Wellsville man gets chance with probation

LISBON – A Wellsville man was given a last chance to turn his life around after he begged Judge Scott Washam of the Columbiana County Common Pleas Court for leniency on Thursday.

Randy A. Martin, 26, of Broadway, was in court to be sentenced on a number of crimes, all cases from 2010, including six counts of trafficking in drugs for his involvement in marijuana sales in April and May of 2010. Additionally, he was charged with burglary for breaking into the home of Belinda Smith, but had pleaded guilty to aggravated trespassing.

Although he pleaded to the charges in 2010, Martin was not sentenced. A bench warrant was issued for him when he did not return to court.

Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart requested a seven-month prison sentence for Martin, who reportedly recently turned himself in on the warrant.

“I’ve turned my life around a whole 360,” Martin said. “I’ve been doing all I can do.”

Martin said he has been working and paying off old fines at Municipal Court. He also reported he has been trying to help support his mother, who is not well and unable to work.

Washam read off a long list of misdemeanor convictions on Martin’s record, which included thefts, domestic violence, disorderly conduct, trespassing and drug-related offenses. However, it was also noted during his adult life, Martin has never been convicted of a felony until now. One case from his juvenile years reportedly would have been a felony if he had been convicted as an adult.

Martin claimed he has not touched a drug since 2011 and has been working to turn his life around. He said in the past he had a drinking and drug problem, but then saw his little girl and has changed.

A minister, Ted Ludwig of the Bethel Presbyterian Church, testified Martin came there about six weeks ago to begin community service and has begun attending church. He talked about the support Martin has given his ailing mother.

“If you give me a chance your honor, I will not let you down,” Martin promised. “Just please find it in your heart to give me a chance.”

Washam decided to give Martin one last chance, noting he will be on four years of probation and if he makes a mistake Martin could be resentenced to 12 months on each count. He required Martin to make an attempt to get his GED and suspended his driver’s license for six months.