Two men were sent to prison Monday after appearing on felonious charges in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas.
— A Grove City man who drove his truck across town in reverse and couldn’t believe that he was in trouble after officers stopped him was sent to prison Monday for possession of drugs.
Douglas E. Carter, 47, was driving in reverse on South Fayette Street Aug. 19 when a Washington Court House police officer noticed the orange truck. Police officer John Warnecke caught up with the truck in a parking lot on South Fayette Street near downtown Washington Court House. When confronted, Carter said that he lost the forward gears in the transmission of the truck and had been driving it in reverse across town, according to reports.
Two more officers showed up to the scene and they requested K-9 Dexi to be brought to the scene to do a sniff of the truck. Carter told the officers that he was a heroin addict and that there would be two needles inside the truck, reports said. A search of the truck yielded “multiple hypodermic needles” in the driver’s side door and “multiple hypodermic needles” in the center console of the truck. A piece of folded paper containing black tar heroin was located with the needles.
Both Carter and the passenger in the truck, identified as Erica Mercer, were taken into custody. Carter couldn’t believe he was in trouble, reports said, because he had been clean from heroin for three days and had been trying to quit. He said the items located in the truck had been there for quite some time and were probably left behind from other people who had been in the truck. Carter and Mercer were taken to the jail and charged. Carter was later indicted Nov. 4 for possession of drugs, heroin, a fifth-degree felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
Carter was sentenced Monday to serve a prison term of seven months for the heroin possession and 30 days in the Fayette County Jail for the illegal possession of drug paraphernalia (to be served concurrently with the prison sentence). He had two days of jail time credit for days already served on the charges and is now ordered to pay $691.90 in costs for prosecution. After the sentencing hearing he was transported to the Correctional Reception Center in Orient.
— A Washington Court House man who put a woman in a chokehold and tried to stop her from calling for help was sent to prison for a year Monday.
Tucker J. Lute, 33, started an argument with a woman while drinking alcohol at a residence on Carolyn Road, reports said. The woman called 911 and was yelling for help, and informed the dispatcher of the address before the call ended. Washington Court House Police Department officer Jeffery Heinz arrived at the Carolyn residence shortly after the call was received and heard loud thumps and thuds from inside. He shined his flashlight into the front window and saw Lute on top of the woman actively assaulting her. The officer entered the residence and Lute went behind a bedroom door and appeared to be reaching for something. The officer drew his weapon and ordered him out of the bedroom.
The woman did not suffer from life-threatening injuries, reports said, but had redness on her face. Lute was transported to the Fayette County Jail. He was indicted Dec. 2 for domestic violence with two priors. During Monday’s court sentencing, Lute was ordered to serve one year in prison, in an agreed sentenced, and a day of jail time credit was given for the one day already served on the charge. Lute was ordered to pay $527.90 in costs for his prosecution and was transported to the Correctional Reception Center in Orient.
Ashley may be contacted by phone at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton