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IRONTON — An Ironton man rejected a plea offer Wednesday in a murder case in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court and the case is set for trial Feb. 3 before Judge Christen Finley.

James Franklin Wilson, 31, of the 300 block of North 5th Street, Ironton, is charged with stabbing his stepfather, Harold D. Taylor, to death in an altercation at the corner of South 9th and Spruce streets in Ironton last year.

While Wilson was armed with a knife, Taylor had a machete and a baseball bat, according to testimony in a previous court proceeding.

Wilson is charged with murder and tampering with evidence.

The murder charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years, according to Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson. The tampering charge carries a sentence of up to three years in prison.

During a final offer prior to trial, Wilson rejected a plea deal from Jeff Smith, an assistant prosecuting attorney, to reduce the charge to manslaughter and be sentenced to from eight to 12 years in prison.

Wilson, who is being represented by Scioto County lawyer Gene Meadows, is being held on a $500,000 bond.

In an unrelated case, Nathan Castle, 32, of Geswein Boulevard, Ironton, pleaded guilty in a drug possession case. He was placed on community control sanctions for three years and was ordered to complete up to a six-month program at the STAR Community Justice Center in Scioto County.

In other cases:

  • Russell Severence, 53, of the 1500 block of South 4th Street, Ironton, was found incompetent to stand trial on a burglary charge. He was ordered to be transported to Appalachian Behavioral Care in Athens, Ohio, to determine if competency could be restored.
  • Melissa A. Frederick, 52, of Township Road 616, South Point, pleaded guilty to trafficking in drugs. Final sentencing was set for Feb. 19.
  • Carrie Y. Barnes, 38, of Franklin Furnace, Ohio, pleaded innocent to two counts of aggravated trafficking in meth and denied violating community control sanctions. Bond was set at $25,000.
  • Danielle E. Fager, 31, of Kokomo, Indiana, pleaded innocent to tampering with evidence and possession of drugs. She was released on a $15,000 recognizance bond.
  • Brandon Lee Peters, 22, of the 1400 block of South 10th Street, Ironton, pleaded innocent to a felony theft charge. He was released on a $10,000 recognizance bond.
  • Tracy L. Dement, 48, of Private Drive 4442, Chesapeake, pleaded innocent to aggravated possession of drugs. He was released on a $5,000 recognizance bond.
  • Amanda L. Blake, 39, of the 300 block of Washington Street, Coal Grove, pleaded innocent to possession of fentanyl. She was released on a $5,000 recognizance bond.

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