By DEANNE JOHNSON
LISBON - Clarence Wright, one of the men involved in the disappearance of lawn equipment belonging to the East Liverpool City Schools, was sentenced to nine months in prison on Thursday.
Wright, 35, West Second Street, East Liverpool, had pleaded guilty to three counts of receiving stolen property, then failed to appear at an earlier sentencing hearing. He explained to Judge Scott Washam on Thursday he had missed his previous hearing because he was checking on his son, a small child who had been removed from his mother's care.
He also pleaded that he did provide some information to try to help the school district recover the tractor.
Prior to Wright's sentencing, Mark Reed representing the East Liverpool School District noted the loss of the lawn equipment was a great expense to the district. He relayed a message that the board of education was asking for Wright to receive the maximum possible sentence.
Washam went along with the recommendation of Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Weikart, who noted Wright has a lengthy criminal history.
The other two men involved in the theft of equipment at Patterson Field in August 2011 already pleaded guilty to charges as well and have been previously sentenced.
Michael K. Mackey II, 35, Winston Drive, East Liverpool, pleaded guilty to one of the two counts of receiving stolen property he was facing. He was sentenced to five years probation.
Arlan Bailey, 23, Park Boulevard, East Liverpool, pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving stolen property. Bailey was sentenced to 75 days in the county jail and three years probation.
Court documents state on Aug. 27, 2011, the three men were involved in possession of a stolen zero-turn Toro riding lawn mower, which was property of the East Liverpool School District. The lawn mower was valued at about $7,023. Additionally, the second count Bailey and Wright both pleaded to includes a New Holland tractor with a front loader, bucket and backhoe, which were valued at $9,950 combined.
Wright was also accused of taking a Suzuki motorcycle from World of Cycles in Moon Township, Pa.
The items all were reportedly hidden on Mackey's property on Winston Drive. However, the tractor was not recovered.