The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Circuit Court Roundup


September 19, 2018

James Lee Baker

James Lee Baker pleaded no contest Sept. 10 in Linn County Circuit Court to second-degree burglary.

Sentencing is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. on Oct. 19 in Courtroom 1.

Baker was one of two arrested June 21 in connection to a burglary and theft of cigarettes from Safeway, 1540 Main St., theft of items from a Linn Shuttle bus and a stolen vehicle.

While on routine patrol, a police officer had observed a passenger in a pickup who matched the description of a person involved in the burglary at Safeway.

Matthew Everett Wood, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison in July, was driving the pickup, which had been reported stolen 27 minutes earlier. Police recovered the vehicle and returned it to the owner, arresting Baker of the Philomath area at the scene and Wood after a search of the area.

As part of a plea agreement, charges of third-degree theft, unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, unlawful use of a vehicle, third-degree theft and first-degree failure to appear will be dismissed.

William Gene Lazard

William Gene Lazard was sentenced Sept. 5 in Linn County Circuit Court to 48 months in prison.

The sentence included five years of post-prison supervision and a fine of $400.

Lazard pleaded guilty Sept. 5 to second-degree sexual abuse and unlawful delivery of a marijuana item. He was sentenced to 18 months for the sexual abuse and 30 months for the delivery of a marijuana item.

As part of a plea agreement, charges of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and third-degree rape were dismissed.

The case stemmed from incidences March 28 and March 29 where Lazard engaged in sexual activity with a female under the age of 16. Lazard is 20 to 21 years old.

Zachary Mitchell Johnson

Zachary Mitchell Johnson was sentenced Aug. 30 in Linn County Circuit Court to 39 months in prison in connection to two different cases, a robbery at Spoletto's Pizzeria and a narcotics-related search warrant executed by Lebanon Police Department in Sweet Home.

On Aug. 22, Johnson pleaded guilty in the first case to third-degree robbery and felon in possession of a firearm in connection to the robbery.

He was sentenced to 24 months in prison for robbery and 12 months, served concurrently, for possession of a firearm. He was fined $400. He must serve 24 months probation following his incarceration.

As part of plea negotiations, charges of second-degree theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle, attempting to elude a police officer, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of meth were dismissed.

Johnson was one of two charged for the Nov. 19 robbery of Spoletto's Pizzeria. Corey Brandon Ford was sentenced to 15 months in prison in February in connection to the robbery.

In connection to the search warrant, he pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm on Aug. 22. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison, with 24 months of post-prison supervision, and fined $200 on Aug. 30.

Dismissed were charges of delivery of heroin, possession of heroin, possession of meth and possession of a restricted weapon.

Johnson was among three arrested on Feb. 9 following a search warrant served by Lebanon Police Department at a private residence at 1011 Pleasant Valley Road on Feb. 9.

Also arrested were Heather Greenwalt, who was sentenced to 10 months incarceration for felon in possession of a firearm, and Logan Kenneth White, who is wanted on a warrant for failure to appear.


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