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Car thief sentenced to prison

An Ironton man who ran from police in two states back in October admitted Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to stealing cars from a gas station parking lot.

John D. Ratliff, 30, of 1486 County Road 21, pleaded guilty to two fourth-degree counts of grand theft, a third-degree count of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer and first-degree felonious assault of a police officer.

Judge Charles Cooper sentenced the man to a total of six years in prison.

Ratliff was arrested Oct. 11 after stealing two cars from the Park Avenue Speedway in Ironton and fleeing to Huntington.

According to a police report, the man stole the first vehicle from the gas station and drove it out Township Road 279, where police later found it set on fire. The man stole another car later that day and led police on a chase down Porter Gap Road. Ratliff attempted to ram the police cruiser with the stolen car, according to the report.

Ratliff got away and fled to Huntington where police arrested him later that night after he tried to steal a semi truck. An employee at a trucking business confronted Ratliff, at which time he ran on foot.

Huntington Police eventually found him hiding in a Dumpster.

In an unrelated case, Willard Large Jr., 63, of 2603 N. Second St., Ironton, was sentenced to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation for charges of fourth-degree count of vandalism and fifth-degree breaking and entering of the city building and two misdemeanor counts of criminal damaging, to which he previously pleaded guilty.

Cooper also ordered the man continue treatment at Shawnee Mental Health and pay $941.50 in restitution to a victim whose car was damaged by Large.

Large was arrested in late June after he gained entry to the city building by throwing a bench through a window. He also damaged about nine other windows once inside the building, as well as some drywall and doors. Large also broke into the Fraternal Order of Police’s weight room and threw weights out of a window, at least one landing on a car.

In other cases:

• Larry Farmer, 64, of 2516 S. Sixth St., Ironton, was sentenced to three years in prison for a third-degree count of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer and misdemeanor counts of DUI, driving under DUI suspension, resisting arrest and reckless operation, to which he previously pleaded guilty.

Cooper also ordered the man to pay $600 in fines and suspended his driver’s license for six months.

• Christopher Heaberlin, 26, of 4415 State Route 93, Ironton, was sentenced to 12 months in prison with a possible judicial release to Septa with good behavior. The man previously pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree count of misuse of a credit card.

• Charles Bays, 33, of 3221 State Route 2, Greenup, Kentucky, was sentenced to five years in prison for a second-degree count of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, to which he previously pleaded guilty.

Cooper also ordered the man to pay a $7,500 fine and suspended his driver’s license for three years.

• Brittany Hale, 25, of 2536 Township Road 177, Willow Wood, pleaded guilty to two fifth-degree counts of forgery. Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced the woman to 12 months in prison with a judicial release to STAR after three months. She must also complete 200 hours of community service.

• Brandon Ainsworth, 22, of 3910 County Road 55, South Point, pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree count of theft. Bowling ordered a presentence investigation and set sentencing for Wednesday.

• Monty Nichols, 34, of 680 County Road 36, Chesapeake, admitted CCS violations and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

• Daniel Mullins, 31, of 80 Private Drive 1699 County Road 26, Ironton, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $200 for a third-degree count of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer and three misdemeanor traffic violations, to which he previously pleaded guilty.

• Brian Cooper, 62, of 2598 State Route 650, Ironton, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for a third-degree count of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, to which he previously pleaded guilty.

• Ronald McGinnis, 32, of 3734 Marsh Hill Drive, Catlettsburg, Kentucky, admitted CCS violations and was sentenced to five months in prison.

• Jason Hudson, 40, of 1599 Township Road 158, Chesapeake, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree count of receiving stolen property. Sentencing was set for Wednesday.