Lawrence County Prosecutor

Lawrence County Prosecutor In the event of an emergency please contact 911 or your local police agency. This page is not monitored 24/7. The purpose of this page is to inform the public.

The Lawrence County Prosecutor is the lawyer for the citizens of Lawrence County, an elected official who is elected every four years by the citizens of the county. The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office prosecutes both felony and misdemeanor crimes in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Lawrence County Municipal Court, Ironton Municipal Court, and Lawrence County Juvenile Court. Please refrain from posting vulgar/explicit comments on our posts.

On Friday September 8, 2023, at approximately 8:30 pm, the Ironton Police Department responded to a kidnapping/murder at...
09/13/2023

On Friday September 8, 2023, at approximately 8:30 pm, the Ironton Police Department responded to a kidnapping/murder at 2607 S 3rd Street, Ironton. After initial investigation of several Lawrence County law enforcement agencies, a warrant was issued for the arrest of David Maynard of Ironton, Ohio. Mr. Maynard was killed by law enforcement early Sunday morning in West Virginia after committing a multitude of horrendous crimes in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

In 1989, Mr. Maynard was convicted of Aggravated Murder and Aggravated Robbery and sentenced in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to a minimum of 20 years to life in prison. It also appears that while in prison, on October 30, 2009, Mr. Maynard was convicted of Possession of a Deadly Weapon While Under Detention and sentenced to 2 years in prison in Allen County Common Pleas Court. Mr. Maynard was released from prison on November 1, 2019, after serving 30 years in prison.

I want to stress to the residents of our community that Mr. Maynard’s release was a DIRECT result of the Ohio Parole Board, and his release was NOT granted by a local judge of our community. As the Lawrence County Prosecutor, I opposed the release of Mr. Maynard on February 7, 2019, as evidenced by the attached letter to the Ohio Parole Board.

I am grateful for the collaborated efforts of local law enforcement throughout this investigation in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. My sympathy is with the victims and their families at this time.

If you have any questions, please contact the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office at 740-533-4360.

08/16/2023

On July 27th, 2023, after a four-day jury trial in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Kace Pleasant, 23, of Ironton was found guilty of Aggravated Murder (with a gun specification), Abuse of a Co**se, Tampering with Evidence, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Failure to Comply/Fleeing and Eluding, Robbery, and Kidnapping. The jury found that back on October 25th and 26th, 2022, Kace murdered his grandfather, Harold T. Pleasant, 72, of Ironton and committed each additional crime after the murder.

Today, August 16th, 2023, at a sentencing hearing, Prosecutor Brigham Anderson recommended the maximum sentence for aggravated murder, as well as further sentencing on each charge. The Honorable Judge Christen Finley agreed and sentenced Kace Pleasant, to the maximum penalty for aggravated murder being life in prison without the possibility of parole. Additionally, Kace was also sentenced to 3 additional years for using a gun in the aggravated murder, 3 years for fleeing and eluding, abuse of a co**se, and tampering with evidence, and 8-12 years for the Robbery and Kidnapping. Kace is currently being housed at the Lawrence County Jail.

On October 26, 2022, an investigation began into the murder of Harold T. Pleasant, 72 of Ironton. On this date, at the c...
07/27/2023

On October 26, 2022, an investigation began into the murder of Harold T. Pleasant, 72 of Ironton.
On this date, at the conclusion of a 4 day jury trial before Judge Christen Finley, Kace Pleasant, 23, the grandson of the victim, was found guilty of the following crimes:
Aggravated Murder
Abuse of a Co**se
Tampering with Evidence
Theft of a Motor Vehicle
Failure to Comply/ Fleeing and Eluding
Robbery
Kidnapping
Sentencing for Kace will be held on August 16, 2023.
This investigation was a collaborative effort between the following agencies:
Ironton Police Department
Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office
Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force
Lawrence County Sheriff's Office
Lawrence County Coroner's Office
Scioto County Sheriff's Office
The Ohio State Highway Patrol
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation
The Ohio Narcotic Intelligence Center

On May 9th, 2023, investigators with the Boyd County, Kentucky Sheriff’s Office notified the Lawrence County Drug and Ma...
05/11/2023

On May 9th, 2023, investigators with the Boyd County, Kentucky Sheriff’s Office notified the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force of an anonymous tip received. The tip claimed that a female in the South Point area was involved in drug trafficking activity. The tip also provided specific details that task force members were able to corroborate through the course of the investigation. Probable cause for the residence was developed and a search warrant was issued.

