PDT Staff Writer
Scioto County Common Pleas Court Judge William T. Marshall seated a jury and the prosecution began presenting their case in the trial of Melinda Weddington Monday.
Weddington, 41, of Marmet, W.Va., who has a listed Portsmouth address on Fourth Street, is facing charges of aggravated robbery, robbery, felonious assault, aggravated vehicular assault, possession of drug abuse instruments and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer.
At the scene then-lieutenant Jerry Leach said Weddington’s vehicle was being chased by Portsmouth Police when it slammed into the right front of the Access Scioto County (ASC) bus Dorothy Hammond of Lucasville was operating in October of 2012. The vehicle then crashed through the front of the Fish Bowl bar.
According to the arrest report, Weddington entered the Family Dollar Store on 11th Street in Portsmouth, and took items she attempted to conceal. When she was stopped by a store employee, she reportedly tried to leave without paying for the items and bit the employee on the arm, causing injury.
“What we had was a shoplifting incident, and (Weddington) resorted to violence,” Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said. “She had struck two other cars before we even initiated the pursuit.”
Hammond remained in medical facilities from that day until February of this year.
A passenger in the ASC bus, Robert Blair, 63, was treated and released at Southern Ohio Medical Center.
Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn began calling witnesses Monday and is scheduled to call more witnesses today (Tuesday). Weddington is representing herself during the trial.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.