A Guernsey County man accused of selling drugs to a task force informant in Marietta narrowly avoided an additional failure to appear charge Tuesday morning.
Thomas Davis, 31, of 52175 Tower Road, Cumberland, was 15 minutes late for his sentencing in the Washington County Common Pleas Court.
"I have been having fairly regular contact with him. There was no indication he wouldn't be here," said Davis' attorney, public defender Rolf Baumgartel.
Guernsey County resident Thomas Davis, right, narrowly avoided a failure to appear charge Tuesday morning when he was 15 minutes late for his scheduled sentencing on a fourth-degree felony aggravated drug trafficking charge. Davis apologized and was sentenced to a year in prison.
But just seconds before Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane issued a warrant for his arrest, Davis bounded in the courtroom, out of breath and apologetic.
"Ah, we have a client," said Lane, as Davis appeared.
After the defendant was seated, the sentencing proceeded as scheduled.
Davis was charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs, a fourth-degree felony.
According to the July indictment, Davis and his wife, Diedre Davis, 29, sold prescription drugs containing Oxycodone to an informant on March 12. The trafficking charge was considered aggravated because a child was in the car at the time of the sale.
"This is a situation where Mr. Davis and his wife were struggling financially," said Baumgartel. "Obviously that is not a justification...They just sort of fell through the cracks."
Baumgartel also noted that Davis' wife has almost finished serving her time on the same charge.
Davis was not eligible for the SEPTA drug counseling program because he has charges pending in another county, noted Lane.
"I have got a sentencing Friday in Noble County for receiving stolen property," explained Davis.
He also expressed remorse for his actions.
"I'm regretful for what I did. I've got six kids and I just made a bad decision," he said.
Lane noted that because the pills did not belong to Davis or his wife, the crime was considered to be part of organized criminal activity.
Lane also went down a long list of Davis' prior convictions. Those convictions are spread throughout Washington, Noble and Guernsey counties and include two domestic violence charges, a fleeing and alluding charge, a driving under the influence charge, and at least three charges each for no operators license and driving under suspension, said Lane.
Davis's long list of prior convictions showed a "failure to respond favorably in the past" to imposed sanctions, said Lane.
"You have committed a felony in the past. You have been to prison. That overrides the presumption for community control that says we cannot sent you to prison," Lane said to the defendant.
Lane sentenced Davis to 12 months in prison, out of a possible 18 months.