A Chester Gap man charged with possessing schedule II drugs, distributing oxycodone and child abuse was sentenced to a year in jail in Rappahannock County Circuit Court Wednesday morning.
James Daniel Wines, 28, had pleaded guilty to all charges in a previous circuit court appearance. Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff previously said that Wines’ seven-year-old son, who lives with Wines and Ashleigh Renee Baldwin, told police about drug abuse taking place in the home Wines and Baldwin share.
Baldwin, who had pleaded guilty in October to three felony counts of possessing schedule II drugs and one count of contributing to juvenile delinquency, was sentenced Jan. 17.
The charges stemmed from a search last March by Capt. J.C. Welch of the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office which turned up various drug paraphernalia including straws, tubes and hypodermic needles – each used to ingest hydromorphone, oxymorphone and morphine, Goff said. Police also found a pill grinder.
One of the possession charges was dropped by Goff, who said Wines had produced a note from his doctor proving one of the drugs found in his home was a valid prescription; the other three possession charges remained.
Goff recommended Judge Jeffrey Parker strike a middle ground when sentencing Wines, whose history of substance abuse was, in Goff’s words, “his biggest problem.” Goff noted Wines did have a criminal history, but admitted that most of it was petty. He said he believed Wines should be sentenced to jail for some time before dealing with his substance abuse problem.
In a brief statement he read before being sentenced, Wines expressed his remorse and said he was ready to turn his life around. “I understand what I did was very wrong,” Wines said. “I cooperated with the police . . . I’ve cut ties with the bad influences in my life . . . I want to improve myself and contribute to my community.”
Parker sentenced Wines to one year in jail for the child abuse charge, two years for each of the three possession charges (run concurrently with each other but consecutively to the child abuse charge) and two years on the distribution charge, totalling five years. He then suspended all but one year of the sentence, placed Wines on two years of supervised probation (with a substance abuse counseling program) and suspended his driver’s license for the next two-and-a-half years.
Miriam White, the former Sperryville tenant of James William “Bill” Fletcher III sentenced to eight months in jail in December for four counts of grand larceny, recently filed an appeal in the case. Wednesday, her attorney, Christian Brashear, requested White’s sentence be temporarily suspended and she be released on bond while the appeal was ongoing.
“These were not violent crimes,” Brashear said, referring to White’s grand larceny charges. “She has been out on bond before and has made all her previous court dates. I would ask her bond be set at no more than $10,000.”
Goff expressed concerns over releasing White on bond, saying that he believed her status as a potential flight risk had increased since being sentenced, noting that there was still “a rather large restitution” for her to pay. Goff also said there was a possibility White could commit other offenses while out and asked that Parker deny her bond.
Parker partly agreed with Goff, noting that he also believed there was a greater risk of White fleeing than before, but found that there was not enough evidence to deny her bond, which he set at $10,000.
A hearing in White’s appeal case is scheduled for June 6.
Trial dates were also set for Aubrey Douglas Settle and David Andrew Burke, both of whom requested jury trials in their hearings. Settle is charged with grand larceny and entering a structure to commit larceny; his trial is scheduled for April 19. Burke is charged with driving with a revoked or suspended license. His trial is scheduled for April 8.