Macksburg man sentenced to 45 days

A Macksburg man accused of selling heroin and later lying about employment in order to obtain a free public defense lawyer was sentenced Tuesday in Washington County Common Please Court to 45 days in jail.

Just prior to sentencing, 34-year-old Derek E. Petry, of 260 Mechanics St., pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor falsification charge for the application lie. The lie was discovered six weeks ago, prior to Petry’s initial sentencing date on a heroin charge, said Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider.

“He lied on his application about his income to obtain a public defender, indicating he had no (income),” said Schneider.

When Petry began asking for an intermittent sentence so he could continue working his job as a pipefitter, it became apparent that he had lied about his income, added Schneider.

“It was then we learned…that he was earning the equivalent of $75,000 a year,” he said.

Petry was allowed to continue using the public defender’s services, but will now be required to pay for them, according to an order from Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth.

Petry had already pleaded guilty May 9 to a fifth-degree felony count of drug trafficking. The charge stemmed from a drug sale at a gas station on Ohio 821 where Petry sold heroin to an confidential informant.

Because Petry’s request for an intermittent sentence was to be granted, Schneider asked that he be made to report to the jail immediately following Tuesday’s sentencing.

“So his failure to abide by the intermittent sentence would result in another felony charge,” he explained.

Petry’s attorney, Nancy Brum, requested he be able to skip one of the upcoming weekends of incarceration.

“He asked he be able to attend his brother’s-who is terminally ill-wedding on Labor Day weekend, so I’m making that request now,” she said.

Burnworth ignored the request, ordering Petry to book into jail that day and return Friday and every coming Friday until he completes the sentence.

Petry was sentenced to 30 days on the drug trafficking charge and 15 consecutive days on the falsification charge. Petry has already served nine days of the sentence and today’s book-in will leave a 35-day sentence to be served over a period of 14 weekends.

Inmates who choose to serve only weekends are charged a $75 fee per weekend, Burnworth reminded Petry. Furthermore, if Petry loses his job or violates any conditions of his three-year community control supervision he will be required to serve the remainder of his jail balance immediately.

In light of Petry’s available income, Burnworth also ordered Petry to pay fines on both charges, $2,500 on the felony and $500 on the misdemeanor.