Drug suspect says prison will help him

A Marietta man told a judge Thursday that a prison sentence would help him steer clear of drugs.

“I regret everything I’ve done. I’m fine as long as I stay away from drugs and alcohol,” said 30-year-old Brandon Walters.

Walters, of 715 Greene St. Apt. A, was sentenced to five years in prison on felony charges of burglary and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.

In April 2012, Walters broke into his mother’s home on Second Street in Vincent and stole more than $1,000 from a safe and various other items from the home, said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Rings.

He was arrested in September on the charge.

Later released on bond, Walters’ home became the subject of a search warrant executed by the Major Crimes Task Force. Agents found items used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Walters’ home is also located within 1,000 feet of Marietta Middle School, elevating the assembly charge to a second-degree felony.

Walters’ attorney, Eric Fowler, noted that his client had a serious drug addiction, but also pointed to Walters’ lack of violent crimes when asking for a minimum sentence.

“If you look at my client’s record, these are all non-violent crimes,” he said.

Fowler asked for a three-year prison sentence.

Rings recommended that Walters be sentenced to two years in prison on the third-degree burglary charge and three years in prison on the second-degree felony chemical assembly charge, to be served consecutively.

The felony charges were at least the second round for Walters, said Rings.

“He’s been to prison (before),” he said.

Walters merely stated that he knew he deserved to go to prison.

“I feel some time away would do me good, and I’d benefit from an extensive drug and alcohol treatment plan once released,” he said.

Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane followed the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation when ordering two and three year consecutive sentences.

“I remember you from drug court,” said Lane, recalling Walters’ participation in the court’s former program that dealt specifically with drug-related crimes. “You’re not fundamentally a bad person, you just need to get this habit under control.”

Walters was given credit for 111 days served. Restitution was never ordered in the burglary charge.