GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County Court of Common Pleas sentenced three criminals to prison last week for their separate and respective violations.
Brittney Copodonna, 27, of Milton, W.Va., pleaded guilty to attempted escape, a felony of the third degree. She was sentenced to serve nine months in prison on April 25.
“The defendant was being held at the Gallia County Work Release Center in Cheshire on pending drug charges out of Jackson County, Ohio,” said Eric Mulford, Gallia County assistant prosecutor. “On Oct. 27, 2015, the defendant left the premises of the detention center attempting to flee detention. A corrections officer was able to detain the defendant shortly after her departure from the facility. The defendant was handcuffed and returned to the Work Release Center without incident and subsequently transported back to Jackson County.”
Copodonna was indicted by the Gallia County grand jury in November 2015 for escape from a detention facility.
“The Work Release Center is a privilege for those inmates who exhibit good behavior and are being held for qualifying non-violent offenses,” said Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins. “It allows the inmates a certain latitude of freedom not provided for in the Gallia County jail. When an inmate takes advantage of their housing conditions, as this defendant did in this case, we will prosecute them as punishment for their criminal act and to further serve as a deterrent for others serving time at the Work Release Center.”
Dakota Davis, 18, of Bidwell, had pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a felony of the fourth degree. Davis was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison on April 26.
“In November 2015, the defendant who is over 18 years old was engaging in sexual intercourse with a young girl who had just turned 13 years old,” Gallia County Assistant Prosecutor Britt Wiseman said. “The defendant had been warned on prior occasions to not be near the victim. A deputy with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office discovered the defendant together with the victim in the defendant’s apartment. During a taped interview the defendant admitted to having sex with the young girl and knowing that she was 13 years of age.”
Davis was indicted by the Gallia County grand jury in December 2015 for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. The elements of which require that the defendant was 18 years of age or older and that he engaged in sexual conduct with a person between the ages of 13 and 16.
“In most cases felonies of the fourth degree require mandatory probation when the offender does not have any prior felony convictions,” Adkins said. “However, the Ohio Legislature carved out an exception for felonies that are sex offenses in violation of Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code. Pursuant to ORC 2929.13(B)(1)(b)(v) an offender is permitted to be sentenced to prison for a term ranging from six to 18 months. We pursued prison in this case based upon the age of the victim. The defendant was further ordered to register as a Tier I sex offender upon release from prison.”
Roy E. Messick, 54, of Vinton, has pleaded guilty to two newer indictments of drug trafficking and further found guilty of community control violations in Gallia County Common Pleas Court.
Messick pleaded guilty to selling heroin in Gallia County on Jan. 2 and Feb. 3. The sales were monitored by the Ohio Organized Crimes Task Force. Upon completion of the sale, the suspected drugs were sent to the Ohio BCI laboratory for chemical analysis which confirmed the substances as heroin.
In July 2015, the Gallia County grand jury handed down indictments against Messick for trafficking heroin on two separate dates.
On April 27, Messick was sentenced to 26 months in prison for trafficking in heroin and further found guilty of violating his community control which was then revoked by the court. Messick was ordered to begin serving his prison sentence immediately.
“This defendant is not new to drug trafficking in our area and he has been a focus of the law enforcement community for a while now,” Adkins said. “He was previously convicted by my office of trafficking in drugs back in April 2014. He was previously convicted of a similar criminal offense in Mason County, W.Va., in 2007. For that reason we are very pleased with the outcome of this case. We are taking a proactive approach to drug interdiction to prosecute those who sell drugs in our community and today we are seeing the benefits.
“If you have information of drug trafficking or crime occurring in your area, I encourage you to call the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at 740-446-6555.”