Theft-related events could be caused by drug abuse

LISBON — A Rogers area woman was sentenced to attend the Eastern Ohio Corrections Center for her drug problems, which Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart said appear to be the root of the theft-related activities she was involved in last August.

Larissa M. Ritteger, 34, Clarkson Road, Rogers, was the one who drove a stolen 2012 Silverado pickup belonging to Bush Heating, away from the East Palestine area on Aug. 1 through Aug. 2. Additionally, she lied to police on Aug. 7 about her relationship with co-defendant Terry A. Hughes II and the fact she was with Hughes when they were pursuing him.

Ritteger had pleaded guilty to charges of receiving stolen property and falsification on Tuesday. She asked for a quick sentencing hearing and it was held on Thursday.

Ritteger’s defense attorney Christopher Weeda indicated Ritteger has been in the county jail recently. He said he has seen a massive improvement in her since she is no longer under the influence. Ritteger had failed to appear in March and was taken into custody on April 17 on a bench warrant issued through the court.

On Thursday, she was credited with 60 days served and Judge Scott Washam ordered she remain in the county jail until a bed is available for her at the EOCC.

Prior to her sentencing, Ritteger apologized for “doing the wrong thing.”

Weikart said investigators believe Hughes had a bigger part in the crimes committed and he was recently sentenced to prison time.

On June 7, Hughes was sentenced to a year in prison for receiving stolen property for the same pickup, with 90 days credit for time already served.