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Judge urges treatment for defendants

Cracks down on positive drug screens, violations

Judge Andrew Ballard’s words on Wednesday morning prompted one person to reject what Ballard called “the easy way out” and seek treatment instead.

David A. Rann, 23, of Ironton, admitted to his CCS violations on Wednesday morning, in a plea deal that would have earned him six months in prison, at which time he would be free of community control sanctions.

Ballards’s words “struck a nerve” with Rann, though, according to his attorney Phillip Heald, and instead they asked to be recalled, at which time they asked for a continuation of Rann’s CCS and time at a treatment facility.

Heald had appealed to the court for Rann, stating that his CCS violations, failing to report a change in employment and then testing positive for methamphetamine, opiates, and THC, “are the kind of someone struggling with addiction.”

Heald recommended to Rann that, after completing his six months, he seek treatment on his own for these issues.

This prompted Ballard to tell Rann that taking the six months in prison was “the easy way out.” He said that the court could provide treatment, explaining to Rann that  “Mr. Heald is a great advocate, suggesting you seek (treatment) when you get out.”

However, the judge said, the court “can’t waste resources” on someone who is unwilling to do the hard work of recovery.

It was at this point that Rann and Heald consulted, and Heald asked for more time to speak with his client.

When Rann and Heald returned, they asked if Rann could remain on CCS, and complete a program at STAR Community Justice Center, rather than serve six months.

The judge agreed, extended Rann’s CCS by one year and ordered him to complete a program at STAR. Rann will remain incarcerated until reporting to STAR. The judge also reserved 13 months in an appropriate penal institution if Rann should fail to adhere to the terms of his sentence.

But while Ballard showed a willingness to work with folks like Rann, who express a sincere desire to turn their lives around, he also cracked down on individuals who violated the terms of their bond agreements by failing to abstain from the use of illegal or prescription drugs for which they do not have a valid prescription.

Clarence M. Botkins, 45, of Ironton, appeared for pretrial on charges of aggravated trafficking in methamphetamine, and tested positive for methamphetamine and THC. While the defense asked for a continuation of the existing bond, the state asked the judge to increase the bond to $25,000 cash or surety. Ballard, instead, increased Botkins’ bond to $50,000 cash or surety and $50,000 own recognizances.

Ballard also increased bond to $50,000 for Brandy K. Bump, 30, of Ironton, after she tested positive for methamphetamine and oxycodone. Bump was appearing at pretrial on charges of possession of methamphetamine.

Lisa Cartwright, 39, of South Point, had her bond set at $50,000 cash or surety and $50,000 own recognizances, after testing positive for cocaine and marijuana. Cartwright, who failed to appear last week, came in of her own volition after a warrant was issued for her arrest on charges of possession of cocaine and possession of focalin and was remanded to custody.

Michael A. Rucker, 57, of Ironton, was sentenced to three years each on three counts of trafficking in morphine and one count of trafficking in methamphetamine, and to 500 days on CCS violations. Rucker, who pleaded guilty on July 5, will have his four three-year sentences run concurrently, for a total of three years. However, the 500 days for the CCS violation must run consecutively.

Brandi Traylor, 34, of Chesapeake, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin. Because Traylor is already in a treatment program, and had negative drug screenings, Ballard ordered her to complete the program she was already in with the Linda Center, as well as sentencing her to four years of CCS and 200 hours of community service.

Victor Bradshaw, 53, of Ironton, pleaded guilty to possession of oxycodone in a plea deal that nullified a count of trafficking in drugs, and was sentenced to four years of CCS.

James Cook, 33 of Ashland, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to trafficking in methamphetamine and was sentenced to four years of CCS, 200 hours of community service, and to complete treatment at STAR, plus court costs.

Dean F. Field, 54, of Ironton, plead no contest to charges of failure to comply and improper handling of firearms in a vehicle, and was sentenced to two years on the failure to comply and one year on the improper handling, to run consecutively, for a total of three years. Fields, however, may be eligible for judicial release after six months, with good behavior. The state said that they would not oppose release after one-year time.

Chadwick Goodrich, 40, of Ironton, had his bond amended to remove GPS monitoring, and had his case continued.

Gary Hay, no file available, admitted to his CCS violation for failure to report, failure to complete community service hours and failing a drug screening.

Hay had his CCS continued and was ordered to complete his incomplete community service hours as well as completing a program at STAR, plus court costs. Hay will remain incarcerated until a bed date is available for him at STAR.

William E. Martin, 35, of Ashland, was determined by evaluation to be competent to stand trial, and ineligible for a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, on charges of receiving stolen property, DWI and operating a vehicle under a suspended license. His pretrial was scheduled for August 16.

Jonathon Mason, 25, of Detroit, Michigan, pleaded guilty to improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. Mason was sentenced to six months in the Lawrence County Jail, with credit for time served, one year of CCS and was ordered to pay court costs. In addition, Mason will forfeit the firearms in his possession for use by law enforcement or destruction.

Joshua D. Mullens, 30, of Ironton, pleaded not guilty to charges of drug possession and had his bond continued from a lower court. If Mullens is able to raise bond, he will have to submit to GPS monitoring as a condition of his release.

Vickie Newcomb, no file available, admitted to her CCS violation and was sentenced to six months in prison.

Joe D. Boles, 32, of Ironton, pleaded not guilty to possession of methamphetamine and had bond set at $25,000 own recognizances and released on GPS monitoring.

Melissa D. Bridges, 31, of Ironton, pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine, and had bond set at $25,000 cash or surety and $25,000 own recognizances.

James Brown, no file available, admitted to his CCS violation and had his CCS continued and was ordered to complete a program at STAR Community Justice Center. He will remain incarcerated until reporting to STAR.

George O’Day, file not available, denied his CCS violation and had his trial set for July 26.

Robert Pauley, file not available, pleaded not guilty and had his bond continued.

William McKee, 47, of Ashland, was back in court for the review of his psychological evaluation. The psychologist’s report stated that they were unable to make a determination of his competency due to a lack of cooperation. They recommended a 20-day inpatient evaluation at Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare and Ballard acted on that recommendation, ordering McKee to be admitted to the facility for evaluation.

McKee is accused of violating a protective order. During his previous appearance before the judge, on May 31, he was uncooperative with the court and with his attorney, focusing on blood pressure medicine he said was denied him while incarcerated rather than the matter at hand. He also told his attorney, Warren Morford, that he didn’t understand at that time why he was not allowed to have a conversation with the individual who had a protective order against him.

In Judge Charles Cooper’s courtroom Justin B. Casey, 27, of Pedro, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of felonious assault and endangering children, and was ordered to undergo evaluation.

Jay C. Hutchinson, 37, of Ironton, admitted to his CCS violation and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.