For sex with minor he met online: 10 years probation

A Baltimore man charged with carnal knowledge of a minor was placed on probation for 10 years in Rappahannock County Circuit Court Monday morning (July 14).

Phillip Lee Brown pleaded guilty on April 3 to one charge of carnal knowledge, stemming from consensual sexual intercourse last April with a Sperryville minor who was 14 at the time. Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff said that Brown, 27, was “apparently in love” in the girl, whom he had met online.

Goff said Brown would drive from Baltimore to Sperryville to see her regularly; Brown told then-Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office investigator Capt. J.C. Welch that he “intended to marry her.” Goff added that the charges were brought about when the girl’s sister accidentally observed the two having sex in Brown’s car.

Goff recommended the low end of the guidelines in Brown’s case, though he added that he felt Brown should be barred from having contact with any female minor for the duration of his probationary period.

Brown’s attorney, Grainne McAneny, agreed with Goff, though she asked that Brown be allowed to associate with underaged relatives. McAneny also noted this was Brown’s first run-in with law enforcement. “He understands now what he didn’t before,” McAneny said. “He understands he was supposed to be the adult in that situation and that just because it was consensual doesn’t mean it was okay.”

“I’m very ashamed of what I’ve done,” Brown said prior to hearing his sentence. “I know that there are no second chances with this, and all I can do is take it one step at a time.”

Judge Jeffrey W. Parker then sentenced Brown to three years in jail (all suspended), placed him on probation for 10 years (two years supervised) and barred him from having contact with female minors he’s unrelated to. Brown will also have to register as a sex offender and attend sex offender counseling.

Amissville resident D’Angelo A. Robinson was placed on probation for two years after previously pleading guilty to one felony charge of distributing marijuana.

Back in April, Goff said Robinson sold several bags of marijuana last May 14 and 29, as well as last June 4, in an effort to raise money to “get out of Amissville.” When the Blue Ridge Task Force raided the 20-year-old’s house last June, Goff said they found five bags of dope, a scale and other materials. Robinson later admitted he’d been selling for about two months.

Both Robinson’s mother and grandmother testified on his behalf, and said the charges were completely out of character for him. His grandmother described her reaction as “devastated,” while his mother described Robinson as, “a gentle giant . . . He’s my rock, really.”

Robinson admitted he’d made a mistake and vowed to do better. “This is not the type of person my mother raised me to be . . . You won’t see me in here again.”

For his part, Goff recommended a probation-only sentence, telling Parker that Robinson didn’t strike him as a repeat offender. “My hope is that he’ll respond to probation and we won’t see him in here again,” Goff said.

Though he cautioned Robinson that he usually came down hard on drug-related offenses, Parker ultimately went along with Goff’s recommendation, sentencing Robinson to 18 months in jail (all suspended), two years of probation (18 months supervised) and a six-month loss of his driver’s license.

Parker also added 40 hours of community service to Robinson’s sentence, and gave him three months to complete it. “There’s no reason you can’t do that on the weekends,” Parker said.

Castleton resident Holly Marie Yake pleaded guilty to violating her probation and was subsequently placed in the Bethany Hall program, a long-term substance abuse recovery program.

The 26-year-old was originally placed on probation after being pulled over by RCSO Deputy Christopher Koglin on Oct. 19, at which point the trooper noticed “a faint smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.” Koglin and his canine unit searched the car and found a small plastic bag with oxycodone and a metal spoon with traces of heroin on it.

“You’re running out of chances here real fast,” Parker told Yake. “There are only so many times you can have a bite of the ‘I want to go to treatment’ apple.” Despite some reservations, Parker ordered Yake to enroll in and complete the nine-month program, after which her two-year probationary period resumes.

Grand jury indictments

Two people were also indicted by a five-person grand jury convened Monday morning.

Eric Alvin Phillips, 28, of Flint Hill, was indicted on one count of abduction. According to a police report on file at the county clerk’s office, Phillips was involved in a fight with the his girlfriend, Shelby Buxton.

After Buxton broke up with him, the complaint says, Phillips became angry, pinning her down on the bed and repeatedly holding a pillow over her head. Phillips then carried Buxton out of the house, forced her into his truck and told her he would “send them both through the windshield.”

Eventually Phillips released Buxton at her mother’s house; Buxton left there afterwards and encountered Phillips on the highway, at which point, the complaint says, Phillips rammed her car repeatedly before leaving. His case was continued to July 22.

The jury also returned an indictment against Clayton Keith Arnold Jr., 24, of Front Royal, who charged with one count of possession (LSD). His case was also continued to July 22.

Mower crash victim released from hospital

Just before 4 p.m. last Tuesday (July 8), a truck driven by 20-year-old Ethan Cody Newcamp of Castleton collided with a zero-turn mower operated by Floyd Grigsby on Long Mountain Road near Ridge View. Grigsby was flown by medical helicopter to University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville; he was released from the hospital the next day with non-life-threatening injuries.

Newcamp, whom police say was uninjured, was charged by Deputy Chris Ubben with reckless driving, having no driver’s license in possession and failure to wear a seatbelt.

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