On the same date, task force members, assisted by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant at 223 Township Road 1186 Apartment 6, South Point, Ohio. During the search of the apartment, investigators seized approximately 125 grams of methamphetamine, and approximately 22 grams of a fentanyl related compound.

Arrested was one Thelma V. Walters, 40, of South Point, Ohio. Thelma is charged with one count of Trafficking in Methamphetamine, in the presence of a juvenile, and one count of Trafficking in a Fentanyl related compound. Both charges are Felonies of the 1st Degree. Thelma is currently being housed at the Lawrence County Jail and will be arraigned in the Lawrence County Municipal Court on Friday, May 12.

The investigation is currently ongoing.

Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson and The Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force would like to thank:
Sheriff Jeff Lawless and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Jamie Reihs and the Boyd County Sheriff’s Office

If you suspect drug activity in Lawrence County please call the drug tipline at:
740-534-5830

*All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.*

05/04/2023
Lawrence County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner with Prosecutor’s Office staff!
04/01/2023

Lawrence County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner with Prosecutor’s Office staff!

On August 23rd, 2022, Jerrino Johnson, age 52 of 216 Park Ave Apt 15, South Point, Ohio followed the victim as the victi...
03/21/2023

On August 23rd, 2022, Jerrino Johnson, age 52 of 216 Park Ave Apt 15, South Point, Ohio followed the victim as the victim traveled on State Route 93. Mr. Johnson waited until the victim had stopped and fired a weapon into the vehicle. Investigators with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, the Ironton Police Department, the South Point Police Department, and the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force were able to obtain video evidence, digital forensics and collect other pieces of vital evidence that led to the arrest of Jerrino Johnson and ultimately the Lawrence County Grand Jury returning an indictment against Jerrino Johnson.

On March 20, 2023, Jerrino Johnson pled guilty to 1 count of attempted murder, 1 count of felonious assault (both with a weapon specification), and one count of tampering with evidence, in the Court of Common Pleas before the Honorable Judge Christen Finley. Jerrino Johnson was sentenced to 15 ½ to 20 years in prison. A conviction in this case is a result of the collaborative efforts of all agencies involved.

The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank investigators with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, the Ironton Police Department, the South Point Police Department, and the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force for their hard work and dedication to this matter and the citizens of Lawrence County.

This case is another example of domestic violence which could have led to the death or serious injury of the victim. If you or a loved one are a victim of domestic violence reach out to the Lawrence County Domestic Violence Shelter at 740-532-7111 for assistance.

On June 29th, 2022, an individual from the South Point area experienced a fatal overdose. Investigators from the Lawrenc...
02/16/2023

On June 29th, 2022, an individual from the South Point area experienced a fatal overdose. Investigators from the Lawrence County Quick Response Team and the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force investigated the fatal overdose.
During a jury trial on February 3rd and 4th 2023, evidence was presented that Brian K. Pinkerman of South Point sold the fentanyl that caused the death of the individual. The jury found Brian K. Pinkerman guilty of involuntary manslaughter, corrupting another with drugs, and trafficking in drugs (fentanyl).
The Honorable Judge Andrew Ballard accepted the state’s recommendation at a sentencing hearing held on February 15th, 2023, and sentenced Brian K. Pinkerman to the maximum sentence of 11 to 16 ½ years in prison.
"Everyone in our community is adversely affected by substance use disorders. My office works to connect anyone suffering from the disorder to treatment and recognizes we must also hold those accountable who sell this poison in our community."

Press ReleaseOn January 25, 2023, the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force was notified by the Hurricane Poli...
01/27/2023

Press Release

On January 25, 2023, the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force was notified by the Hurricane Police Criminal Interdiction Unit, in West Virginia of a large shipment of narcotics that was intercepted during a traffic stop. This shipment of narcotics was to be delivered to 311 Township Road 1156 Chesapeake, Ohio 45619. After further investigation by Drug Task Force agents, a search warrant was obtained for the residence located at the above address. During a search of the address, investigators discovered and seized the following items of contraband.

• Approximately 2,500 counterfeit pills similar to what investigators are seeing at overdose scenes and are suspected to be pressed Fentanyl.
• Approximately 3,000 grams of concentrated liquid hashish oil in frozen sheets.
• An undetermined amount of ma*****na.
• 7 fi****ms including handguns, a rifle, and a shotgun as well as ammunition for each.
• Packaging and distribution materials in large quantities.
• $3500.00 in U.S. Currency.

