AP NEWS

Ironton man charged with murder rejects deal

May 4, 2019

IRONTON - An Ironton man charged with aggravated murder rejected a plea deal this week that would have seen him plead guilty and not able to see a parole board for 15 years.

James W. Moore, 49, of Township Road 252, Ironton, is set to stand trial on a charge of aggravated murder May 20 before Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Christen Finley.

If convicted on the charge of aggravated murder later this month, he could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, said Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson.

Moore is charged with shooting Homer F. Crank, 42, five times, including twice in the chest and three times in the back, last Aug. 27 at Moore’s residence, according to Anderson. The shooting was recorded by the defendant’s home surveillance camera, according to authorities.

In an unrelated case, Chase L. Lewis, 34, of Township Road 1339, South Point, Ohio, pleaded guilty to three counts of trafficking in drugs. Final sentencing was set for May 29. Jeffrey Smith, an assistant county prosecutor, said he would recommend 42 months in prison and wouldn’t object to a motion for judicial release after six months to the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, followed by drug counseling at Mended Reeds in Ironton.

In other cases:

n Owen M. Friend, 44, of the 2400 block of South 10th Street, Ironton, pleaded guilty to possession of meth. He was placed on community control sanctions for four years and was ordered to complete up to a six-month program at STAR. Friend also was ordered to do 400 hours of community service.

n Comfort L. Goody, 31, of County Road 1, South Point, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin. Goody was placed on community control sanctions for four years and ordered to complete a drug rehab program at Mended Reeds. She also was ordered to do 400 hours of community control sanctions.

n Wilbert Franklin Hatcher II, 29, of Williamson, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. He was placed on community control sanctions for four years and ordered to do 400 hours of community service. The firearm also was ordered to be destroyed.

n Ryan Langley, 40, of County Road 15, Chesapeake, Ohio, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin, and a charge of failure to appear was dismissed. He was placed on community control sanctions for four years and ordered to do 400 hours of community service.

n Molly S. Ross, 47, of County Road 1, South Point, pleaded guilty to possession of meth. She was placed on community control sanctions for four years and was ordered to complete the program at STAR. She also was ordered to do 400 hours of community service.

n Steven B. Stamper, 20, of Ohio 93, Ironton, admitted to violating community control sanctions. He was ordered to complete the program at STAR and do 500 hours of community service. His community control sanctions also were extended.

n Brittney N. Sparks, 32, of Private Drive 135, Proctorville, pleaded innocent to a charge of failure to appear. Bond was set at $25,000.

n Cory A. Smith, 20, of the 600 block of South 7th Street, Ironton, pleaded innocent to aggravated possession of meth. Smith was released after signing a $25,000 recognizance bond.