Lottery tampering earns community service

In Rappahannock Circuit Court last Thursday (Aug. 20), Judge Jeffrey W. Parker sentenced Shamaila Tanweer, 30, of Culpeper, who pleaded guilty to three felony counts of tampering with Virginia Lottery scratch-off tickets while she was employed at Hillsdale Country Store near Washington.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff told the court that the sentencing guidelines for the charges are one to five years in prison. Parker sentenced Tanweer to three one-year prison sentences to run concurrently and suspended them all, saying, “I don’t know what motivated you for this mini-crime spree, but I hope you’ve learned your lesson.” In addition, Tanweer was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and is barred from any employment where she is involved with lottery sales.

In the same session, Bryan Hai Nguyen of Jacksonville, Fla., charged in district court on July 7 with failure to obtain a Virginia license, speeding and reckless driving, and having appealed his case to the Rappahannock Circuit Court in July, requested a jury trial. He will represent himself at the trial, set for Oct. 1.

Cory Carlton Summers, 27, of Stephens City, appeared on a charge of violating his probation stemming from a felony charge of eluding police and driving on a revoked or suspended license.

Summers’ attorney Jerry Talton asked to file a bond motion so that Summers could be released from the Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail. Goff said he opposed the bond because Summers had fled to New York and failed to contact his probation officer as required under the provisions of a sentence imposed for the felony on Feb. 6, 2014.

In testimony before Judge Parker, Summers explained that, rather than absconding, he had made several trips to New York to see his mother, who had been ill. In addition, he said, he had tried to see his probation officer, even going in person to her office in Winchester, only to be told that she was busy and would call Summers later. Summers testified that she did not call. He told Goff that he has had no eye-to-eye contact with her since March.

Talton called Alexa Rosenberg, who testified that she is in a relationship with Summers and that he had been residing with her since his release from jail under supervised probation. She confirmed that Summers had tried to connect with his probation officer.

In addressing the judge, Talton reiterated to Parker that Summers had attempted to meet with his probation officer. “Ninety-nine percent of his obligation was to show up,” Talton said of Summers, “and he showed up.”

Parker granted a secure bond and ordered Summers back to court on Sept. 14. Goff also requested that Summers be ordered to report to his probation officer immediately.

Trial was scheduled for Oct. 28 for Kevin Robert Flynn, 32, of Boston, charged with indecent exposure after allegedly exposing himself in the Rappahannock County Circuit Court Clerk’s office.

In circuit court Tuesday (Aug. 25), Brandy Jean Walters, 32, of Boston, was found guilty of violating her probation stemming from charges of grand larceny. Visibly pregnant and wearing a striped “RSW inmate” uniform, Walters took the stand on her own behalf and testified that her child is due Oct. 12, but that she has been taking medication to prevent premature labor.

Under questioning from Goff, Walters said that before she was put in jail she had been living in a motel and using cocaine. She has three other children whom her mother cares for in Ohio. Asked what she had learned from the experience of being in jail, she said, “This has been a big eye opener for me. I want to stop using and get my priorities straight.” She said she wanted to attend Boxwood Recovery Center in Culpeper, but couldn’t afford it and had also been charged with a DUI.

In discussing the sentence, Goff expressed concern for Walters’ unborn child in light of her drug use. “Ms. Walters needs to remain under a watchful eye,” he said.  

Judge Parker agreed, saying “This is not an ideal situation, but I will go along with the recommendations from Mr. Goff.” He admonished Walters to get some help. “I hope you won’t go out and use cocaine. You need to get it together.”

He then sentenced her to one year and 10 months in the penitentiary (suspending all but four months), and two years of supervised probation.

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