Four are handed prison sentences

STEUBENVILLE – A city man who threw away a gun while being chased by City Police was sentenced Friday by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. to 24 months in prison.

Sidney D. Watson, 27, of Apartment H, 805 Market Square, pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon, having a weapon while under disability and tampering with evidence.

Police said they were investigating reports of alleged illegal activity in an alley between Maryland and Pennsylvania Avenue on March 11 when they spotted a pickup truck missing a taillight. When they pulled the vehicle over, Watson fled the scene on foot. A 9 mm handgun was found under a bush, police said.

The county prosecutor’s office reported Watson has a prior gun conviction in Cook County, Ill.

Also, Kenneth E. Shepard, 28, of 820 Rosswell Ave. was sentenced to 14 months in prison by Bruzzese after Shepard pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property and obstructing official business.

City Police on Dec. 17 were investigating a wreck involving a reported stolen vehicle. Officers saw Shepard and told him to stop but he went into the house at 820 Rosswell Ave.

City officers and a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy and an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper surrounded the home. A female there -Suzette M. Sherrell, 23, – who was the same person who called in the report of the stolen car, allowed law enforcement to enter the home, police reported.

Officers went to an upstairs bedroom, where another woman said Shepard told her to lock him inside a closet. The lock and clasp on the door were removed, police reported. The door was opened and officers found 24 stolen rifles, police reported.

There was evidence that Shepard had climbed through an attic access in the ceiling of the closet. Not knowing if Shepard was armed, an officer opened the access door and sprayed pepper spray into the attic, police reported. Shepard came down from the attic a couple minutes later, an officer said.

Sherrell was later indicted on charges of receiving stolen property and complicity to receiving stolen property. The county prosecutor’s office dismissed those charges on Friday.

Two men charged in connection with an attempted burglary of a house on Vireo Drive, Wintersville, and the burglary of a house in the 100 block of Bantam Ridge Road each were sentenced to two years in prison.

Ronald Hawthorne, 31, of 3102 county Road 25, Rayland, pleaded guilty. Harry W. Richard, 24, of 500 Wallace St., Brilliant, entered an Alford plea, in which he doesn’t admit to the act but agrees the prosecution could likely prove the charge.