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EP man charged with murder conspiracy seeks lower bond

LISBON — An East Palestine man accused of trying to convince someone to kill two people for him appeared in Common Pleas Court on Monday.

Ronald Barson, 54, Bacon Avenue, East Palestine, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, a first-degree felony charge.

His defense attorney Edward Czoper, who works with his main defense attorney Ronald Yarwood, asked for a lowering of Barson’s bond. Czoper described what happened as an isolated allegation and not a pattern of criminal behavior. Additionally Czoper argued Barson, who remains in custody on a $500,000 cash/surety bond, has a limited criminal record.

“He tells me he can afford $50,000,” Czoper said.

Chief Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble disagreed with Czoper’s assessment of Barson’s criminal activities, stating Barson has threatened and terrorized the two people he was allegedly planning to have murdered. Gamble pointed out Barson has served jail time earlier this year for charges in Municipal Court regarding his ongoing dispute with Joseph Altenburg. Court records show those charges — carrying a concealed weapon, assault and aggravated menacing — were from two separate incidents in January and February.

“These are serious allegations,” Gamble said, adding the bond is for the “purposes of ensuring the safety of the public.”

The allegations behind the current charge Barson is facing reportedly occurred between April 1 and continued through April 19. Barson is accused of planning and trying to convince another person to kill Altenburg and Rosey Faulkner. Court records indicate investigators believe Barson talked to the other person on at least two occasions about the possibility. Then on April 19, authorities allege Barson took that person to the home of Altenburg and Faulkner, pointing it out so they would know where to go. Additionally, he reportedly purchased a 12-gauge Savage shotgun for the person to use to commit the murder.

Judge Megan Bickerton declined to reduce Barson’s bond and set the jury trial for Barson for Nov. 19 after a time waiver was granted.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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