Judge orders probation for city residents

STEUBENVILLE – Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David Henderson ordered probation for two city residents Tuesday afternoon during sentencing hearings.

Precious Turner, 30, of 1328 Wellesley Ave. entered a guilty plea Tuesday afternoon and was placed on two years of probation by Henderson.

Turner had been indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on one count of tampering with evidence in connection with a May 16 burglary in Mingo Junction.

Turner was accused of hiding a gun allegedly used by one of three men who invaded a Mingo Junction home, duct taping the family living there and trying to rob them.

Two of the three men are in the Jefferson County jail facing four counts of aggravated burglary, four counts of felonious assault and tampering with evidence. Law enforcement officials are still seeking the third man.

Turner told Henderson she received a telephone call from one of the men who was in jail asking her to get a box in her backyard and hide it.

Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin and defense attorney Craig Allen jointly recommended probation.

“She has no prior felony convictions, so I am asking you to impose the joint recommended sentence,” Hanlin said.

Turner was sentenced to one year of intensive probation and one year of regular probation and fined $100.

She was ordered to report to the probation officer immediately.

In a separate case, Lonnie Smith was sentenced to five years of probation by Henderson.

Smith had pleaded guilty in September to charges of tampering with evidence and having a weapon as a convicted felon. Henderson had ordered a pre-sentence investigation for Smith.

County Assistant Prosecutor Frank Bruzzese told Henderson that Smith was involved in a shooting incident on Oct. 27, 2012, at Club 106, but video of the incident showed Smith tried to protect another man and was leaving the club when he was shot at.

“I am sorry for the act I caused and I just want to be back with my kids,” Smith said.

Henderson placed Smith on one year of intensive probation and four years of regular probation and was fined $250.

Smith is currently serving the final three months of a 14-month jail sentence in the Jefferson County jail.

He also will be required to find employment within 30 days of starting his probation.