Courts dealing with four murder cases
Mar. 14—Also two attempted murder cases in system
There are several murder cases making their way through the Lawrence County Common Pleas Court this year.
This is an update on those cases.
—Si Shafer, 47, was arrested on an unclassified felony murder charge on Jan. 15, after he and another resident of Fout's Adult Group Home in Ironton got into a fight.
When officers arrived, they found Faran Sebring lying face down on a rear porch of the residence. Upon closer investigation, they found that the man was dead.
Ironton Police detective Captain Brian Pauley said the two men had gotten into a verbal altercation earlier in the day and "then it ended up progressing into a physical altercation with Shafer basically choking Sebring."
He said Shafer was still on the scene when police arrived and he was interviewed by the detectives before he was arrested.
On Jan. 31, Shafer plead not guilty by reason of insanity. In February, Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Andy Ballard ordered tests to see if Shafer was competent to stand trial and to evaluate Shafer's mental status when the crime occurred.
The court has received those reports and they are under seal, meaning they are not available to the public. The court has approved another evaluation to be done by a psychiatrist.
Shafer is being held in the Lawrence County Jail and no trial date has been set as of this time.
—Kace Pleasant, is facing numerous charges after being accused of killing his grandfather, Harold "Tim" Pleasant at his Ninth Street home in Ironton on Oct. 26, 2022 and then fleeing into Scioto County.
Kace Pleasant is charged with aggravated murder with a firearm specification, saying that "he possessed a firearm or used it to facilitate the crime;" murder with a same firearm specification; fifth-degree felony abuse of corpse, third-degree felony tampering with evidence; third-degree felony failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer; fourth-degree felony theft of motor vehicle, specifically the elder Pleasant's 2018 Chevrolet Corvette, second-degree felony robbery charge and second-degree felony kidnapping charge. The last two charges stem from the robbery and kidnapping of a woman after he fled from his grandfather's house and ended up in Lucasville.
In January hearing in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court of Christen Finley, Kace Pleasant entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity and a plea that he was incompetent to stand trial.
A psychological evaluation is being done by the Cincinnati-based Court Clinic.
A trial has been set for April 24-28 in Finley's court.
—Dashawn L. Evans, 34, was arrested on Dec. 12, 2022. He is accused of fatally shooting his neighbor, Sharmin M. McAllister, 33, on Dec. 11, 2022, at their Chesapeake apartment complex, reportedly in an argument over his dogs.
According to the sheriff's office, during the argument, Evans brandished a handgun and shot McAllister in the upper torso. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the Lawrence County Coroner's Office. He fled the scene and was arrested the next day at an Ashland, Kentucky hotel.
Evans has pleaded not guilty to an unclassified felony murder charge. He is being held in the Lawrence County Jail without bond.
—Jerrino D. Johnson, 52, of South Point, was arrested on a second-degree felony attempted murder charge Aug. 23, 2022.
The case against him began after a Rock Hill Middle School teacher called the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office around 7:42 a.m. and said she had been shot at by a man dressed in camouflage from head to toe.
She said she was on her way to work when she felt ill and pulled off of State Route 93 into a gravel lot near the Lawrence County Juvenile Center.
An unknown man approached her vehicle on foot and began to shoot at her with a handgun while she sat in her vehicle. The woman was uninjured, but Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said it appeared at least one bullet went through the back glass and a second bullet struck the rear fender on the passenger side of the vehicle as she fled the scene and went back to Ironton to meet with law enforcement officers.
Johnson was indicted on charges of first-degree felony attempted murder, first-degree felony aggravated arson, second-degree felony felonious assault, third-degree felony having a weapon while under disability, third-degree felony tampering with evidence. In December, he pleaded not guilty to the charges in the Finley's court.
The trial is set for March 27-28.
He is being held in the Lawrence County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
—Joseph Lewis, 58, was arrested by the Ironton Police Department for the murder of Jeri Crabtree, 59 after they went to his apartment and found him in the kitchen next to her body on Feb. 21. He had a probable cause hearing in the Ironton Municipal Court on Feb. 23 and his case has been sent to the Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. His case will be heard by the Lawrence County grand jury soon. He is being held in the Lawrence County Jail on a $1 million bond.
—Aaron C. Adkins, 35, was indicted by the Lawrence County Grand Jury on Feb. 27 on one count of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated arson.
The three first-degree felony charges stem from a Jan. 17 incident when according to court records, Adkins created a "substantial risk of physical harm" to his sister by "throwing gasoline, pouring gasoline in the home and in around (her) and threw matches and the lighting a garment on fire in the house."
On March 3, he entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity during a competency hearing in Finley's court. He remains in the Lawrence County Jail.