ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Former Martins Ferry Police Chief Barry Carpenter will be released from incarceration. Carpenter, 43, appeared Friday before Belmont County Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Solovan II, where his motion for judicial release was granted. Solovan gave Carpenter five years of community control sanctions.
He will remain in jail until space is available at the East Ohio Correctional Center (EOCC) in Wintersville. He will then be transferred to EOCC for six months before release.
Upon release, he will be under intensive supervised probation for 12 months, followed by regular probation for 42 months. Carpenter will also complete 80 hours of community service.
In 2010, Carpenter was sent to prison on a 32-month sentence for receiving stolen property, theft in office and tampering with evidence.
The crimes occurred between 2007-2009 and included a role in a break-in of the home of the surrogate mother for celebrities Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, which drew national attention.
In 2011 he was sentenced on three additional counts of receiving stolen property, namely firearms. The charges are felonies of the fourth degree. He was sentenced to an additional year for each of the three new offenses, to be served consecutively and consecutive to his 32-month sentence for an added three years.
The hearing was held before a courtroom packed with family, friends and supporters of the former chief.
During his Friday hearing, Carpenter's defense asked Solovan to consider his regret for his actions and the negative attention they brought to the area, as well as the damage to the reputation of the police department. He also asked Solovan to consider Carpenter's clean record while incarcerated and his work to reform himself through the rehabilitation programs available. He concluded that Carpenter's only desire was for a chance to prove himself.
Assistant Ohio Attorney General Paul Scarsella said the state was opposed to judicial release, pointing out the high office Carpenter had held and the equally high violation of the public trust.
Carpenter was a police officer with Martins Ferry since 1992 and took on the role of chief in 2004. As police chief, Carpenter had established K-9 units and a tactical team, and he had worked on obtaining grants for the police department.
Solovan said he had taken the entirety of the prior testimony from Carpenter and his character witnesses into account.
"I believe you have begun to accept accountability and responsibility for your actions, or I would not have considered this judicial release," Solovan said.
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