A husband and wife were convicted on Friday in Highland County Common Pleas Court on drug charges in cases the judge called “heartbreaking.”
Lawrence Bradford, 49, and Brinda Bradford, also 49, each pleaded guilty by a bill of information to two counts of third-degree felony aggravated possession of drugs, and each were sentenced to 36 months in prison for the crimes.
However, in both cases, assistant prosecutor Ross Greer said the state would not oppose judicial release to the STAR program after six months of incarceration.
Greer also noted prior to sentencing in each case that the defendants could have been charged with even higher-level felonies, but the state took into consideration that each defendant took responsibility for their actions and saved time and resources by bringing the cases to the court prior to indictment.
Neither Lawrence or Brinda Bradford have been in trouble before. The former apologized to the residents of Highland County. The latter described a situation of pills for pain management, coupled with a deteriorating physical condition, and the slippery slope led to her and her husband coming under investigation several months ago.
Both Bradfords expressed remorse for the crimes prior to sentencing, and were each visibly emotional during and following the hearings. Judge Rocky Coss said prior to Brinda Bradford’s sentencing that she and her husband were “perfect examples” of what has happened in the country with pill addiction and the escalation to criminal activity.
While the judge said he understood what Brinda Bradford was dealing with as far as the physical pain that led her to the pills in the first place, he said it’s “unfortunate” they started down this path, becoming “part of the problem.”
“It’s very unfortunate,” Coss said. “It’s a heartbreaking case.” But he added that even the lesser charges they were charged with, instead of the higher-level felonies possible that Greer spoke of but did not detail, were very serious.
Each was sentenced to 18 months on the two possession charges. The sentences were ordered to run consecutively. Additionally, there is a mandatory fine of $5,000 on each of the combined four counts between the two defendants. Furthermore, Lawrence Bradford was ordered by the court to forfeit a Ford pickup and more than $1,000 cash to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office.
On another matter, Jesse J. Carpenter, 22, currently at Noble Correctional Institution, was sentenced to an additional 11 months in prison on Friday after pleading guilty to fifth-degree felony possession of heroin.
Coss ordered that the new sentence run consecutively to the 11-month sentence imposed in December.
And in another sentencing hearing, Jordan K. Prickett, 23, for fifth-degree felony identity fraud, was put under three years of community control and ordered to be assessed for the intensive treatment available at FRS through the Smart Ohio Pilot Grant.
Additionally, Prickett, of Hillsboro, is ordered to pay more than $5,000 in restitution.
In other proceedings, Michelle D. Karaffa, 52, of Hillsboro, pleaded guilty to aggravated possession of methamphetamine, a fifth-degree felony, and will be sentenced on May 7 following a presentence investigation.
David A. Seymour, 39, of Greenfield, pleaded guilty by bill of information to fourth-degree felony domestic violence. He will also be sentenced on May 7 after the completion of a presentence investigation.
Angela Shepherd can be reached at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @ashepherdHTG.