One male was arrested identified as Donovan Spears, 31, of Chesapeake, Ohio. Donovan was transported to the Lawrence County Jail. Donovan is currently charged with 2 counts of trafficking in drugs, both a felony of the first degree.

This investigation is still ongoing.

The Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force would like to thank the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and The Hurricane Police Criminal Interdiction Unit for their swift cooperation.

If you suspect drug activity in your area please call the Drug Tip Hot Line at:
740-534-5830

All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law

Lawrence County Quick Response Team is now looking for applicants.... Information on how to apply is listed below. Resum...
01/13/2023

Lawrence County Quick Response Team is now looking for applicants.... Information on how to apply is listed below. Resumes must be submitted by 5:00pm January 27th, 2023

On November 30th, 2022, after a two-day jury trial in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, James Stewart, 35, of South Po...
12/14/2022

On November 30th, 2022, after a two-day jury trial in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, James Stewart, 35, of South Point was found guilty of (3) counts of r**e. The jury found that back in May 2020, Stewart r**ed a 13-year-old child. Each count of r**e carries a maximum penalty of 11-16 ½ years in prison.

Today, December 14, 2022, at a sentencing hearing Prosecutor Brigham Anderson recommended the maximum sentence. The Honorable Judge Andrew Ballard agreed and sentenced James Stewart, to the maximum penalty allowed by law of 33 to 38 ½ years in prison. Stewart was also ordered to pay a $20,000.00 fine and will be required to register as a Tier III s*x offender for life. Stewart is currently being housed at the Lawrence County Jail

Sentencing update: State V Russell WebbOn December 6, 2022, in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Prosecutor Brigham An...
12/06/2022

Sentencing update: State V Russell Webb

On December 6, 2022, in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Prosecutor Brigham Anderson recommended Russell Webb be sentenced to the maximum of 36 months in prison for Tampering with Evidence and 60 days for Voyeurism, and Webb be required to register as a Tier 1 s*x offender. Judge Andrew Ballard sentenced Webb to the maximum permitted by law as recommended.

Previously, On November 15th, 2022, after a 2-day jury trial in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Russell “Rusty” Webb was found guilty of 1 count of tampering with evidence and 1 count of voyeurism. The defendant was a long-time school teacher and coach in Lawrence County. He was in a trusted position to protect children; instead, he violated that duty of care. The evidence, in this case, proved that on February 22nd, 2022, the defendant secretly recorded a juvenile while changing clothes in his office. Once he discovered he had been caught he destroyed the recording device. The Honorable Judge Andrew Ballard has set sentencing for December 6th, 2022, at 8:30 AM. The defendant faces a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison and will be required to register as a s*x offender.

Pictured below are Prosecutor Brigham Anderson, Russell Webb and his counsel

At the conclusion of a 2-day jury trial in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Russell “Rusty” Webb was found guilty on ...
11/15/2022

At the conclusion of a 2-day jury trial in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Russell “Rusty” Webb was found guilty on 1 count of tampering with evidence and 1 count of voyeurism. The defendant was a long time school teacher and coach in Lawrence County. He was in a trusted position to protect children and instead he violated that duty of care. The evidence in this case proved that on February 22nd 2022 the defendant secretly recorded a juvenile while changing clothes in his office. Once he discovered he had been caught he destroyed the recording device. The Honorable Judge Andrew Ballard has set sentencing for December 6th 2022 at 8:30AM. The defendant faces a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison and will be required to register as a s*x offender. Mr. Webb was remanded into the custody of the state and is being held in the Lawrence County Jail to await sentencing.

Pictured below is Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson, seated at the table are the defendant Russell "Rusty" Webb and his council

10/17/2022

Prosecutor Brigham M. Anderson explains why public safety requires a YES vote on Issue 1.

On August 12, 2022 after a four day trial the jury found William Ray McKenzie, 48 of Ironton, Ohio guilty of two counts ...
08/12/2022

On August 12, 2022 after a four day trial the jury found William Ray McKenzie, 48 of Ironton, Ohio guilty of two counts of R**e and ten counts of Gross S*xual Imposition.

The investigation by the Ironton Police Department revealed McKenzie victimized three juveniles under the age of twelve for approximately three years.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 31, 2022. McKenzie is eligible for a twenty -five year to life sentence.

