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Physical therapist among those indicted by grand jury

April 4, 2013
By MARK LAW - Staff writer (mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.) , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - The Jefferson County grand jury Wednesday returned indictments against a physical therapist working with developmentally disabled children, a couple accused in a bank robbery and two men allegedly involved in a Toronto crystal methamphetamine lab.

Debra A. Copeland, 59, of 102 High St., Cadiz, was indicted on two counts each of felony and misdemeanor child endangering after an investigation into alleged abuse of students at the School of Bright Promise.

Police were notified on Jan. 15 of the alleged abuse and received a video. City Police reported Copeland was a physical therapist and was allegedly physically and verbally abusing children at the school for children with developmental disabilities.

Copeland had been on administrative leave from the school since Jan. 16 and she was terminated on Feb. 5, according to county Developmental Disabilities Superintendent Michael Mehalik.

The county prosecutor's office reported the alleged abuse was committed during physical therapy sessions on June 9 and June 15.

Damion J. Sacripanti, 36, and Elizabeth M. Ely, 28, both of 203 Kingsdale Road, Pottery Addition, were indicted in connection with the March 27 robbery of the Huntington Bank in Richmond.

Sacripanti was indicted on single counts of robbery and theft and Ely was charged with complicity to robbery and complicity to theft.

Sacripanti and Ely were arrested at their house by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department about 12 hours after the bank robbery.

Sacripanti told deputies he went into the bank and told a teller to give him money, the sheriff's department reported. When the teller just stared at him, Sacripanti said he reached over the counter and grabbed cash, the sheriff's department reported.

The cash fell to the floor near the teller, so Sacripanti said he jumped over the counter and grabbed about $1,000 in cash, all in small bills, the sheriff's department reported.

Sacripanti ran out of the bank to a car where his girlfriend, Ely, was waiting, a deputy said. The girlfriend claimed she didn't know that Sacripanti had planned to rob the bank, the sheriff's department reported.

Sacripanti told deputies he used the cash to buy heroin in Steubenville.

Sean E. Householder, 35, and Adam J. Snyder, 32, both of 1418 Madison Ave., Toronto, were indicted in connection with a crystal methamphetamine lab being found by police inside the Madison Avenue home on Sunday.

Householder was indicted on two counts of illegal manufacture of drugs and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, both with school specifications. Snyder was charged with misdemeanor child endangering.

Toronto Police reported the house had been under investigation for the past six months but a search warrant was executed Sunday evening. The Jefferson County Drug Task Force and the county sheriff's department assisted with the investigation and raid.

Curley Clarke, 65, of 1643 Ridge Ave. was indicted on two counts of felonious assault in connection with a stabbing on March 4.

City Police were called to Ridge and Pittsburgh avenues about a stabbing. Police reported the victim told police he saw his girlfriend being held by her hair by Clarke with a knife to her neck outside a house on Ridge Avenue. The victim went outside and was stabbed by Clarke, police reported.

Vincent J. Atwood, 45, of 158 Union St., Mount Pleasant, was indicted on four counts of assault on a police officer and one count of failure to comply with the order of a police officer.

County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said Atwood was involved in a bar fight and went to his home. Officers surrounded the house on March 9 when Atwood came out of the house with mace and sprayed the officers. The officers took Atwood into custody, but one officer suffered a dislocated thumb in the struggle, Hanlin said.

The grand jury also returned the following indictments:

Michael L. West, 36, of 720 N. Seventh St. was indicted on single counts of rape and abduction. The county prosecutor's office reported the rape occurred on Aug. 12 and involved a then 17-year-old girl.

Christopher E. Nemeth, 32, of 1715 state Route 43, Steubenville, felony operating a vehicle under the influence and driving with a suspended license.

Stephanie Mills-Carter, 36, address unknown, single counts of identity theft and theft, involving taking the identity of an elderly woman, using it to get credit cards and running up about $10,000 in bills, the county prosecutor's office reported.

John T. Nation, 32, of 1190 county Road 26, Steubenville, and Jess L. Turner, 30, of 714 Oakmont Ave., each indicted on single counts of breaking and entering, complicity to breaking and entering, theft, complicity to theft, possession of criminal tools and obstructing official business in connection with the break-in of a home in the 2100 block of Sunset Boulevard on Feb. 21. Kelly L. Downen, 27, of 1190 county Road 26, Steubenville, was indicted on single counts of complicity to breaking and entering and complicity to theft.

Police were called about the break-in and saw the suspects running from the home.

Robin S. Turner, 66, of 810 county Road 19, Mingo Junction, gross sexual imposition.

Donald P. Lafferty, 43, of 5396 county Road 43, Steubenville, two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and single counts of sexual battery and rape.

Michael G. Larkins, 30, of 981 township Road 216, Richmond, single counts of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon.

Leonard King, 38, of 1308 Oregon Ave., two counts of possession of drugs and one count of having a weapon under disability.

Suzette M. Sherrell, 22, of 820 Rosswell Ave., single counts of receiving stolen property and complicity to receiving stolen property.

Becky L. Downard, 46, of 11 Raynes Road, Mingo Junction, three counts of theft and one count of forgery.

 
 

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