AP NEWS

South Point man sentenced to prison after violating sanctions

March 3, 2019

IRONTON — A South Point, Ohio, man was sentenced Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to 34 months in prison by Judge Christen Finley.

Stephen King Jr., 32, of Freeman Court, South Point, initially was sentenced to 46 months in prison for drug trafficking and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle in 2016. He subsequently was given a judicial release.

King was placed on community control sanctions and was required to report weekly to probation officials. King admitted failing to report since June 2017. He testified he found it difficult to report since he had no driver’s license and no car.

“I’m a vet with PTSD,” King said. “I’ve been strung out on heroin for eight years. I was homeless in Huntington, going from house to house.”

Finley found King violated community control sanctions by failing to report and sentenced him to prison for two years and 10 months he had remaining on his initial prison sentence.

King said he would appeal the sentence, and Finley agreed to appoint a lawyer to represent him in the appeal. King also was credited for 34 days already served toward the new sentence.

In an unrelated case, Finley sentenced Martin H. Benicker, 60, of the 2500 block of South 9th Street, Ironton, to six months in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession of meth.

In other cases:

• Cody Gollihue, 23, of West Liberty, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of heroin. He was placed on community control sanctions for four years and was ordered to complete up to a six-month program at the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace, Ohio.

• Eric Maddix, 32, of the 3000 block of Shute Street, Ashland, admitted violating community control sanctions. He was ordered to complete the program at STAR.

• Steven Fletcher, 29, of Little Solida Road, South Point, pleaded innocent to a charge of failure to appear. Bond was set at $25,000.

• Johnny Browning, 37, of the 700 block of South 9th Street, Ironton, pleaded innocent to possession of fentanyl. Bond was set at $10,000.

• Chelsey Hankins, 32, of Township Road 1063, South Point, pleaded innocent to possession of controlled substances. Bond was set at $5,000.

• Elizabeth Preston, 41, of the 2400 block of South 6th Street, Ironton, pleaded innocent to possession of fentanyl. She was released on a $10,000 signature bond.

• Elizabeth A. Preston, 41, of the 2400 block of South 6th Street, Ironton, pleaded innocent to possession of meth. She was released on a $10,000 signature bond.