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Defendants express regret

Woman turns down offer for treatment

The courts can offer treatment and recovery, but it isn’t going to do any good in an individual’s life until they are ready to accept it. That sentiment was exemplified in Judge Andrew Ballard’s courtroom on Wednesday morning when Jessica Pennington, 20, of South Point pleaded guilty to one count of possession of methamphetamine in a negotiated plea that nullified a second count, but refused an offer of treatment-in-lieu of conviction. Instead, Pennington was sentenced to five months of community control sanctions, to be served in the local jail, and will be assessed the cost of the court proceedings.

Ballard asked Pennington why she was not interested in an offer of treatment-in-lieu and she answered that she has “tried (treatment) in the past and it didn’t take.”

“I don’t want to put in the time… and it not work,” she told the judge.

Others, however, expressed an interest in getting their lives back on track and offered more contrite statements to the court. Anthony Jones, 27, of Huntington, told the court he would like to “apologize” to his victim, even though they weren’t present in the courtroom to hear it.

Jones pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of receiving stolen property, both felonies of the fifth degree, and was sentenced to eight months on each charge, to run concurrently.

Jones was also assessed the cost of proceedings and ordered to pay restitution of $2,749 on the charge of theft. On the count of receiving stolen property, that item, a set of stolen vehicle tags, was returned to its rightful owner.

Isaac Hannon, 34, of Ironton, also expressed regret in his case. Hannon told Ballard that he would like “apologize to the community and my family,” explaining that, “it wasn’t (his) intention to hurt anyone.”

Hannon pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in heroin, in the vicinity of a school, felonies of the fourth degree. Ballard sentenced him to four years of CCS with ISP, 200 hours of community service, and to pay cost assessed, as well as to successfully complete a program at STAR Community Justice Center. Ballard reserved 17 months on each count, for a total of 34 months reserved, if Hannon fails to complete the terms of his negotiated plea.

Ballard commended both Jones and Hannon for taking time to apologize for their actions, noting that such action was rare and appreciated.

In other action on Wednesday, David Woodyard, 42, of Proctorville, pleaded not guilty on charges of forgery and receiving stolen property (checks), and was released on $50,000 own recognizances bond. Woodyard had his pretrial set for May 10.

In a related case, Tisha Ramey, 29, of Huntington, plead guilty to two counts of receiving stolen property, felonies of the fifth degree, in a deal that nullified her two charges of forgery in a stolen check case. Ramey returns to court on May 10 for sentencing.

In other action in Ballard’s courtroom Reggie Crance, 27, of Pedro, denied his CCS violation and had his trial set for April 19. Calvin Kersey, 30, of Ironton, admitted to his CCS violation and was released on a $100,000 OR bond, and an ankle monitor with GPS lockdown, until sentencing on April 19, against the wishes of the state.

The state objected to the GPS release, because of Kersey’s history of failing to appear, but Ballard took the failing health of Kersey’s mother into account in choosing to release him to house arrest until sentencing.

Justin Kersey, 28, of Pedro, denied his CCS violation and had his trial date set for April 19.

Taylor Hackney, 23, of Columbus, changed her plea to guilty on one count of possession of cocaine. Hackney was sentenced to four years of CCS with ISP, 200 hours of community service, and ordered to complete a program at STAR Community Justice Center.

Travis Everman, age and last address unknown, pleaded not guilty to F-4 theft from the elderly and had his pretrial set for April 26. Everman had his bond of $10,000 cash or surety from the lower court continued.

Bryan Patrick, 28, of Coal Grove, pleaded guilty to trafficking in methamphetamine, a felony of the fourth degree, and had his sentencing set for April 26. Bryan’s $5,000 cash or surety bond was continued and an additional OR bond of $15,000 was also set.

William E. Martin, III, 35, of Ashland, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of receiving stolen property, operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and driving with a suspended license, and his attorney requested that he be evaluated for fitness to stand trial. Ballard continued his bond of $7,500 surety and set an additional OR bond of $35,000.

Ryan M. Pyles, 26, of South Point, pleaded not guilty to charges of domestic violence and had his pretrial set for April 26. Ballard released the bond in the case, as it could negatively impact Pyles’ alleged victim, and set a new OR bond. Ballard also placed Pyles under a court order to refrain from contacting his victim.

Randy C. Pine, 44, of Chesapeake, pleaded not guilty to three counts of trafficking in drugs. Pine had his $7,500 surety bond continued and had an additional OR bond of $30,000 set in his case. Pine’s pretrial was set for May 10.

Michael Baldridge, 47, of Ashland, pleaded not guilty to charges of trafficking in methamphetamine, a felony of the fourth degree, possession of heroin, a felony of the fifth degree, and possession of criminal tools (scales), also a felony of the fifth degree. Baldridge’s bond was set at $3,500 cash or surety and $30,000 OR, with pretrial set for April 26.

James R. Cook, 33, of Ashland, Teddy D. Moore, 54, of South Point, Christopher Strait, 44, of Ironton, and Leigh A. Frye, 38, of Wayne, West Virginia, had their cases continued to a future date.

In Judge Charles Cooper’s court Bryce Butcher, 20, of Kitts Hill, admitted to his CCS violation and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Arthur Cole, 36, of Wheelersburg, pleaded not guilty to charges of trafficking and possession of Oxycodone and of tampering with evidence, and had his bond set at $50,000 cash or surety.

Custer DeLawder, 20, of Ironton, pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and possession of methamphetamine, and had his sentencing scheduled for April 26.

Jeffrey Holley, 32, of Proctorville, had his bond set at $10,000 OR and ordered to wear a GPS monitor until he returns to court in two weeks.

Shayne McCallister, 32, of Ironton, admitted to CCS violations and was sentenced to 18 months in the appropriate penal institution.

Destiny Rickey, 21, of South Point, pleaded guilty to trafficking in Oxycodone and had her sentencing set for April 26.

Nichole Scott, 45, of South Shore, Kentucky, was arraigned on charges of DUI, texting while driving, and three counts of aggravated vehicular assault. Her bond was set at $25,000 cash or surety, and she was ordered to wear a GPS monitor and report for regular drug testing until she returns to court in two weeks.

Darrel Weaver, 61, of Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to possession and trafficking in drugs and will return for sentencing on May 24.

Francis White, 22, of East Bank Kanawha, plead guilty to trafficking and possession of cocaine, and sentenced to 17 months and 12 months, to run concurrently, for a total of 17 months.