The Courts

Common Pleas

New Cases

David V. Gedrock, special administrator of the estate of James E. Thompson, deceased, vs. Fitch, Kendall, Cecil, Robinson and Barry Co., LPA, Salem, et al., excess of $25,000 sought for allegedly legal malpractice and negligence in the handling of a farm business dispute involving Thompson Farms.

Jerry Phillips, Warren, vs. PHD Manufacturing Inc., Columbiana, et al., appeal sought of worker’s compensation claim.

Danny and Randi Beegle, Beloit, vs. Richard G. Zellers, Canfield, declaration of invalid mortgage and quiet of title sought.

Docket Entries

Edison Asset Partners Ltd., vs. Todd R. Guy, defendant ordered to pay plaintiff $8,165 plus costs.

USA acting through the Rural Housing Service USDA vs. Kyle D. Wilkinson, et al., property on North Elm Street, Columbiana, sold to the Raptis Investments LLC of Warren for $136,400.

County Treasurer vs. Antony A. Buffone, et al., bankruptcy filed, case on hold.

County Treasurer vs. LJM Rentals of Ohio LLC, et al., delinquent taxes and penalties paid, case dismissed.

County Treasurer vs. Thomas G. Moore Jr., et al., defendant entered payment plan, foreclosure on hold.

Grand Jury

LISBON — Norman D. Sleper, 54, Jennings Avenue, Salem, was served a secret indictment charging him with possession of cocaine and trafficking in cocaine, both fifth-degree felonies, along with the forfeiture specification for money related to a drug case. According to the charges, Sleper allegedly had cocaine and $242 in drug-related funds on Jan. 29, 2019, and cocaine in an amount less than five grams available for resale on March 12, 2019. The indictment was issued by the grand jury in January.

Court News

LISBON — Mervin Jones Jr., 54, Chester, W.Va., was sentenced in Common Pleas Court to nine months in prison for robbery, a third-degree felony. He was credited with 61 days already served. On May 17, 2019, while stealing from Stephanie M. Ross, Jones harmed or threatened to harm her.

Sarah E. Densmore, 39, Sunset Lane, East Liverpool, pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a computer, cable or telecommunications property and was immediately sentenced to one year community control. Densmore had been charged due to her actions on July 7, 2020.

Jeffrey R. Orey, 65, Smyth Street, Alliance, pleaded guilty to a lesser-included offense of attempted aggravated possession of drugs for methamphetamines in his possession on Aug. 4, 2019. He was found eligible for intervention in lieu of conviction and was placed on a three-year treatment plan.

Justin O. Smith, 37, West Pershing Street, Salem, was sentenced to a year in prison, a $1,350 fine and a five-year license suspension for OVI from May 8, 2019, when he already had three prior OVI convictions.

David K. Hutto, 35, Holiday Street, East Liverpool, was pleaded guilty to aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and was sentenced immediately to three years community control. Hutto had methamphetamines on April 30, 2020.


LISBON — In county Municipal Court, Jay Thomas Kelly, 58, state Route 518, Hanoverton, was bound over to the grand jury on charges of compelling prostitution, importuning, soliciting and possessing criminal tools. On June 20, Kelly allegedly responded to an advertisement for a 38-year-old and an 18-year-old woman and then requested sexual activities with a the 18-year-old’s 15-year-old friend, claiming he would go as young as 12 or 13 years old for sexual relations. Kelly reportedly asked for naked images of the girl to be sent to him and agreed to pay $50 for sex. He then went to pick the girl up on June 22 and was arrested by undercover officers with the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.

Michael D. Merriman, 36, First Street, Wellsville, was bound over to the grand jury on two counts of domestic violence after he waived his rights to a preliminary hearing. Merriman is accused of becoming angry at Skylla McLaughlin because there was no food in the house, throwing things at her, hitting her in the arm when she was trying to block him from hitting her on May 22. Merriman reportedly has a prior conviction for domestic violence in November.

An Aug. 10 pretrial was set for James R. Fitch, 53, Maple Street, Salem, charged with violating a protection order for allegedly sending his ex-wife, Melissa Fitch, a friend request on Facebook on June 28 in violation of an order of protection filed on May 5.


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