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Karl hears pleas

By Staff | Dec 24, 2008

Three defendants accepted plea deals in Tyler County Circuit Court on Dec. 18.

Jason R. Clary, 26, of 55840 Saffell Church Road, Alledonia, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol, third or subsequent offense.

He originally pleaded not guilty on Nov. 6. However, the plea was withdrawn. Clary was represented by Kevin Neiswonger. Clary was sentenced to one to three years on home confinement and will be eligible for parole after one year.

“I was driving a vehicle while I was drinking. (I had) about eight to 10 beers,” said Clary.”

Clary was first arrested for DUI in Belmont County in 2002 and later in 2005. He was also arrested for DUI with injury in Wetzel County in 2004.

“This arrest was the result of a 911 call by a citizen,” explained Tyler County Prosecuting Attorney Dean Rohrig, “who reported that he was driving on the road following the vehicle traveling at times as little as 25 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. Then the driver would come almost to a complete stop, he was completely on the left lane on occasion and forcing other vehicles off the road. He reported the vehicle had turned into Lucy’s Restaurant.

The citizen pulled into the parking lot as well and observed the defendant remaining in the vehicle. When police officers arrived, they found the vehicle still running, still in gear, and the defendant’s foot on the break; he had passed out.”

Circuit Judge Mark Karl questioned Clary about his issues with alcohol. In plea documents Clary said he did not have a problem with alcohol and he could control himself. Karl found this dubious at best.

“If I am correct from what I’ve read here today, this is your fourth DUI and you’re only 26,” stated Karl. “You do not believe you have a drinking problem? If you violate the terms of home confinement; if you’re caught drinking or using controlled substance and you’re drug tested, you understand you can’t come back in here and say ‘Judge, I have a drinking problem, I need help,” because you just told me today that you don’t.”

Kenneth A. Ahouse, 31, of HC 69, Box 31, Alma, pleaded guilty to one felony count of attempted sexual assault. The alleged incidents occurred between May 2006 and July 2006. Ahouse was sentenced to three years of probation.

He must also register with the West Virginia State Police as a sex offender and must stay away from the victim, as well as any minor without adult supervision.

An exemption was granted in the case of his four biological children, whom he is allowed to see with supervision. The deal was negotiated between Rohrig and defense attorney David White.

Filling in for White was Neiswonger.

“I came here earlier today and met with Mr. Ahouse and reviewed the plea agreement and the plea information sheet with him,” said Neiswonger.

The victim was involved in a different case in August.

When meeting with representative of the Department of Health and Human Resources, the victim reported that Ahouse had come home drunk and had asked for sex. She refused and he pushed her down on the bed, but was able to resist.

The last to plead out was Landrew S. Francis.

Francis, 22, of 101 McKinney St., Sistersville, pled guilty to two separate indictments: one count of failure to provide notice of registration changes in violation of the Sex Offenders Act and for knowingly giving false information, and another charge of failure to provide notice of registration.

For the first indictment he was sentenced to one to five years in the West Virginia State Penitentiary for Men with credit for time served.

Immediately after he serves his first sentence Francis will be put on two years of probation. Francis had been on two years of probation starting in April of 2007 after being convicted of felony sexual assault in the third degree. While awaiting sentencing Francis had been in NCRJ.