UPDATE

William Ray McKenzie will spend the remainder of his life in prison.

On August 31st, 2022, the Honorable Judge Christen Finley sentenced McKenzie to 25 years to life in prison for each count of r**e and 5 years in prison for each count Gross S*xual Imposition.

McKenzie is required to serve 90 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Drug Trafficking Investigation:Search Warrant - Arrest Warrant On 6-24-2022, The Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Ta...
06/24/2022

Drug Trafficking Investigation:
Search Warrant - Arrest Warrant

On 6-24-2022, The Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force, assisted by the Ironton Police Department and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office as well as Lawrence County EMS, executed a search warrant at the address of 411 Walnut Street in Ironton.

During the search of the residence, investigators seized approximately 1500 grams which is approximately 3 pounds of methamphetamine, paraphernalia, digital scales, packaging materials and cash. This is the largest amount of methamphetamine seized during an investigation in the county’s history.

Investigators arrested one, Andrew McClain, 34 of Ironton. Investigators had secured an arrest warrant for Andrew due to an investigation into drug trafficking activity.

This is a result of months of investigative work lead by the Task Force and assisted by Ironton Police Department and Coal Grove Police Department.

If you suspect drug activity in your area, contact the Task Force Tip Line at 740-534-5830

Photos: Andrew McClain (LCSO Jail) & Methamphetamine seized

Indictment-Plea-Sentencing:State Vs. Jodi RidenourOn January 26, 2022,  Jodi Rae Ridenour, 35 of 1490 County Road 64 Wil...
06/22/2022

Indictment-Plea-Sentencing:

State Vs. Jodi Ridenour

On January 26, 2022, Jodi Rae Ridenour, 35 of 1490 County Road 64 Willow Wood, Ohio was indicted by a Lawrence County Grand Jury for two counts of Unlawful S*xual Conduct with a Minor a third degree felony.

An investigation by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office revealed Ridenour was having a s*xual relationship with a 15 year old child.

On June 21, 2022, Ridenour plead guilty to one count of Unlawful S*xual Conduct with a minor.

Ridenour was sentenced on June 21, 2022 by the Honorable Judge Andrew Ballard to 54 months in prison after a contested sentencing hearing.

Prosecutor Brigham M. Anderson recommended a maximum sentence of 60 months in prison. The Defendant requested a sentence of Community Control.

We believe with this sentence today justice has been served for the victim, the victim’s family and the community as a whole. I will continue to work everyday to assure that people who harm children are brought to justice.

Lawrence County Jail Photo: Jodi Ridenour

Plea and Sentencing: All individuals arrested on December 3, 2021, were convicted for their roles in the drug traffickin...
06/09/2022

Plea and Sentencing:

All individuals arrested on December 3, 2021, were convicted for their roles in the drug trafficking organization that operated in the Proctorville, Ohio, area.

On May 25, 2022, Deon L. Calvin plead guilty to seven counts of trafficking in fentanyl-related compounds. A first-degree felony was the highest felony. On June 8, 2022, Honorable Judge Andrew P. Ballard of the Lawrence County Common Pleas Court sentenced Calvin to 9 years in prison and forfeited the weapon and $7,060.00 to the State.

On April 21, 2022, Alonzo Cathey plead guilty to one third-degree felony count of trafficking in ma*****na. Cathey was sentenced to serve four years of community control sanctions.

On March 21, 2022, Kawanie Jefferson entered a guilty plea to obstructing official business, a fifth-degree felony. He was sentenced to 4 years of community-controlled sanctions.

Everyone come out and join the Lawrence County Quick Response at Chesapeake middle school for a community wide mental he...
05/13/2022

Everyone come out and join the Lawrence County Quick Response at Chesapeake middle school for a community wide mental health event

"Operation Bridge" - Success!On April 21st and 22nd, The Lawrence County Quick Response Team, which operates from The La...
04/25/2022

"Operation Bridge" - Success!

On April 21st and 22nd, The Lawrence County Quick Response Team, which operates from The Lawrence County Drug and Major Crime Task Force, hosted “Operation Bridge”. This operation focused on the detection and identification of criminal activity while connecting those who suffer from substance abuse disorder to services. Those encountering law enforcement suffering from addiction resulted in the Quick Response Team member(s) meeting with them.

The Lawrence County Quick Response Team was supported by the Huntington, WV (QRT), Boyd and Greenup County, Kentucky (QRT), Portsmouth (QRT), Project F.O.R.T. (Fairfield County, Ohio QRT), and The Hamilton County, Ohio (QRT). The teams and providers were stationed at Walmart in South Point, Ohio, and Mended Reeds in Ironton, to render services when needed.

During the two-day operation, The Lawrence County Health department distributed 115 doses of Naloxone through Project Dawn, QRT(s) connected 30 individuals to treatment. The Lawrence/Scioto Solid Waste was on-site at Walmart to assist in a prescription drug take-back event resulting in 68lbs of prescription drugs being turned in for destruction. Powdered Fentanyl, pressed Fentanyl Pills, and Methamphetamine was confiscated by officers during the operation. There were 19 felony drug-related arrests.

The success of “Operation Bridge” is directly attributed to all of the agencies listed above and the following:

Ohio Government:
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
Ohio Department of Public Safety
Ohio Department of Criminal Justice Services
Recovery Ohio
Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

Addiction Treatment Providers/Clergy:
Mended Reeds
Land of Goshen
Lawrence County Recovery
Riverside Recovery Services
Ohio Valley Physicians
Tri-State Family Connections

Local Police Departments/EMS:
The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office
Ironton Police Department
The Ohio State Highway Patrol
Coal Grove Police Department
South Point Police Department
Lawrence County Emergency Medical Services

Local Courts:
Honorable Andrew P. Ballard, Lawrence County Common Pleas Court
Honorable Christen N. Finley, Lawrence County Common Pleas Court
Honorable Donald Capper, Lawrence County Municipal Court
Honorable Kevin Waldo, Ironton Municipal Court

Sentencing Update: State Vs. Keith McKinneyWednesday, April 20 2022, Judge Christen N. Finley sentenced Keith McKinney a...
04/20/2022

Sentencing Update: State Vs. Keith McKinney

Wednesday, April 20 2022, Judge Christen N. Finley sentenced Keith McKinney age 27 of Ironton, Ohio, to 100 years to life in prison. McKinney is also required to register as a Tier III S*x Offender/ Child Victim Offender for life.

Previously on April 5th 2022, McKinney was found guilty at the conclusion of a two-day jury trial in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. A jury convicted McKinney of eight counts of R**e of a child under the age of 13.

“This conviction and sentence will assure that the defendant will never again hurt a child. I would like to thank retired Detective Cpt. Joe Ross and Detective Sgt. Tyler McGraw of the Ironton Police Department for their hard work in securing this conviction.” – Prosecutor Brigham M. Anderson

Photo below: Prosecutor Brigham M. Anderson during trial.

04/14/2022
Jury Trial:Keith McKinney 27 of Ironton, Ohio was found guilty at the conclusion of a two-day jury trial in Lawrence Cou...
04/06/2022

Jury Trial:

Keith McKinney 27 of Ironton, Ohio was found guilty at the conclusion of a two-day jury trial in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. A jury convicted McKinney of eight counts of R**e of a child under the age of 13. Prosecuting Attorney Brigham M. Anderson and Assistant Prosecutor Jenna Waldo presented the case on behalf of the State of Ohio.

Judge Christen N. Finley has set a sentencing hearing for April 20, 2022, at 8:00am. The maximum sentence is life in prison.

Depicted below: Keith McKinney

Arguments in the Supreme Court of Ohio:Today I represented Lawrence County in the Ohio Supreme Court. The court heard ar...
03/30/2022

Arguments in the Supreme Court of Ohio:

Today I represented Lawrence County in the Ohio Supreme Court. The court heard arguments dealing with the defendant’s speedy trial rights in State of Ohio V. David Belville. In November 2019 David Belville was convicted of Trafficking in Drugs in Lawrence County and was sentenced to 10-15 years in prison as a result of his conviction.

The arguments can be viewed at:
https://ohiochannel.org/video/supreme-court-of-ohio-case-no-2021-0483-state-v-belville

Plea and SentencingIn April of 2021 Ironton Police Department Detectives, Captain Joe Ross and Sergeant Tyler McGraw inv...
01/13/2022

Plea and Sentencing

In April of 2021 Ironton Police Department Detectives, Captain Joe Ross and Sergeant Tyler McGraw investigated allegations of r**e involving a minor. Michael Willis age 59, of Ironton, Ohio was identified as the suspect. Detectives collected DNA samples from both the victim and Willis. Forensic DNA Scientists with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation determined the DNA taken from Willis matched DNA located on the child victim. Detectives arrested Willis on June 9th, 2021, and he confessed to the allegation. On June 23rd, 2021, Willis was indicted by a Lawrence County Grand Jury on the count of R**e.

