Jefferson County grand jury issues indictments

STEUBENVILLE — A man who was allegedly driving drunk and involved in a head-on accident and a Toronto man charged with escaping from an ambulance on the way from the county jail to the hospital were among the people indicted on Wednesday by the Jefferson County grand jury.

Jonathan T. Mitchell, 30, of 408 N. Third St., Toronto, was indicted on two counts of breaking and entering at Toronto homes on Jan. 31 and Feb. 5 and four counts of misdemeanor theft.

Sheriff Fred Abdalla said Mitchell on Feb. 9 had either jumped or fell from the upper level of a cell area at the county jail. After hitting the lower level 9 feet below, Mitchell claimed to be injured, the sheriff said.

An ambulance was called to take Mitchell to Trinity Medical Center West, Abdalla said.

A city officer reported passing the ambulance in the 2000 block of Sunset Boulevard. The officer said the siren was activated on the ambulance but the emergency lights weren’t turned on. The officer said it appeared the ambulance driver was attempting to signal the officer.

The officer turned the cruiser around and saw a man in an orange jail uniform running behind Walgreens.

Police reported Mitchell was found a couple of blocks away, walking toward Brady Circle West. Mitchell was walked back to the ambulance by officers.

A female emergency medical technician said Mitchell unbuckled his seat belt and began punching her in the arms, chest and face, according to police. Mitchell was kicking the EMT as he slid past her trying to gain access to the front of the ambulance, police reported.

Mitchell also was indicted on a charge of escape.

Michael G. Larkins, 35, of 981 township Road 216, Richmond, was indicted on charges of aggravated vehicular assault and misdemeanor operating a vehicle under the influence following a head-on collision on state Route 43, near Richmond, on Oct. 28.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported a car operated by Larkins was traveling in the wrong lane on the road and struck a vehicle driven by Michael Drake, 47, of Canton. Both drivers were flown by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital, a trooper reported.

Najee L. Tucker, 28, of 1438 Belleview Blvd. was indicted on charges of felonious assault, misdemeanor resisting arrest and retaliation.

The prosecutor’s office reported Tucker beat a female on Jan. 6 in the city during a domestic dispute, causing serious facial injuries. The prosecutor’s office reported Tucker then threatened harm to responding officers.

Three family members were indicted in a case investigated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Matthew D. Lanham Sr., 45, of 266 township Road 307, Wolf Run, was indicted on charges of unlawful transaction of a firearm, complicity to improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and possession of an untagged deer. Brent S. Lanham, 56, of Homeworth was charged with unlawful transaction of a weapon and possession of untagged deer. Matthew D. Lanham Jr., 26, of 125 township Road 275, Bergholz, was charged with having a weapon under disability, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and possession of untagged deer.

Matthew Lanham Sr. was not permitted to be in possession of a firearm because of a prior conviction, and was given a shotgun by Matthew Lanham Jr. and Brent Lanham at the end of November, the prosecutor’s office reported.

James S. Smith, 21, of 1012 McKinley Way was charged with possession of drugs. Smith was arrested by the state patrol following a traffic stop on state Route 7, near Toronto, on Jan. 25.