A Hillsboro man sentenced to four years in jail for dumping scrap tires in Highland County has requested a judicial release due to COVID-19 concerns.
Ronald C. Ison, 38, has been incarcerated at the Pickaway Correctional Institution since October.
In October, Ison was sentenced to four years in prison for illegally dumping more than 200 scrap tires around Highland County. In January, Ison received an additional 12 months for a case involving the theft of a firearm.
On April 21, Ison’s attorney, Dennis Kirk, filed a motion for judicial release due to COVID-19 concerns. Kirk referenced an April 15 article from the Columbus Dispatch, which noted that, at that time, the Pickaway Correctional Institution had seen 132 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths. According to the motion for judicial release, “In both cases, [Ison] cooperated with law enforcement, plead guilty in each case without exercising his right to a jury trial, and has no major rule infractions or sanctions while at the institution. …While in the institution, [Ison] was working on his General Education Degree (GED) and was on a waitlist for the OASIS program (a treatment program); however, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, [Ison] has not been able to complete his GED or enter the OASIS program because the programming has been suspended at this time.”
On May 15, the office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a response to Ison’s motion for judicial release, which stated that though Ison isn’t currently eligible for judicial release, the court has the ability “under limited circumstances, to grant judicial release to an offender not serving a life sentence if the release of the offender into society would not create undue risk to public safety.”
If the court determines Ison eligible for release, Yost recommended up to five years of supervised community control with special conditions — including obtaining a GED, completing a treatment program, and submitting a letter of apology for his scrap tire crimes — due to Ison’s prior criminal history and documented substance abuse.
“[Ison’s] repeat criminal behavior and documented substance abuse issues with the court suggest that if released from prison, [Ison] should be placed on appropriate community control sanctions that address his risk to re-offend and the need for drug treatment and/or counseling,” the document states.
As of Wednesday, Ison’s release was pending due to a need for more information.
Other cases seen in the Highland County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday included:
In September, Autumn D. Curlonis, Hillsboro, was charged with theft and aggravated possession of methamphetamine when deputies arrested her in connection to the theft of a tractor. A deputy later discovered two small bags of methamphetamine while booking Curlonis. On Wednesday, the court ordered that she complete the STAR Program.
In October, Jade K. Lightle, Waverly, was charged with forgery and theft. On Wednesday, she pled guilty, and the court referred her to the Prosecutor’s Diversion Program.
In January, Samuel D. Howlett, Sardinia, was charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance. On Wednesday, Howlett pled guilty. The court sentenced Howlett to three years, credited him 140 days of jail time credit, and designated him a Tier II registered sex offender.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.