MOUNT VERNON — Sixteen indictments were handed down by a Knox County grand jury on Monday. Arraignments are scheduled for Friday, June 18, before Common Pleas Court Judge Otho Eyster.
According to Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher, Melissa Pursley, 27, Newark, was indicted on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Thatcher said that on April 25 at approximately 7:01 p.m., Pursley was allegedly driving her 1999 Pontiac Grand Am on Waterford Road when she failed to maintain control, ran off the left side of the road and struck a tree. Pursley’s 3-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was killed and her 5-year-old son, Devon, was seriously injured as a result of the crash.
According to the indictment, Pursley’s blood alcohol level was 0.198 at the time of the crash.
James Cantu, 19, Mount Vernon, is accused of stealing approximately 60 Xanax pills on April 10. Cantu is charged with theft of drugs.
Robert C. Fulton, 27, Mount Vernon, on the night of April 9 allegedly broke into a locked cash drawer kept at a Mount Vernon restaurant. Thatcher said Fulton is charged with theft of $1,171, breaking and entering, safecracking and possessing criminal tools for allegedly using a hammer and screwdriver to break into the cash drawer.
Gregory B. Lawhorn, 50, Mount Vernon, is accused of stealing and cashing a $600 money order on Dec. 31, 2009. He faces charges of theft, receiving stolen property and forgery.
The night of May 21, Mount Vernon police officers responded to a report of a suspicious person attempting to break into a Follin Avenue apartment. David L. Burnside, 51, Mount Vernon, was apprehended and charged with burglary. Thatcher said Burnside was indicted for burglary and possessing criminal tools for allegedly using a hammer and a pair of gloves during the break-in.
On May 26, during a robbery investigation, Detective Cpl. Matt Dailey and Detective David McElroy, MVPD, attempted to make contact with Ruben E. Nelson, 23, Mount Vernon. Nelson was driving a 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer at the time. Nelson allegedly fled from the detectives at a high rate of speed. After a marked cruiser stopped Nelson in the south end of the city, the detectives discovered he had a 1-year-old child in the car. Thatcher said Nelson is charged with failing to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, obstructing official business and endangering children.
Lonnie J. Smith, 39, Massillon, was indicted on rape, gross sexual imposition and importuning charges. Thatcher said that on Dec. 31, 2009, in Knox County, Smith allegedly asked a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity with him, and then he engaged in sexual conduct with the child.
Jordan C. Mullins, 22, Mount Vernon, faces a charge of receiving stolen property for allegedly selling a stolen camera, lenses and camera accessories on April 7.
Floyd O. Daniels, 32, Mount Vernon, was indicted on identity fraud, receiving stolen property and misuse of credit card charges. Thatcher said that on Feb. 19, Daniels allegedly used another person’s Social Security number and credit card to make unauthorized purchases of over $4,600.
Marcus Hoadley, 30, and Kerry Givens, 50, both of Fredericktown, are accused of drug trafficking charges for allegedly selling prescription drugs to a confidential informant on three occasions in May. According to the indictment, the state will seek the forfeiture of Givens’ pickup truck allegedly used in the commission of the offenses.
Erica N. Cotter, 31, Mount Vernon, also faces drug trafficking charges for allegedly selling methamphetamine to a confidential informant on two occasions in May. The state also requested the forfeiture of Cotter’s pickup truck allegedly used in the commission of the offenses.
On Dec. 12 and 22, 2009, Randy D. Fannin, 57, Mount Vernon, allegedly stole desktop computers from a Mount Vernon department store. Thatcher said the value of the computers is approximately $1,500. Detective Craig Feeney of the Mount Vernon Police Department recovered store surveillance video that allegedly shows Fannin stealing the computers.
Chad A. Cardwell, 30, was indicted in May for allegedly bouncing 14 checks on his closed checking account. Thatcher said the value of the checks exceeds $5,000. Cardwell was indicted again this month for allegedly bouncing three more checks on his closed checking account valued at $1,550.
Cardwell is still a fugitive with outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at 397-3333.
During a routine check on April 8, Probation Officer Rene Joris allegedly found 10 individually wrapped baggies of marijuana, a set of scales and other drug paraphernalia in the residence of Eric S. Azbell, 25, Mount Vernon. Thatcher said Azbell is on probation to the Mount Vernon Municipal Court. Azbell is accused of trafficking in marijuana.
According to Knox County Child Support Enforcement records, Scott M. Hoover, 49, Powell, allegedly owes over $36,000 in back child support and he has made no payments since September 2008. Hoover is accused of nonsupport of dependents.