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IRONTON — A West Virginia man faces up to three years in prison in a drug case after pleading guilty last week in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

John Stephenson, 58, of St. Albans, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of aggravated possession of drugs. Several other charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Final sentencing was set for April 7. The case had been set for trial April 5.

In an unrelated case, Casey Bartrum, 30, no address listed, admitted violating community control sanctions and was sentenced to nine months in prison. He was given credit for 43 days already served and could get out of prison a month early if he pays off court costs and supervisory fees.

In other cases:

  • Joshua A. Sparks, 39, of the 300 block of Pine Street, declined to sign a bill of information charging him with escape, possession of criminal tools, tampering with evidence, vandalism and resisting arrest. The case will be forwarded to an upcoming grand jury.
  • Nathan Lee Castle, 33, of the 2300 block of Geswein Boulevard, Ironton, admitted violating community control sanctions and was ordered to complete the STAR Community Justice Center relapse program. He also was ordered to do 200 hours of community service.
  • Dustin L. Sanford, 31, of the 2600 block of 5th Street Road, Huntington, pleaded guilty in a drug possession case and was ordered to get treatment in lieu of conviction, requiring him to be drug- and alcohol-free for a year. He also was ordered to do 200 hours of community service.
  • Elvis Rister, 45, of Garrison, Kentucky, pleaded not guilty to felonious assault. Bond was set at $25,000.
  • Shannon Clark, 35, of County Road 14, Waterloo, pleaded not guilty to felonious assault, theft and tampering with evidence. Clark was released on a $50,000 recognizance bond.
  • James V. Newcomb, 54, of Township Road 267, Waterloo, pleaded not guilty to two counts of felonious assault, theft and tampering with drugs. He was released on a $50,000 recognizance bond.
  • Nathan S. Tyson, 39, of Private Drive 867, Ironton, pleaded not guilty to tampering with evidence, having weapons while under disability, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and misdemeanor charges of child endangering and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was released on a $25,000 recognizance bond.
  • John R. Hogan, 35, of Columbus, pleaded not guilty to breaking and entering. Bond was set at $5,000.
  • Jessy Stapleton, 35, of Township Road 245 West, Pedro, pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of controlled substances. Stapleton was released on a $15,000 recognizance bond.
  • Kevin A. Newcomb, 33, of County Road 52, Ironton, pleaded not guilty to aggravated possession of meth. He was released on a $10,000 recognizance bond

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