A jury trial set for today, January 13, 2022, in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court was halted when Willis changed his plea to guilty. Judge Andrew P. Ballard accepted Willis’s plea and sentenced Willis to an indefinite sentence of 10 years of up to life in prison.

This conviction is a result of excellent investigative work by Detective Captain Joe Ross and Detective Sgt. Tyler McGraw of the Ironton Police Department. Because of their hard work and dedication, a s*xual predator was sentenced to an indefinite term of 10 years up to life in prison.

Photo below: Michael G. Willis

01/04/2022

The Lawrence County Prosecutor says during the last few months, there's been an increase in substances like fentanyl being disguised as other drugs.

InvestigationA clamp and various molds used in the production of deadly fentanyl compounds were seized during the ex****...
12/07/2021

Investigation

A clamp and various molds used in the production of deadly fentanyl compounds were seized during the ex*****on of a search warrant on Friday, December 3, 2021. Also seized more than 200 grams of a fentanyl related compound, two pounds of ma*****na, a stolen firearm, 170 tablets suspected to contain fentanyl, and approximately $7,000.00.

Ex*****on of the search warrant was part of a lengthy investigation by the Lawrence Drug & Major Crimes Task Force. During the investigation controlled purchases of fentanyl compounds were completed. Fentanyl compounds have attributed to the increase of fatal drug overdoses.

All three males are charged with trafficking in drugs, their names and photos are listed at the end of this release. The case will be presented to a Grand Jury in the coming weeks.

The Task Force collaborated with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, Portsmouth Police Department, and the Proctorville Police Department during the investigation.

In Lawrence County 43 residents have lost their life due to drug overdoses in 2021. At the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office we are using a three pronged approach to battle this drug epidemic.

Education: We are working to educate our youth about the dangers and realities of licit and illicit drug use through our Student Ambassador Program. Our Investigators and Deputies are engaging students from each school district in our county helping to build positive interactions, trust, and developing student ambassadors to support their fellow classmates in leading drug free lives.

Treatment: The Lawrence County Quick Response Team operates from my office by proactively and reactively contacting drug overdose survivors in efforts to explain and encourage treatment options, to assist in connecting the survivor to needed/desired services through a wide variety of service providers. Our team works with each court to include specialized dockets helping to follow up with those who are at risk of overdose or abuse. Our QRT is comprised of two law enforcement investigators, a paramedic, service providers on a weekly rotational basis. Our investigators with the QRT work to help manage survivors in treatment and strive to make every effort to identify the source of substances causing death related to drug overdose in order to hold those responsible, accountable.

Enforcement: The Drug Task Force operates from my office and works to arrest those responsible for selling the poisons that harm our community. Our investigators target mid to upper level drug traffickers throughout all of Lawrence County to include the trafficking of licit and illicit drugs. Our team utilizes information from citizens, anonymous tips, covert operations, the court systems, and other law enforcement to seek out those who victimize our communities by pushing these poisons.

Through this three prong approach our teams continue to demonstrate innovative ways to engage our communities in the most effective methods possible.

Arrestees from recent search warrant are depicted below.

Trial & SentencingIn March, 2021, the Lawrence Drug & Major Crimes Task Force initiated an investigation of Edward S. Ho...
11/03/2021

Trial & Sentencing

In March, 2021, the Lawrence Drug & Major Crimes Task Force initiated an investigation of Edward S. Holsinger, 51 years of age from Ironton, Ohio. During the investigation, controlled purchases of methamphetamine were completed from Mr. Holsinger.

In April, 2021, Officers from the Ironton Police Department stopped a vehicle occupied by Mr. Holisinger. The Officers recovered approximately an ounce of methamphetmine and a fentanyl-related compound from Mr. Holsinger.

The case against Mr. Holsinger came to trial in October. Officers from the Drug Task Force and Ironton Police Department provided testimony. Mr. Holsinger was convicted of three counts of trafficking in drugs and possession of drugs.

On November 3, 2021, at the sentencing hearing, Prosecutor Brigham M. Anderson recommended a fourteen to eighteen year prison sentence. The Honorable Judge Andrew Ballard followed the recommendation of the State and sentenced Mr. Holsinger to fourteen to eighteen years in prison.

