Probation violation lands man in prison

Published 10:19 am Thursday, February 16, 2017

Judge Andrew Ballard on Wednesday morning sentenced Keith Slutz, 44, of Ironton to 20 months in prison in a CCS violation case. Slutz admitted to the violation, which included attempted intimidation of a law enforcement officer, on Wednesday prior to Ballard passing judgment.

Ballard also sentenced Travis L. Bloomfield, 28, of Pedro to five years on a negotiated plea in a drug trafficking case. If Bloomfield doesn’t get in any more trouble while incarcerated he could be eligible for release in as little as three years.

Bloomfield had been granted one week-long continuance already, to deal with an illness in his family. He requested an additional week before reporting for incarceration, because his son had recently undergone surgery and had just come out of recovery that morning. However, the state opposed the request for additional time and requested that Bloomfield be sentenced in accordance with the negotiated plea.

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Before the case wrapped, Bloomfield, his eyes filling with tears, attempted to negotiate for more time with his family, asking for just “two more days” to be with his son before reporting to jail, but this request was denied as well.

In other actions in Ballard’s courtroom on Wednesday, Anthony Jones, 27, of Huntington, pleaded not guilty in a theft case. Jones was released on his own recognizances with a $20,000 bond and ordered to return for trial on March 1.

Brandon L. McFann, 32, of Pedro, had his case continued on charges of trafficking and complicity to trafficking. McFann will remain in jail until he can be admitted to a VA-sponsored recovery program.

Tyler J. Ruggles, 27, of South Point, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary. His sentencing was set for March 1, and Ruggles was released on a modified bond of $100,000 own recognizances, with a GPS monitor. Ballard reminded Ruggles that if he fails to show on March 1, it will be considered an attempt to escape, a charge that carries a sentence that may not run concurrently with other sentences. This would be in addition to the eight years he could be sentenced for on each of the burglary charges.

Justin Shepard, age and last address unknown, pleaded guilty to possession and/or use of methamphetamine. Shepard was sentenced to four years of CCS with ISP, ordered to complete a program at STAR Community Justice Center, and to perform 200 hours of community service.

Michael A. Zundel, 27, of Proctorville was ordered to pay restitution of $145. Failure to pay that amount could result in a one-year extension of community control sanctions.

Christian Laramore, 29, of Kitts Hills, had her treatment revoked.

In Judge Charles Cooper’s courtroom on Wednesday Maurice A. Cooper, 39 of Farrell, PA, and Robert L. Williams III, 58 of Ironton, had their cases continued.

Benjamin D. Carrico was presented with his final offer on Wednesday as well, and had his trial date set for Feb. 23.