Man accused of faking drug test gets jail


By Jane Beathard - Contributing Writer



A probationer who tried to dodge a court-ordered drug test with a fake urine sample will serve five days in jail and an extra year of community control.

James B. Hanna, 33, 241 Smith St., West Jefferson, admitted on Friday to using methadone, but denied trying to fake the drug test. Methadone is a drug generally used to lessen symptoms of opiate withdrawal. However, it can become habit forming.

Court documents said a probation officer became suspicious when Hanna’s routine drug test on July 28 showed conflicting results. The man was jailed and a search turned up a pill bottle with urine residue.

Madison County Common Pleas Judge Eamon Costello issued a stern warning to Hanna about future attempts to manipulate mandated drug tests.

“No more gaming with samples,” Costello said.

Hanna was sentenced in March 2015 to two years of community control for possessing methadone. The July 28 incident was his first violation.

Costello extended Hanna’s community control to March 2018 and ordered the man to undergo more frequent testing.

Hanna said he is seeking admission to a drug treatment program in Columbus.

Also on Friday, David W. Kephart, 60, 88 Cherry St., London, pleaded guilty to misuse of a credit card. An additional theft charge was dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Assistant county prosecutor Nick Adkins said Kephart used a friend’s credit card to run up $6,250 in purchases between Dec. 21 and Dec. 31, 2015.

Defense attorney Melissa Upthegrove explained the plea arrangement to Kephart after the man admitted in court that he cannot read and can only write his name.

Kephart faces up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine for the fifth-degree felony conviction. However, he is likely to be placed on community control, pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.

Costello set Kephart’s sentencing for Sept. 12.

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By Jane Beathard

Contributing Writer

Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.

Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.

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