A Hillsboro man was sentenced to 18 months in prison following a joint recommendation Wednesday in Highland County Common Pleas Court.
The Times-Gazette previously reported that James M. Rust, 44, and a co-defendant were both charged with third-degree felony illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs after such items were reportedly found in a vehicle last month.
On Wednesday, Rust entered an agreement during his first pretrial in the case. He pled guilty to the charge, and the defense and state jointly recommended 18 months incarceration.
Prior to sentencing, Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins said that Rust has a prior record. She added that he was also willing to “take responsibility for his actions.”
Defense attorney J.D. Wagoner similarly said that “since day one … (Rust has been) willing to accept responsibility, 100 percent.”
Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss followed the 18-month recommendation based on Rust’s cooperation.
Court records showed that Rust was given 45 days of jail credit.
In other cases, two co-defendants charged with second-degree felony burglary and first-degree misdemeanor theft entered agreements.
Dustin Selby, 25, Greenfield, pled guilty to an amended charge of third-degree felony burglary. The accompanying misdemeanor was dismissed.
The state and defense jointly recommended STAR and community control.
Collins referenced a letter from the victim, stating that Selby and his co-defendant – Kristin S. Price, 24, Frankfort – had a “serious drug problem.” The victim asked that they be considered for treatment rather than prison.
A presentence investigation was ordered on Selby’s case.
Defense attorney Bill Armintrout asked the court to consider releasing Selby on his own recognizance. That request was denied “for (Selby’s) own safety,” said Coss. He added that a release would expose Selby to “the opportunity to feed that addiction.”
Selby is set to be sentenced in October.
Co-defendant Price also pled guilty to third-degree felony burglary, as per an agreement. The theft charge was dismissed.
The state and defense jointly recommended community control and residential treatment.
Wagoner told the court that Price has already been accepted into a treatment program. She can be released next week to go directly there, where she must comply with all terms of the program.
Price is set to be sentenced in October.
Andrew P. Ward, 20, Greenfield, also entered an agreement. He pled guilty to fifth-degree felony possession of heroin.
As per the agreement, the state would not oppose community control and a treatment program.
A presentence investigation was ordered. Ward must obtain an assessment for treatment. Sentencing is set for October.
Reach Sarah Allen at 937-393-3456, ext. 1680, or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.