Caregiver is alleged embezzler

The Sperryville woman hired last year to care for the ailing former mayor of Washington was indicted yesterday on 10 counts of felony embezzlement.

The separate charges span last Dec. 24 through Sept. 4 of this year, when caregiver Tammy Lynn Atkins is alleged to have removed, according to sources familiar with the case, some $11,000 from the bank accounts of former mayor and longtime Washington resident Eugene Leggett, who died June 8, and his widow, Clarissa Leggett.

Atkins was arrested shortly after the grand jury’s action Wednesday morning, and is free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond, pending a hearing. Further details were not available at press time on the “direct” indictments against Atkins, which are typically sealed until the defendant is in custody and a hearing is scheduled.

Atkins was hired by the Leggetts as a part-time caregiver in November 2011, according to a friend of the family who asked not to be identified, and worked for them until sometime last month.

Other grand jury actions

In other action, the jury did not find sufficient cause to indict Sperryville-based magazine publisher Melissa Harris, after Virginia State Police special agent John Defilippi presented evidence of alleged credit card fraud and embezzlement. It also issued indictments against the following (though no further information was available from Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff or the Circuit Court clerk’s office):

Michael S. Barthlow was indicted on a single charge of grand larceny; a warrant was issued for his arrest. Ismael Ramirez-Martinez was indicted on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, illegal possession of a firearm and driving without a license.

Ashley Pompell was charged was charged with distributing less than 10 ounces of marijuana to a minor; a warrant was issued for her arrest. Davis Winfield Eisenmann was charged with possessing oxycodone and marijuana, two counts of manufacturing marijuana for others and possessing a firearm; a warrant for his arrest was also issued.

Miguel Zamudio was indicted on two counts of manufacturing marijuana for others, one count of possessing marijuana and one count of possessing synthetic marijuana. Aubrey Douglas Settle was indicted on one count of grand larceny and one count of entering a structure to commit larceny.

Shawn Anthony Painter was indicted on two counts of writing bad checks of less than $200.

Held guilty of Chester Gap rape

Also in circuit court Wednesday, a Front Royal man pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated sexual battery. According to Goff, Phillip Matthew Held had been out drinking with friends on the night of Feb. 12. Held met the victim, identified only as C.S. at a 7-11; afterwards, she invited them back to her home in Chester Gap.

Held, C.S. and their friends continued drinking for a while, before C.S. said she was tired and retired to her room. At some point during the night, she said Held entered her room and tried to remove her covers; she told him to leave before going back to sleep.

Goff said that C.S. remembered Held on top of her at some point during the night, but passed out. She awoke at 7:45 a.m. the next morning, disrobed from the waist down and called her then-boyfriend, who told her to lie still and remain where she was.

Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Ubben was the first to respond and found the victim lying in her bed, still partially undressed. Sheriff Connie Smith arrived and transported the victim to Winchester Medical Center. A DNA sample was taken at the hospital and matched to Held.

Capt. J.C. Welch of the Sheriff’s Office interviewed Held on Feb. 13. Held claimed he was too drunk to remember anything that happened, and said that if anything did happen, it had to have been consensual. Held was later interviewed by Lt. Rusty McCoy of the Page County Sheriff’s Department; during that interview, Held claimed nothing happened between himself and the victim.

Judge Jeffrey W. Parker found Held guilty based on the evidence presented by Goff. He allowed Held’s bond to continue, but did place him under the supervision of a probation officer. Held is due to be sentenced on Feb. 21.

Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 545 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.