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East Liverpool man gets community control for loaded weapon in vehicle

LISBON – A 23-year-old East Liverpool man, who had a loaded handgun in his vehicle in Wellsville in June, was sent to the Eastern Ohio Correction Center as a part of his community control on Monday.

Dacious Coles, Wilbert Avenue, pleaded guilty in September to two of the four charges he was facing – resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon.

During his sentencing hearing, Cole’s defense attorney, Jennifer Gorby, asked Bickerton to follow the recommendation of Assistant County Prosecutor Alec Beech and grant Coles a chance to attend the programs at the Eastern Ohio Correction Center.

Although Coles was in custody due to failing to appear for his sentencing hearing last week, Gorby said he had actually showed up a day later at about the same time and had previously called her office leaving her a message asking to confirm the time of his hearing. She just did not get the message until after Coles’ hearing. Gorby said Coles has been “very cooperative and very compliant” with her throughout the process.

Coles told Bickerton he was sorry and is “really just trying to change for real.”

Bickerton pointed out the prosecutor’s office is being very gracious giving him this opportunity and he is the only one who can mess it up. She warned him  against coming back to court for not complying, adding she could sentence him to 18 months in prison for the carrying a concealed weapon charge. Besides a term at the EOCC, Coles was placed on four years community control.

The two related charges Coles did not plead guilty to were improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle and obstructing official business.

Coles had been charged after Wellsville police responded to a call on June 6 regarding two people shooting at each other on Commerce Street. Coles was a passenger of a vehicle stopped by police in that area about 12 hours later and dropped the gun as he ran from the vehicle. The gun was sent to a lab to be tested to see if it was involved in the shooting.

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