Brewton men head to prison

Published 4:14 pm Monday, March 19, 2012

Two Brewton men were remanded to the Department of Corrections Friday for their roles in the theft of portions of the historic Hart’s Bridge in Covington County.

Joshua Allen Gradeless and Cody Brian Gratham pledge guilty in February to theft of property II, a Class C felony and were each sentenced to five years for their crimes.

Additionally, both were ordered to pay court costs and restitution to the Covington County Commission in the amount of $3,428.89.

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Both applied for probation, which was denied by Circuit Judge Lex Short.

The two men were taken into custody and will remain in the Covington County Jail until they are transferred to DOC.

“I hope the judge’s decision underscores just how serious the theft of scrap metal is to the judicial system,” District Attorney Walt Merrell said. “Theft is theft. It doesn’t matter if you steal a sack of aluminum cans or a diamond ring, you are still taking something that doesn’t belong to you. I appreciate Judge Short’s stance on the issue and I appreciate the hard work that the County Engineer’s Office and the sheriff’s office put into building a solid case.”

Eric Wayne Haskew, the third defendant in the case, also pled guilty and received the same sentence. His application for probation is set to be heard by Judge Short next month.