Guilty plea for illegal manufacture of meth

Brandon S. Walters, 30, of 715 Greene St. Apt. A, Marietta, pleaded guilty Friday to a first-degree felony count of illegal manufacture of drugs and a second-degree felony count of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.

Washington County Common Pleas Judge Ed Lane accepted the plea and set a sentencing hearing for Walters on Aug. 8.

During Friday’s hearing Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Rings said Walters had admitted to the April 2012 breaking and entering of his mother’s home on Second Street in Vincent, and was arrested for that crime in September.

“He admitted entering his mother’s home through a window where $6,800 was stolen from her personal safe,” Rings said. “His mother was not home at the time.”

Then, on April 19, while out on bond, Walters was arrested again after members of the Major Crimes Task Force executed a search warrant at his Greene Street residence and discovered materials used to manufacture methamphetamine.

“He also told officers that he had attempted to manufacture meth before,” Rings said. “And his apartment is located within 1,000 feet of (Marietta Middle School).”

Rings noted Walters had been cooperative throughout the investigation, but asked that he be held without bond at the county jail until the sentencing date in August.

But Walters’ attorney, Eric Fowler, said the defendant lives in the local area and asked for bond to be set.

Lane agreed with Rings’ request.

“He is a convicted felon, and I honestly believe he’ll get in trouble again, due to a drug addiction,” Lane said.

Following Friday’s hearing, Fowler said the Walters case exemplifies “the glaring need for a drug court in this area.”

He said there are too many drug cases piling up and not enough court resources to handle them all.