Judicial release granted for former Latrobe Street director

From staff reports

A Mineral Wells man who expressed deep remorse when he pleaded guilty to smuggling drugs into the Washington County Jail in 2017 successfully applied for judicial release after serving half of a 36-month sentence.

Shad Martin, 39, made a brief appearance in Washington County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday morning. Judge Mark Kerenyi granted his request for judicial release after Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings said he had no objections.

Martin will spend three years under community control, and he also has to sort out an active hold in Wood County, W.Va.

Martin was a drug user who had been clean for several years and was a founder of the Latrobe Street Mission in Parkersburg, an evening safe place for homeless men that included emergency assistance and addiction counseling. At his sentencing in April 2017, he told Kerenyi he had relapsed in late 2013 after being clean for four years.

He was arrested on charges of possession of drugs and trafficking in December 2014. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve out his sentence on weekends in the Washington County Jail, but in May 2016 he was found in possession of drugs hidden in a body cavity when he checked in. Martin said he and his family had been threatened by two other prisoners with violence unless he agreed to smuggle the drugs into the jail.

Martin supported his claims with a video from the jail showing him being beaten by two other inmates.

An assistant county prosecutor at the time, Kelly Hamilton, told the court at Martin’s sentencing in April 2017 that his office would not oppose judicial release after Martin served 18 months provided he met standard conditions.

Because Martin had attempted to bring the drugs into the jail using a cigar tube hidden in a body cavity, Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks decided to invest in a full body scan machine for the jail.