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Nine years in prison for drug dealer who shot at home

Photo by Michael Kelly Timothy Ramey makes a statement to Judge Mark Kerenyi in Washington County Common Pleas Court on Thursday morning before being sentenced.

A Parkersburg man who admitted shooting at a house in Warren Township from his vehicle last year has been sent to state prison for a minimum of nine years.

Timothy D. Ramey, 35, pleaded for leniency from Judge Mark Kerenyi at a sentencing hearing Thursday morning in Washington County Common Pleas Court. Reading out a letter he’d written to the judge, Ramey’s voice broke as he acknowledged responsibility for endangering lives in a fit of anger after delivering heroin to a customer on Ohio 550.

The customer, Cory Meeks, accepted the drugs but refused to pay for them and retreated inside, leaving Ramey standing outside the house. Ramey, according to a report by Washington County Sheriff’s investigators, fired eight bullets from a 9mm pistol as he drove away from the house, one of which hit the front door.

“I will take full advantage of any classes, anything to give me a better opportunity to get a job, to care for my family,” he said. “I sold drugs to pay the bills, and I’m taking the consequence of that today, I take 100 percent responsibility … I was wrong.

“I’ve been to jail before, but I didn’t have a 3-year-old, a 17-month-old child. My car’s been repo’d, I’ll take any possibility to be a better person. My kids are suffering from this.”

Kerenyi thanked Ramey for his “genuine remorse” but said he was disinclined to leniency.

The judge read out excerpts from Ramey’s criminal record, which began with felonies in 2007 and continued until he was paroled in 2015 from a 10-year robbery sentence.

“You do not respond favorably to sanctions,” Kerenyi said.

When Ramey fired at the house, it was occupied by members of Meeks’ family, including his mother and a 4-year-old child.

“That’s the most serious thing you did … you are a cross-state-line drug dealer who is willing to shoot, and one thing this community will not tolerate is gunfire,” Kerenyi said.

Ramey originally was indicted on more than a dozen charges ranging from attempted murder to tampering with evidence, but in November he pleaded guilty to felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and drug trafficking, a third-degree felony. The assault charge carried a gun specification.

Kerenyi said the gun specification carried a mandatory three-year sentence, which he ordered Ramey to serve first, followed by a six-to-nine year sentence on the felonious assault charge, to be served consecutively. He pronounced a 30-month sentence on the drug trafficking charge, to be served concurrently with the felonious assault sentence.

“You’ll serve an aggregate minimum of nine years, and a maximum of 12 years,” Kerenyi said.

The sentence was close to the request of prosecutor Nicole Coil, who had asked for eight years plus three years for the gun specification.

“Your actions showed repeated disrespect for the law and for human life,” Coil said in her sentencing request.

Meeks, she said, nearly died from the drugs – he had to be resuscitated by paramedics after taking the heroin – and children in surrounding homes could have been injured by the shots as the events occurred at a time when they might have been boarding school buses.

Meeks, according to Lt. Bryan Lockhart of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, was in compliance with the state’s Good Samaritan law and incurred no charges in connection with the event.

Defense attorney Shawna Landaker said she thought five years would be an appropriate sentence.

“My client has taken responsibility for his actions, and a pre-sentencing report indicates strong provocation. He has two kids, he’s willing to do time and straighten his life out,” she said.

Coil said Meeks had been given notice in early January of his right to file a victim impact statement but had not responded.

Ramey was given time-served credit of 230 days on the assault charge and 162 days on the drug trafficking charge. He will be 44 years old by the time he’s eligible for parole, and his youngest child will be 10.

Michael Kelly can be contacted at mkelly@mariettatimes.com.

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