Police Briefing

Judge dismisses case settled out of court

NEW CUMBERLAND-A Hancock County judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Hancock House now that the litigants have settled out of court, according to Circuit Court records.

Judge James P. Mazzone said all matters in Mildred Moninger’s case against Hancock House have been “amicably adjusted, compromised and settled.” Moninger, a resident of the Hancock House, 720 Third Ave., New Cumberland, sued the government-subsidized apartment complex in July 2013 for injuries she suffered in a fall in September 2011. Moninger claimed in the lawsuit that the Hancock House had been negligent in not properly maintaining safe conditions in the parking lot, where she fell while unloading groceries. The facility has since installed a fence and signs around the parking lot perimeter.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed. Also named in the lawsuit were Columbus developer George Kontogiannis and Colonial American Development Corp., which operates Hancock House.

The seven-story facility has 108 subsidized apartments that it rents to low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Secret indictments served on local residents

LISBON – Douglas D. Austin Jr., 30, Eighth Street, Wellsville, was served a secret indictment for four counts of possession of drugs and a forfeiture specification.

Austin is accused of having cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and buprenorphine on Jan. 31, along with $112 believed to have been used or intended to be used in the commission of a drug-related offense.

The indictment was issued by the grand jury in June.

A Wellsville woman was recently served with a secret indictment issued in October 2013 charging her with drug possession. The indictment was issued by the grand jury against Sharon R. Herron, 37, of Clark Avenue. Herron is accused of possessing cocaine in the county on July 3, 2013.

Matthew K. Goatley, 24, Eighth Street, Wellsville, was served a secret indictment for four counts of possession of drugs with a forfeiture specification. Goatley was accused of having cocaine, oxycodone, buprenorphine and alprazolam and $112 believed to have been used in drug-related offenses on Jan. 31. The indictment was issued by the county grand jury in June.

Chase L. May, 28, state Route 9, Hanoverton, was served a secret indictment for a charge of possession of drugs for allegedly having methylone on May 10. The indictment was issued by the grand jury in July.

Daniel C. Sharp, 25, Reynoldsburg, was served a secret indictment for a possession of drugs charge with a forfeiture specification. In the indictment, issued by the grand jury in June, Sharp is accused of having cocaine and $343 on March 14.

Prosecutor unsure on charges for naked man

WHEELING – Imagine driving down the road, possibly on the way to work, and looking out the window only to see … a naked man, on all fours, being walked on a leash. That scenario played out Tuesday morning in Ohio County.

At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a woman walking a naked man around the yard on a leash outside a Roney’s Point residence between Valley Grove and Triadelphia, just east of Wheeling. Deputy Nelson Croft said a passerby called police after seeing the couple in the yard. “It’s a case of consenting adults having outdoor sex,” Croft said, describing it as kinky. “We referred it to the prosecutor’s office for consideration of an indecent exposure charge.”

He said the woman apparently was dressed and leading the naked man around the yard on his hands and knees. Croft said no charges were filed at the scene because deputies did not witness the event. According to Croft, the Washington County, Pa., couple was visiting friends. “They were both dressed and in the house when we got there,” he said.

Prosecutor Scott Smith has not decided whether he will bring charges against the couple. Smith said he had not yet seen the official report and would not make a determination on potential charges until he had reviewed the case. “Sometimes it takes a day or two for deputies to submit the paperwork,” he said. “Indecent exposure occurs when a person intentionally exposes his sex organs knowing that the conduct is likely to insult or alarm the public.”

According to West Virginia law, a person is guilty of indecent exposure when they intentionally expose their sex organs or the sex organs of another person, or engage in any overt act of sexual gratification. According to the law, it is not considered indecent exposure for a mother to breast feed a child in any location, public or private.

Depending on the severity of the charge, a person found guilty of indecent exposure can be fined up to $500 and sentenced to jail for up to one year.


Open container strictly enforced during holiday

CHESTER-The Chester Police Department will strictly enforce open container and public intoxication laws during Friday’s Fourth of July celebration, Chief Ken Thorn said.

People with alcoholic drinks will not be permitted on Carolina Avenue or in Chester City Park and must limit their drinking to the VFW Post 6450 patio, he said.

Thorn said city residents and out-of-town visitors should remember that the annual festival is meant to be a family-friendly event.

Residents asked to report suspicious activity

CHESTER-The Chester Police Department is asking residents to report any suspicious activity following several recent burglaries involving unlocked vehicles in the downtown area.

Chief Ken Thorn said houses on Woodland Court and Bridgeview Drive also had their screen porches entered, so people should be extra vigilant.

Any suspicious activity should be reported to the police by calling 911 or 304-387-2820.

Siblings attempt to gain control of brother’s home while he undergoes mental counseling

LISBON – The siblings of Leonard Coursin, who is currently undergoing mental counseling and facing felony charges, have filed a civil lawsuit in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court on Monday attempting to gain full control of Coursin’s home.

M. Viola Adkins, Hill Street, East Liverpool; Betty V. Haring, Maryville, Tenn.; and Rebecca E. Peterson, Vine Street, East Liverpool, have filed a civil lawsuit against their brother, Coursin of East Liverpool, asking the property the four of them own on Henry Avenue, East Liverpool, be split three ways or court ordered to be sold.

According to the lawsuit, the home was inherited from their mother, Kathleen Coursin, also known as Viola Kathleen Coursin, who died on April 25, 2009. The lawsuit claims Coursin, who was living on the property prior to his incarceration, has allowed the property to severely deteriorate.

Coursin is charged with breaking and entering and having weapons under disability. A rifle, a flare gun modified to shoot shotgun shells and a spear created from a kitchen knife, duct tape and a wooden pole were reportedly found in Coursin’s home.

He is currently at Heartland Behavioral Healthcare after Judge C. Ashley Pike determined him incompetent to stand trial.