Lawrence Co. Jail Photo: Edward Holsinger

10/12/2021

PRESS RELEASE

On September 27 and September 28, 2021, before a jury of his peers, Elvis Rister was found guilty of violating Ohio Revised Code Section 2903.1 l(A)(l), Felonious Assault (F-2). Mr. Rister's bond was revoked and he was taken into custody. Judge Andrew Ballard set the matter for sentencing on October 6, 2021.

Elvis Rister was sentenced to 8-12 years in the appropriate penal institution. Elvis Rister was involved in an incident on the Family Dollar Parking lot in Coal Gove, Ohio on September 4, 2020. The victim of the felonious assault was in the parking lot of Family Dollar when Mr. Rister came up from behind and punched the victim in the face causing the victim to fall to the ground, which resulted significant injuries. Mr. Rister then fled the scene.

Through eye witnesses and the investigation of the Coal Grove Police Department, Elvis Rister was positively identified as the assailant and was apprehended and charged with Felonious Assault.

I would like to thank the community for their assistance and the Coal Grove Police Department for their hard work and dedication to this case.

Today, October 7, 2021 in a 5-2 decision, The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and death sentence of Arron Law...
10/07/2021

Today, October 7, 2021 in a 5-2 decision, The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and death sentence of Arron Lawson. Lawson, upon committing this quadruple murder was the subject of a two-day manhunt by Law Enforcement in the Pedro area of Lawrence County, Ohio. Lawson was apprehended and subsequently confessed to investigators while at the Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office of killing his cousin Stacey Holston, her 8-year-old son Devon Holston, and two other family members Tammie McGuire and Donald McGuire. Soon after, Lawson was indicted by a grand jury of four counts of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications, to include other charges un-related to the death penalty specification's. After presentation of evidence a three-judge panel sentenced Lawson to four consecutive death sentences.

‘’On October 11th, 2017, Aaron Lawson brutally murdered four people in Lawrence County, Ohio and since that day it has been my mission to assure Justice was served for the victims, victims’ families, and the entire community.” – Prosecutor Brigham Anderson

Arron Lawson is set to be executed on January 6, 2026.

See the link below for details of the court’s decision.

http://www.courtnewsohio.gov/cases/2021/SCO/1007/190487.asp

Pictured below is Arron Lawson (courtesy OH-DRC)

10/05/2021

October 5, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

On June 16, 2021, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department along with members of the Lawrence County Humane Society executed a Search Warrant at the home of Ruben T. Sprouse located at 5258 State Route 650, Ironton, Ohio. Upon receiving a report, the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office charged Ruben T. Sprouse with Animal Cruelty under Section 959.13 of the Ohio Revised Code. The decision to charge Mr. Sprouse came upon the information that was available to the prosecutor’s office at the time.

Since filing the charges in Ironton Municipal Court, on June 29, 2021, the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office has continued to conduct an investigation into the treatment of the animals located at Mr. Sprouse’s residence. This investigation included communication and consultation with Lawrence County Animal Shelter employees trained to recognize animal cruelty. The Lawrence county animal officials would have testified that the dogs were not abused and should not have been removed from the residence. The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office was subsequently provided with photos of each and every dog at the time of their removal and said photos do not support a charge of Animal Cruelty for any animal removed.

A picture which has been circulated on social media and on the internet, shows a small beagle sitting in the front seat of a car, appearing to be emaciated. The prosecutor’s office is in possession of photos and a video of the same dog, taken on the date it was removed from Mr. Sprouse. On that day, the dog’s ribs were not showing and it appeared to be otherwise healthy. We have since learned that certain medications and treatments, such as deworming, can cause a dog to lose weight and show ribs. At the time that the dog was taken from Mr. Sprouse’sproperty, it did not appear in the same condition as it as appears on social media and the internet.

Once all evidence was obtained, it became clear that the State of Ohio should not go forward with the charges. As Lawrence County Prosecutor, I have the responsibility to review evidence and only seek convictions when supported by sufficient evidence.

Although this decision will be questioned by members of the community, it is my belief based upon all evidence gathered in this case that justice required a dismissal of all charges. As County Prosecutor it is my responsibility to seek truth and justice in each and every case. I will continue to work each day to make Lawrence County a safer and better place to live and work.

Address

111 South 4th Street
Ironton, OH
45638

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 4pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 4pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 4pm
Thursday 8:30am - 4pm
Friday 8:30am - 4pm

Telephone

+17405334360

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