EP couple jailed for shoplifting

LISBON — An East Palestine couple accused of shoplifting from the Family Dollar store last month appeared in Columbiana County Municipal Court last week before Judge Mark Frost.

One was to get out in two days, but the other will remain in jail at least until today after arguing about the charge during her hearing.

Michelle Hall, 45, and Anthony Gingher, 50, both of East Main Street, East Palestine, were appearing in custody and, according to their defense attorneys, planned to plead no contest each to a theft charge for the shoplifting offense.

Gingher pleaded no contest and apologized for stealing a pack of cigarettes from the store.

“I’m very sorry this has all taken place,” Gingher said. “It could have been avoided at all costs and it will not happen again.”

Gingher was fined $250, credited with eight days already served, ordered to serve an additional two days, required 30 hours community service and ordered to pay $7 in restitution for the pack of Camel 99 cigarettes he left the store with in his hoodie pocket on Nov. 24.

At the same time Gingher was opening the cigarette case, employees of the store say Gingher’s girlfriend, Michelle Hall, removed three pairs of pants and two shirts from a clothing rack and left the store.

Hall, whose hearing preceded Gingher’s, was offered a similar plea agreement to his. According to Assistant County Prosecutor Don Humphrey Jr., the offer would have had her credited with seven days served in jail with three remaining to serve. She was also going to be ordered to make restitution for the stolen clothing and ordered not to return to Family Dollar.

However, although Hall agreed to plead no contest, she also seemingly wanted to argue about the case at the same time. At one point during the hearing she claimed they could not determine the restitution because there was no evidence of the stolen clothes. Later she claimed a police officer “has it in for her” and held her down by her hair when they came to the house to arrest her on the charge.

Frost told Hall he would not allow her to change her plea on Thursday and instead set an additional date for another pretrial for today. She was to remain in custody at the county jail until then.