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Judge sentences same defendant for third time

STEUBENVILLE — James S. Smith, 23, of Steubenville was sentenced to two years in prison on Monday by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Michelle Miller after Smith pleaded guilty to felony fleeing and eluding.

It was the third time Smith had been before Miller for a sentencing hearing.

Smith was wanted in municipal court for failing to appear for trial on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. A City Police officer saw Smith on Sept. 2, and knowing there was an active warrant, got behind the vehicle Smith was driving on Slack Street and then turned on the cruiser’s lights and siren, police reported. Smith continued to drive above the speed limit on South Sixth Street, turning onto Lincoln Avenue, an officer said.

Smith then turned the vehicle into Beatty Park and attempted to turn around, police reported.

Smith got out of the vehicle and began to run away, police reported.

Smith was caught in a wooded area in the 800 block of Lincoln Avenue, police reported.

Smith also was wanted by the county adult probation department on a probation violation for failure to report to his probation officer.

Smith in June 2018 pleaded guilty to one count of drug possession and was placed on probation by Miller for two years.

He violated the terms of his probation and was sentenced in August 2018 by Miller to six months in the Eastern Ohio Correction Center.

Miller at the hearing on Monday said Smith’s probation was unsuccessfully terminated.

She also suspended Smith’s license for three years and issued a $500 fine on the felony fleeing and eluding charge.

Miller sentenced Ernest A. Booker, 45, of Steubenville to 18 months in prison on Monday after Booker pleaded guilty to two counts of drug trafficking, which was a joint investigation of the Jefferson County Drug Task Force and the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

Booker pleaded guilty to trafficking in cocaine on July 1 and trafficking in fentanyl on Aug. 22

Booker told the judge it will be his sixth time in prison. Booker was out of prison for a couple of months, after serving a four-year sentence, when he was caught selling drugs.

County Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Lamatrice brought both cases as bills of information, bypassing the county grand jury.

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