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Domestic case lands Wellsville man prison

LISBON — Cody S. Wilt, the Wellsville man who kicked in the door of the East Liverpool home where his children lived and threatened to burn the house down, was sentenced to serve between three and a half and five years in prison.

Wilt, 29, Aten Avenue, Wellsville, had hearings on Monday in front of both Judge Megan Bickerton and Judge Scott Washam. He ended up with consecutive sentences in the two cases.

Assistant County Prosecutor Alec Beech said Wilt had kicked in the door at the home of Brittany Petty after standing outside screaming because she would not let him see his children. He also threatened to burn the house down. Beech said Wilt had prior charges including a recent prior domestic violence conviction.

“I can’t leave my door unlocked anymore,” said Petty, who appeared before Bickerton at the hearing in Common Pleas Court. Petty continued that the children saw everything, including Wilt charging at her. “I’m still trying to recover from it and to be the best mom I can be for my kids. I never wanted this to happen. I wanted him to be a father. I wanted him to do what he was supposed to do.”

Defense attorney Paul Conn said it was a terrible thing that happened that night, but it happened because Wilt was trying to see his children. After serving a 90-day jail sentence for violating the probation he had been on when the crime occurred, Conn said Wilt has been trying to work on himself. He has been going to meetings and had made arrangements for a child support hearing in December to begin paying the support for the children.

“My client’s major problem is his inability to stop using drugs,” Conn said, asking Bickerton consider giving Wilt a chance at the Eastern Ohio Corrections Center for some drug rehabilitation instead of prison.

Beech requested Bickerton consider a three-year prison sentence for Wilt for the charges of burglary, domestic violence and aggravated possession of drugs. Because of recently new sentencing guidelines for first- and second-degree felonies, the burglary charge carries an indefinite sentence between three years and four and a half years.

Bickerton questioned Wilt shaking his head while Petty had spoken and asked what he did not agree with about her statement. Wilt denied charging at Petty, but when questioned further by Bickerton admitted he had kicked in the door. She pointed out Wilt was on probation for domestic violence at the time and was not supposed to be near Petty at the time, which was Dec. 12, 2019.

“That is not the example you set for your children,” Bickerton said. “You don’t subject your children to that violence. You don’t put your children in a place where when they are at home they are afraid someone is going to come and kick the door in.”

At the second hearing in front of Washam, Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart asked for a six-month sentence for Wilt for another aggravated possession of drugs charge, while Conn asked the sentences to run concurrently. Both charges were for having methamphetamines in 2019, although one was in August and the other in September.

Washam noted the two offenses occurred on different days and sentenced Wilt to six months consecutive to the time he received in the other courtroom.

Wilt most likely will serve three years for the one charge followed by an additional six months. However, the parole board could determine he needs to remain for the entire four and a half years for the first case and then he would serve an additional six months.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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