Safecracking sentencing delayed

ST. CLAIRSVILLE Several sentences were handed down and pleas were heard during Monday’s session of Belmont County Common Pleas Court. Judge Jennifer L. Sargus presided.

Pamela Louise Moore, 43, 63475 Main St., Glencoe, saw a two-week delay in her sentencing after defense and the state offered a joint resolution that did not include incarceration. She faces one count of safecracking and three counts of receiving stolen property, felonies of the fourth degree occurring Feb. 28, 2012.

The victims spoke about the repercussions of the theft, noting the resulting lack of trust and security.

“There were a lot of guns taken. I’m going to get a few of them back. Those guns are going to be on the street forever. Do you know what damage they could possibly do?” one victim stated, also noting the loss of treasured keepsakes as a result of the theft and adding that the other co-defendants faced incarceration and opinioned that Moore should do likewise.

“If that gun ever kills anybody do you know how much that will haunt me? It haunts me now,” another victim said. “I bought it to defend myself and my family.”

Defense asked Sargus to consider Moore’s medical condition, which require drugs that may not be permitted under incarceration. In addition, she did not enter the homes or take an active role in the commission of the offenses. Moore also has no criminal history.

Assistant Prosecutor Helen Yonak said the state entered into a joint recommendation. She said that although some of the co-defendants maintain that Moore took an active role in planning the crimes, all the witnesses are either incarcerated or in treatment and not credible.

“This is the best resolution of a bad situation,” she said.

Sargus noted the vehemence of the victims’ response and the seriousness of the case. She called for a delay in sentencing to gather evidence concerning whether Moore’s medical needs were inconsistent with incarceration. Sargus added that she would not treat the joint recommendation as binding and gave Moore the option of withdrawing her plea.

She also noted Moore had tested positive for a drug screening in May and placed her under house arrest for 30 days.

Timothy M. Hilderbrand, 43, incarcerated, was sentenced to three years of post-release controls for one count of domestic violence, a felony of the third degree occurring Aug. 5, 2008.

William Paul McKinney, 48, 72595 Flushing-Holloway Road, Flushing, was sentenced on one count of possession of a weapon while under disability, a felony of the third degree occurring March 29, 2011. He was given a non-residential sanction of three years of community-based controls as part of a suspended one-year sentence.

Robert Lekanudos, 24, incarcerated, entered an admission for violating his probation and was given a sentence of 90 days in jail. He was originally convicted of trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fourth degree, occurring Nov. 5, 2010.

Trial date was set for Arthur Gene Harvey, 57, 110 Carmel Road, Wheeling, for trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fifth degree occurring March 25, 2012, and Rita Lynn Walker, 40, 1043 Broadway St., Martins Ferry, for trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fourth degree occurring Oct. 10, 2011. The cases were combined and trial set for Oct. 22.

Kara Whitecotton, 25, incarcerated, pleaded guilty to burglary, a felony of the fourth degree occurring July 26, 2012. Sentence was set for Aug. 5. She faces a maximum of 18 months.

Joseph Richards, 33, 4260 Noble St., Bellaire, admitted to violating his probation and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. He was originally charged with safecracking, a felony of the fourth degree occurring Sept. 12, 2011.

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