A Leesburg woman was sentenced to a total of 24 months in prison in Highland County Common Pleas Court for two separate cases for possession of heroin and failure to appear.
Kayla Valentine, 29, was sentenced to 10 months for possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony, which was ordered to be consecutive to her sentencing of 14 months for failure to appear, a fourth-degree felony, in the Ohio Reformatory for Women. Court records state that Valentine was given 68 days of jail-time credit for the first case but zero days for the second case.
According to court documents for the first case, on or around March 12, 2020, police served a search warrant at a property on North Street in Greenfield. When they entered the property, the police saw Valentine sitting on a couch in the living room. A plastic bag that contained white powder was found inside of a purse next to Valentine on the couch. The purse also had a notebook that was marked as “Kayla.” The white powder substance was submitted to BCI for analysis and found to contain heroin.
According to court documents for the second case, on or around June 16, 2020, Valentine was indicted in Highland County Common Pleas Court, then, on July 28, 2020, she was arraigned and given an OR bond for that specific case, which Valentine signed. The court advised her of the dates that she needed to appear. Valentine failed to appear for a pretrial hearing on Sept. 4, 2020, which was required by the court as a condition of her bond.
In other sentencings, Tara Adams, 50, Bainbridge, was sentenced to 12 months in prison on one count for failure to appear, a fourth-degree felony.
According to court documents, on or around Nov. 18, 2021, Adams recklessly failed to appear as required, in Highland County Common Pleas Court after having been released in connection to a charge in the commission of a felony.
Kristi Murphy, 41, Hillsboro, was sentenced to three years of community control on one count of theft from a person in a protected class, a fourth-degree felony. Court records stated that she was ordered to serve 30 days in the Highland County Jail and that if Murphy violates any of the community control sanctions, she would be given a sentence of between six and 18 months and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.
According to court documents, on Feb. 5, 2022, two people reported to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office that money was missing from one of their checking accounts. They told a deputy that they were reviewing their bank statements and found multiple transactions from the month of January that they didn’t approve.
A person related to the victim told a deputy they’d determined $1,824.64 was missing from the account from five transactions. Four of the transactions happened at Walmart totaling $1,636.44. The other transaction happened at Kroger for $188.20. The transactions were done with three of the victim’s checks. A deputy asked the victim what people had access to their checkbook and they said that the only person they could think of was a relatives girlfriend, Murphy, according to court records.
The victim indicated that a few days before Christmas of 2021, Murphy went to the victim’s residence on Fascination Way and asked to use their typewriter. The victim indicated that during this specific occasion, Murphy was unsupervised inside the residence and had access to their purse and checkbook while the victim was in the bathroom, court records state.
After the deputy got statements and bank documents from the two that originally reported the incident, they went to the Hillsboro Walmart and spoke to the store’s asset protection associate. The associate traced one of the three checks to a transaction that happened on Jan. 1, 2022, in the amount of $423.38. The associate also linked the transaction to a specific cashier and got video footage of it. The footage details a transaction with a “small, dark-haired, middle-aged female” purchasing items and handing a check to the cashier, court records state.
After the completion of the transaction, camera footage showed the female leaving the store. The associate also indicated that the same female returned to Walmart on Jan. 2, 2022, and tried to return the items that were purchased on Jan. 1, 2022, for a cash refund. Because of store policy, the only items the female could successfully return were two PlayStation chargers.
The associate said the female went to another store and was able to return the other purchased items. The associate gave a copy of that receipt. The deputy traveled to the Hillsboro Kroger and spoke to the manager about a transaction with one of the checks.
Devante Ames, 29, Hillsboro, was sentenced to three years of community control on one count of aggravated trafficking in methamphetamine, a third-degree felony.
Court records state that Ames was ordered to make monthly payments of $30 beginning on Sept. 1, 2022and was ordered to pay restitution of $170 to the Highland County Task Force alongside a co-defendant. Ames was ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 by Aug. 2, 2035.
According to court documents, on or around Sept. 21, 2021, two investigators met an informant who said they could purchase meth from someone that was an associate of Ames.
The informant purchased a crystal substance that was sent to BCI and tested as 7.151 grams of meth.
Leona Rinehart, 47, Hillsboro, was sentenced to three years in community control on one count of aggravated trafficking in meth.
Rinehart was ordered to pay monthly payments of $20 per month beginning on Oct. 1, 2022, for a total of $60, to the Highland County Task Force and a fine of $5,000.
According to court documents, on or around July 5, 2021, investigators with an informant 2 who said they could purchase meth from Rinehart. The informant eventually purchased a crystal substance that tested positive as .52 grams of meth.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.