief, robber gets decade in prison

Published 10:35 am Thursday, October 30, 2014

One of the men accused of stealing a police weapon and using it to rob a person pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Joseph Waddle, 23, of 506 Marion Pike Lot 4, Coal Grove, pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated robbery, third-degree having weapons under a disability, third-degree theft of a firearm and misdemeanor theft.

Judge Charles Cooper sentenced the man to 10 years in prison.

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Waddle, along with David Allen Harris, 21, of Coal Grove, was arrested in late August after more than a dozen Coal Grove residents’ vehicles were broken into, one of which was an Ironton police cruiser.

Waddle, and allegedly Harris, took two firearms from the cruiser’s lock box and used those to hold another man up at gunpoint, taking about $19 in cash.

The firearms were later recovered in one of the suspect’s homes under a piece of furniture.

In other cases:

• Larry Layman, 64, of 71 Township Road 1034, South Point, was sentenced to five years in prison for first-degree aggravated trafficking in drugs, to which he previously pleaded guilty.

Cooper also ordered the man to forfeit more than $41,000 to the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force, as well as two vehicles. His driver’s license was also suspended for two years.

Layman indicated he wanted an appeal and his attorney, Warren Morford, will continue to represent him.

• Jeffrey Stephenson, 58, of 204 High St., South Point, was sentenced to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation for a fifth-degree count of using harmful intoxicants (canned air), to which he previously pleaded guilty.

Cooper also sentenced the man to receive a drug and alcohol assessment and follow-up with treatment as recommended.

• Helen Shortridge, 56, of 38 Private Drive 14870, Proctorville, was sentenced to 11 months in prison for a fifth-degree count of possession of drugs, to which she previously pleaded guilty. Cooper also ordered the woman to pay a $1,250 fine and suspended her driver’s license for six months.