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Commissioner pleads no contest to gambling charge, gets diversion
County Commissioner Wayne Copeland, left, is flanked by his attorney Ryan J. Moore during his court proceedings Wednesday afternoon.
Saying they were making a mountain out of a mole hill, Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley accepted a no-contest plea from County Commissioner Wayne Copeland and granted his 30-day judicial diversion on gambling charges.“This was not the crime of the century,” Stanley admonished prosecutors Wednesday afternoon after they refused to go along with a request by Copeland attorney Ryan J. Moore to allow his client a judicial diversion on the misdemeanor gambling charge. “We’re talking about a 70-year-old man who hasn’t been in any trouble in his life who has 20 citizens of Warren County here to testify about what a good guy he is.”Copeland entered a no-contest plea to the charge of gambling for his being caught this past summer at a poker game at a local gambling house. Twenty-two people were cited for gambling while others were hit with drug charges.“Gambling, drugs and prostitution were going on,” testified sheriff’s investigator Jody Cavanaugh of the decision to raid the gambling house located on Academy Lane, noting Copeland was captured on surveillance cameras throwing his $25 entry fee on the table just before the tournament was to begin.