Guilty pleas, DUIs, drug charges

In a case in which the defendant was accused of filing a false insurance claim with the Virginia Farm Bureau for a zero-turn mower he never owned, Delmas Dean Dotson, 48, of Huntly, pleaded guilty in Rappahannock County Circuit Court to three felonies last Thursday (Dec. 4): forgery of a public office seal, impersonating a notary public and obtaining money by false pretense.

Court records said Dotson used his deceased father’s notary seal to file the $6,559 claim in 2012. Dotson is due back in court for sentencing March 9.

Also Thursday, 31-year-old Bryant A. Fletcher III of Washington pleaded guilty to the felony charge of eluding police and a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license. On a motorcycle in June, Fletcher led Virginia State Police and Rappahannock County Sheriff’s deputies on a 31-mile chase from Massies Corner south through Sperryville into Culpeper County, at speeds exceeding 100 mph. Fletcher, in jail in Fairfax County on an unrelated charge, is due to be sentenced Jan. 12.

Shalonda Latay Clanagan, 20, of Washington, pleaded guilty last Thursday to two counts of grand larceny. On Nov. 4, she was also found guilty in Rappahannock County District Court of identity theft, giving conflicting testimony and driving without a license. Court records contained evidence that Clanagan obtained and illegally used the checking account information for the Rappahannock Food Pantry — for which she was performing court-mandated community service as part of a sentence on an embezzlement conviction in Fauquier County in April. She is scheduled for sentencing on the grand larceny charges Jan. 12.

In district court Tuesday (Dec. 9), Judge J. Gregory Ashwell heard evidence in the case of Brittney Michelle Lee, 26, of Washington, who is charged with driving while intoxicated, the second such charge within 10 years, and leaving the scene of an accident. Lee pleaded not guilty to both charges, which were made by Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) Deputy Brandon Smoot after Lee’s car was allegedly involved in a crash Oct. 10. After others involved in the accident identified her, according to the criminal complaint, Smoot found her at home and performed field-sobriety and breath tests that his complaint said she failed.

Ashwell will make a decision in the case Jan. 6.

The RCSO also reported the following arrests over the past two weeks:

Dec. 5, RCSO Deputy Chris Koglin encountered Matthew Paul Fincham, 40, of Amissville, on Viewtown Road. Fincham was subsequently arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and obstruction of justice.

On Dec. 6, Deputy Cody Dodson stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on U.S. 211 near Estes Mill Road in Sperryville. As a result of the stop, Dodson charged Tavaris Wilmington, 19, of Chantilly, with possession of marijuana.

On the night of Dec. 2, Dodson investigated a crash at Lee Highway and Ben Venue Road. Dodson subsequently arrested the driver, Michele Marie Finnigan, 48, of Boston, Pa., who is charged with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and reckless driving.  

On Nov. 27, as the result of a traffic stop on U.S. 211 near Washington, Dodson charged Ashley Devon Carter, 32, of Partlow, with possession of marijuana.

Dodson also charged Seung Nam Baek, 54, of Annandale, with two counts of forging public records, identity theft to avoid arrest, driving with a suspended license and speeding, after a traffic stop March 30 at which Baek is alleged to have used the identity of another after the driver was stopped for a speeding infraction.

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Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 538 Articles
Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.