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Sexton gets 20 years for attack on girlfriend

Marvin E. Sexton, 52, of Chesapeake, was sentenced in Judge Charles Cooper’s courtroom on Wednesday to a total of 20 years for the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend, Melissa Howard.

Sexton pleaded guilty on March 15 to attacking Howard with a shovel in November of last year, leaving her beaten, bloody and near death. Sexton was sentenced to 11 years on the count of attempted murder, eight years on an associated burglary charge for breaking into Howard’s home, and one year for tampering with evidence.

The charges will run consecutively, for a total sentence of 20 years.

Lawrence County prosecutor Brigham Anderson characterized the attack against Howard as  “brutal,” calling it “one of the worst of the worst.”

“There is no question that he tried to kill Melissa Howard,” Anderson said.

This, he explained, is why they requested that the sentences run consecutively, rather than concurrently, and why Judge Cooper followed that recommendation in sentencing.

Though Sexton has a long sentence ahead of him, Howard has a long road to recovery ahead of her.

“She is in the process of recovering,” Anderson noted. “(But) she has severe disabilities as a result of this.”

Justin R. Dennison, 39, of Proctorville was also sentenced in Cooper’s courtroom on Wednesday. Dennison pleaded guilty to count three of his charges, abduction, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

In other action in Cooper’s courtroom on Wednesday, Bryce A. Butcher, 20, of Kitts Hill, had his trial set for April 12 on a CCS violation, Ric A. Massie, 46, of Proctorville, had his pretrial set for April 19 on a theft charge, Shayne J. McCallister, 32, of Ironton, had his CCS trial date set for April 12.

Kimberly A. Montgomery, 50, of Ironton, had her pretrial moved to April 19 on three counts of trafficking and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities. William L. Roberts, 59, of Ironton, who was supposed to be sentenced on charges of complicity associated with the Montgomery case on Wednesday, had his sentencing continued for one week after he tested positive for drugs. His bond was doubled as well.

Jason A. Rice, 34, of Catlettsburg, pleaded guilty to possession and trafficking in methamphetamine. His sentencing is scheduled for April 26.

Darrell G. Weaver, 61, of Portsmouth, had his pretrial set for April 12 and trial tentatively set for April 24, on charges of possession of and trafficking in drugs.

Timothy White, 28, of Catlettsburg, had his pretrial rescheduled to April 5 on charges of theft and tampering with evidence.

Frances N. White, 21, of East Bank Kanawha, West Virginia, had her sentencing rescheduled for April 12 on charges of trafficking in cocaine.