Salem man gets prison time for theft

LISBON – A former Salem man charged with theft and misuse of credit cards will spend nine months in prison.

George E. Wilson Jr., 40, West Ely, Alliance, was sentenced on Monday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court for taking a credit card belonging to Elaine Grimes on Sept. 3, 2012 and using it on both Sept. 3 and Sept. 4.

Although the charges were a fifth-degree felony and first-degree misdemeanor, which could have led to probation, Assistant County Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones argued Wilson has previous felony convictions. Additionally, she said he failed in a previous three-year probation ordered in Stark County and had to be sent to a facility in that county, which she believes similar to the Eastern Ohio Correction Center.

Wilson’s defense attorney, Charley Kidder, said although Wilson did not successfully complete his previous probation and was sent to nine months at the Stark Regional Community Corrections Center, he completed every program they had available to him there.

“I have a lot of regrets,” Wilson said. “I can’t change the past, but I can change the future and that is what my goal is.”

Wilson said he is currently enrolled in community college and studying to help people like himself. Judge C. Ashley Pike decided to put Wilson’s education on hold for a while, stating he believed some incarceration was appropriate in this case. Pike noted he is concerned about Wilson’s substantial record, which included two felony convictions.