Gessler’s plea is continued

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Numerous felony pleas were heard Friday. Belmont County Common Pleas Judge John M. Solovan II presided.

The plea agreement deadline for Thomas Lee Gessler Jr., 35, 114 1/2 South Eighth St., Martins Ferry, was continued to 1 p.m. Monday. His trial is set for Oct. 2.

He is accused of one count theft of an automobile, one count felonious assault and one count aggravated robbery, all occurring March 1.

Charges stem from an incident in which a woman had driven to her daughter’s home just outside of city limits on Barton Road to pick up her grandson to take him to school. As she was pulling into driveway, she observed a man approaching on foot waving his arms asking for help.

Gessler allegedly entered the vehicle. The woman exited the car, and the man got behind the wheel and hit the gas, taking off in reverse at high speed.

The woman became caught in the car door and was dragged some distance before she became free, suffering serious injuries.

Gessler faces a maximum sentence of more than 20 years.

David Wayne Armstrong, 23, 68137 Hammond Road, St. Clairsville, was ruled competent to stand trial for two counts of rape, a felony of the first degree occurring June 30, 2011. Each count carries a sentence of 25 years to life. Solovan noted that two competency evaluations have been performed and the court has ruled Armstrong has been malingering. Solovan instructed him to fully cooperate in his defense.

Plea agreement deadline was set for Nov. 9 and trial was set for Dec. 4.

Trenton Michael Patrick Smith, 20, 57539 48th St., Bellaire, was sentenced to 36 months in the penitentiary after he violated his terms of community control and escaped from EOCC in July. He had been convicted of endangering children, a felony of the third degree occurring Dec. 12, 2010, and given five years of community controls.

Smith expressed remorse for his crime and the recklessness that led to it.

Solovan noted that judicial release and reentry into EOCC may be an option after 90 days.

Albert Emerson Mayhugh, Jr., 46, 49443 1/2 Back St., Harrisville, pleaded guilty to trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fourth degree occurring July 18, 2011, and driving under the influence, a felony of the fourth degree occurring Oct. 4, 2011.

A pre-sentence investigation and EOCC evaluation were ordered. Sentence was set for Nov. 9.

Robert Eugene Nolan, 28, 125 Franklin Lane, Sistersville, pleaded guilty of theft, a felony of the fifth degree occurring Feb. 22, 2012 at Wal mart.

The amount was greater than $1,000 and less that $7,500. A pre-sentence investigation and EOCC evaluation were ordered. Sentence was set for Oct. 26.

Michael Coury Pyles, 24, 429 Annadale Avenue, Moundsville, will go to trial Oct. 16 for one count burglary, a felony of the second degree occurring Feb. 28, 2012, and one related count of theft occurring October 2011.

Ricky Joe McGuire, 23, PO Box 194, Neffs, was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to one count breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree occurring March 17, 2010. A status conference was set for Oct. 12, with plea agreement Oct. 26 and trial Nov. 6. Bond was set at $2,500.

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