Drug offenses dominate Belmont docket

T-L Photo/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK
Ed Gorence, chief probation officer for Belmont County Common Pleas Court, observes a defendant during a hearing Monday.

T-L Photo/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK Ed Gorence, chief probation officer for Belmont County Common Pleas Court, observes a defendant during a hearing Monday.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Belmont County Common Pleas Court has been packed during recent weeks, with drug-related offenses continuing to dominate the docket.

Judge Frank Fregiato held court Monday, as Justin Allen Baxter, 27, of 401 Marion St., Bridgeport, saw his probation revoked after testing positive for drugs and failing to report. His full sentence of four years and six months in prison was imposed, with credit of almost three years for time served.

Baxter originally was convicted of breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony occurring May 8, 2014.

Baxter’s defense attorney asked Fregiato to consider Baxter’s struggle with drug addiction and asked for jail and residential treatment. Fregiato noted Baxter had already undergone drug court and completed the Eastern Ohio Correction Center program.

“This court has done everything humanly possible to help Mr. Baxter,” Fregiato said. “A lot of work and time goes into (the drug court) program for each and every individual.”

Fregiato also ordered drug and alcohol counseling for Baxter while he is incarcerated.

In other matters before Fregiato on Monday:

– Walter Vincent Burkhart, 50, of 346 Roscoe Ave., Bellaire, saw his trial set for Sept. 19 on a charge of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony allegedly occurring Nov. 15.

– Logan Charles Blum, 18, of 43100 National Road, Belmont, pleaded guilty to failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony occurring July 17. His sentencing date was set for Sept. 25.

– Joseph Dale David Brown, 24, incarcerated, admitted to violating his probation by testing positive for drugs. His sentencing was set for Sept. 25. He was originally convicted of burglary, a fourth-degree felony occurring March 7, 2016.

– Robert Lee Litterell III, 28, incarcerated, was sentenced to six months for possession a deadly weapon while under disability, a fourth-degree felony occurring Feb. 21. The six months will be served consecutively with his current sentence.

– Trever Da’Sean Nettles, 21, of Toledo, pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon, a fourth-degree felony occurring June 21. His sentencing hearing was set for Sept. 25.

– Kevin James Paige, 28, of 1213 1/2 Lind St., Wheeling, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs in connection with a Dec. 20 incident. His sentencing was set for Sept. 25.

– Quavontee Lee Pugh, 21, incarcerated, was arraigned and pleaded innocent to complicity to trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony allegedly occurring Dec. 29. A status conference was set for Oct. 10, with a plea agreement deadline of Nov. 6 and trial on Nov. 14.

– Sherman Michael Warner, 21, of 137 Third Ave., Bellaire, was sentenced to 18 months for theft, a third-degree felony occurring Feb. 19.

Common Pleas Judge John Vavra also heard several cases on Monday:

– Beth Ann Davis, 32, of 147 North Sugar St., St. Clairsville, pleaded guilty to attempted illegal conveyance of prohibited substances into a detention facility, a fourth-degree felony occurring July 10. Her sentencing was set for Sept. 18.

– Daniel David Underwood, 40, of 6005 Willow Grove Road, Bellaire, pleaded guilty to domestic violence, a fourth-degree felony occurring March 4. His sentencing was set for Sept. 18.

In other cases before Vavra recently:

– Cameron Taylor Flatt, 30, of Fairmont, W.Va., pleaded guilty to theft and fleeing and eluding a police officer in connection with a July 2 incident. Flatt was sentenced to nine months for each count, to be served consecutively for a total of 18 months.

– Joseph Wesley McMasters of Canton will go to trial Sept. 19 on a charge of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony allegedly occurring Nov. 17.

– Matthew Joseph McCabe, 31, of 1107 Indiana St., Martins Ferry, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, a fifth-degree felony occurring July 12. His sentencing date was set for Sept. 18.

– Joshua Ryan Supanik of 70978 Barton Road, St. Clairsville, admitted to violating his probation by using drugs. His original sentence of 18 months in prison was imposed, with credit for 292 days served. He was originally convicted of receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony occurring April 6, 2016.

– Cory Jacob Schramm, 18, of 433 52nd St., Bellaire, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted carrying of a concealed weapon, a fifth-degree felony occurring June 28. He will be sentenced Sept. 18.

– Richard Wayne Tedrow, 25, of 34 Indiana St., Wheeling, admitted to several violations of his probation, including drug use and failing to report to his probation officer. He will serve the six-month balance of his sentence at the Eastern Ohio Correction Center. Tedrow was originally convicted of theft, a fifth-degree felony occurring Sept. 19, 2015.

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