4 years in prison for break-in

A Parkersburg man who broke into his mother’s Little Hocking home and stole items to trade for heroin was sentenced Friday in Washington County Common Pleas Court to four years in prison.

Michael S. Ayers, 30, of 4420 14th Ave., was sentenced on two third-degree felony counts of burglary for incidents that happened in November and December.

The prison sentence came in spite of recommendations from Ayers’ mother, his attorney, and Ayers himself for an opportunity to join a treatment program.

“Up until a year and a half ago I was doing good,” Ayers told Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane.

But Ayers’ heroin addiction eventually escalated to the point where he was stealing to support it. He took coins, prescription medication, a laptop and a camera from his mother’s home to trade for the drug, according to attorney Shawna Landaker.

Landaker asked that Ayers be sentenced to community control and treatment through SEPTA Correctional Facility.

“I’d like to get treatment…not just send me to prison where I don’t get any help,” added Ayers.

His mother also stressed that a focus on treatment was the best course of action for her son.

But Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Rings pointed out that Ayers’ criminal behavior stretches back further than his heroin addiction and asked for a heavier punishment to get Ayers’ attention.

“If we just send him straight to SEPTA, we won’t have his attention at that point,” he said.

Rings asked for a prison sentence of four years and said he would not oppose judicial release after two years, at which point Ayers could enter SEPTA.

Lane ran through Ayers’ list of previous convictions, which includes unruly charges as a juvenile and adult convictions for vandalism, larceny, battery, obstructing justice, fleeing and eluding, drunk driving, and receiving stolen property.

Lane noted that many of the cases had involved a home confinement sentence.

“The thing about addicts is they are manipulators and they like people to enable their addiction. What we’ve heard from counselors is that people we send straight to counseling, they don’t take it seriously,” he said.

Lane added that prison has programs, including ones aimed at drug treatment. Ayers will be expected to participate in such programs if he wants to be considered for judicial release, he said.

Lane sentenced Ayers to 24 months on each of the two counts and ordered them to run consecutively. Ayers received credit for 93 days served. No restitution was ordered.