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IRONTON — Several defendants in cases in Ohio pleaded innocent earlier this week.

Most of the 17 defendants pleading innocent Wednesday were released on a recognizance bond. Overcrowding at the Lawrence County Jail also could have been a factor in the cases.

Following the indictments of more than 100 people earlier this month, the number of people being held at the Lawrence County Jail reached more than 60 last week. Sheriff Jeff Lawless was asked to reduce the number of people being held at the 48-year-old jail.

State officials have recommended the jail hold no more than 27 prisoners. Common pleas and municipal court judges were advised of the overcrowding conditions.

Mary E. Collins, 37, of the 100 block of Wilson Court, South Point, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated trafficking in meth in the vicinity of a school, aggravated possession of meth and illegal conveyance of prohibited items onto the grounds of a detention facility. Judge Christen Finley set bond in the case at $25,000.

In an unrelated case, Joshua Boggs, 39, of Township Road 1006, Chesapeake, pleaded innocent to aggravated trafficking in fentanyl, aggravated trafficking in meth, aggravated possession of meth and possession of controlled substances. Bond was set at $5,000.

Desaree N. Johnson, 29, of the 600 block of Lane Street, Coal Grove, pleaded innocent to aggravated burglary, theft of a firearm, using weapons while intoxicated and resisting arrest. Bond was set at $10,000.

Rione M. McDaniel, 40, of Township Road 1259, Proctorville, pleaded innocent to aggravated trafficking in fentanyl, aggravated trafficking in meth, possession of controlled substances and aggravated possession of meth. Bond was set at $5,000.

Michael A. Taylor Jr., 31, of the 900 block of Douglas Street, Huntington, pleaded innocent to possession of cocaine. Bond was set at $5,000.

The following defendants pleaded innocent and were released on recognizance bonds pending further court proceedings:

  • Hobert S. Gearhart, 57, of County Road 52, pleaded innocent to possession of cocaine and was released on bond.
  • Michael A. Howard, 48, of Private Drive 865, South Point, pleaded innocent to improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
  • Angela G. McDaniel, 59, of Township Road 1259, Proctorville, pleaded innocent to two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, aggravated possession of drugs and possession of controlled substances.
  • Michael E. Martin, 59, of the 400 block of Vesuvius Street, Ironton, pleaded innocent to aggravated possession of meth.
  • Hubert A. DeHart, 49, of the 100 block of Baptist Hill, Flatwoods, Kentucky, pleaded innocent to aggravated trafficking of meth, aggravated possession of meth, possession of heroin and possession of drugs.
  • William Waddell III, 29, of the 100 block of Fernwood Drive, Coal Grove, pleaded innocent to improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
  • Courtney D. Hazlett, 28, of McDavid Boulevard, Grayson, Kentucky, pleaded innocent to aggravated possession of meth, tampering with evidence and possession of drugs.
  • Jack F. Whaley III, 44, of the 100 block of Ashland Drive, South Point, pleaded innocent to aggravated possession of meth and passing bad checks.
  • Tiffany J. Henry, 27, of Township Road 277, Hanging Rock, pleaded innocent to improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
  • Jeremy A. Dickess, 43, of County Road 26, Ironton, pleaded innocent to aggravated possession of meth.
  • Nicholas E. Shoemaker, 25, of McDavid Boulevard, Grayson, Kentucky, pleaded innocent to tampering with evidence and aggravated possession of drugs.
  • Josie L. Copley, 55, of Meade Street, Flatwoods, pleaded innocent to aggravated possession of meth.

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