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Published: Saturday, 2/19/2005

Man pleads guilty to filing bogus voter registrations

Staton Staton

DEFIANCE - Two months after pleading not guilty to faking voter registration forms in exchange for crack cocaine, a Defiance man has pleaded guilty to 10 counts of false registration.

Chad Staton, 22, of Stratton Street appeared in Defiance County Common Pleas Court Thursday to enter pleas to the 10 counts of the fifth-degree felony. In December, a grand jury returned indictments against him for filing forms in the names of Mary Poppins, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Michael Jordan, Dick Tracy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Brett Favre, George Foreman, Maria Lopez, and George Lopez.

Each offense could result in a fine of $2,500 and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months. Mr. Staton's court-appointed attorney, Tiffany Reighter Beckman, was unavailable for comment yesterday. Mr. Staton could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Staton, who grew up in Toledo, filled out the 10 forms, plus more than 90 others, in late September. His actions became public in October, weeks before the hotly contested presidential election. They made national headlines and drew international media attention.

But in a bizarre twist, the woman to whom he gave the forms, Georgianne Pitts, 41, of Toledo, died in early December. The Lucas County coroner's office ruled her cause of death as an accidental overdose of a prescription medication.

Mr. Staton will be sentenced at 1 p.m. April 13.

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