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Evaluation sought in alleged assault case

An Ironton man accused of attacking a Briggs Lawrence County Public Library employee earlier this year will undergo a mental evaluation.

Seth Coleman, 22, of 918 Adams St., pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to a second-degree count of felonious assault at his arraignment Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Coleman is accused of attacking a library employee on Jan. 15 and threatening her with a pair of scissors. The man allegedly fled and was found two weeks later in a hospital in Morehead, Kentucky.

Judge Charles Cooper continued a $100,000 cash or surety bond from a lower court and ordered that Coleman be evaluated for competency by Court Clinic Forensic Services in Cincinnati. A pretrial was set for March 16.

In other cases:

• Derek Childers, 32, of Proctorville, was resentenced on two second-degree burglaries and four counts of fifth-degree breaking and entering.

Childers filed an appeal following his original sentencing hearing, during which time he was sentenced to 16 years in prison. His appeal stated he should not have been sentenced to consecutive prison time based on the fact that no evidence was presented or argument was made to justify a consecutive sentence.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals found merit in the claim and ordered that the judgment be reversed and Childers be resentenced.

Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson said Wednesday that a consecutive sentence would protect the public from future crimes and anything less would demean the seriousness of the crimes.

“This type of crime is very serious,” Anderson said. “It affects homeowners … it has been described to me that they never feel the same.”

Anderson recommended the same 16-year sentenced be imposed.

Childers was indicted following his arrest in 2014 after a month-long “crime spree,” as Anderson put it, where he broke into two homes and several outbuildings in Rome Township.

Childers’ attorney, Todd Long, argued his client had been addicted to drugs, but he didn’t attempt to harm anyone.

“When he was questioned by police, he admitted what he did,” Long said. “There is nothing grave or unusual about these offenses. He didn’t set out to hurt anyone.”

Childer’s mother and two former employers also spoke in his defense, asking for leniency.

Long recommended a three-year sentence.

Cooper sentenced the man to seven years in prison on each burglary charge, to be served consecutively, and 12 months for each breaking and entering charge, to be served concurrently, for a total of 14 years in prison.

“I do find consecutive sentences are necessary to protect the public from future harm,” Cooper said.

• Cee B. Hall, 54, of Pedro, was resentenced per order of the appeals court for a similiar sentencing error.

Hall was originally sentenced to eight years in prison following pleading guilty in May 2014 to two fourth- and three third-degree counts of trafficking in oxycodone.

Anderson and the man’s attorney, Gene Meadows, made a joint sentencing recommendation of seven years in prison, which Cooper imposed.

• Justin Hargis, 35, of 807 Rockwood Ave., Chesapeake, was arraigned on a second-degree count of complicity to burglary and a fifth-degree count of theft from the elderly, to which he pleaded not guilty. Cooper set bond at $75,000 cash or surety and a pretrial was set for March 16.

• Darnell Lisath, 41, of 2314 Margaruite St., Ashland, was sentenced to nine months in prison and a nine-month driver’s license suspension. He previously pleaded guilty to a third-degree count of trafficking in marijuana. He was also ordered to forfeit a 2005 Lincoln.

• Jacob Morrison, 28, of 23285 County Road 30, Kitts Hill, pleaded guilty to a second-degree count of complicity to the manufacture of drugs. Cooper sentenced the man to four years in prison and a two-year driver’s license suspension.

• Brenda McFann, 42, of 1957 County Road 44, South Point, pleaded guilty to a third-degree count of trafficking in drugs. Sentencing was set for March 16.

• Matthew Carey, 27, of 6609 County Road 1, South Point, was arraigned on a second-degree county of burglary, to which he pleaded not guilty. Cooper set bond at $50,000 cash or surety and set a pretrial for March 16.

• Tyler Denney, 29, of 621 S. Eighth St., Ironton, was arraigned on two counts of second-degree burglary, first-degree aggravated robbery and third-degree tampering with evidence, to which he pleaded not guilty. Bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety and a pretrial was set for March 16.

• Richard Fooce, 23, of Ironton, was sentenced to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation. He previously pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree breaking and entering.

• John Milstead, 43, of 260 State Route 239, West Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree count of assault on a peace officer and misdemeanor resisting arrest.

Cooper sentenced the man to 17 years in prison.