Grand jury indicts Rixeyville man accused of assaulting deputy

Among indictments handed down by the Rappahannock County Circuit Court grand jury convened Monday (Jan. 14) was one naming Rixeyville resident Keith Allen Alther, who is charged with one count of felony assault and battery on a county sheriff’s deputy during a fire hall shooting competition in Castleton on Oct. 19.

According to court documents, Deputy Charles Baker approached a car that 32-year-old Alther was driving. Alther told Baker he was “going to kill him,” after which Baker pulled Alther from his vehicle and handcuffed him. Alther appeared in court Monday morning and was appointed a public defender; his next hearing is Feb. 21.

Sarah Elizabeth Thompson, 27, of Washington, was charged with one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle after she allegedly stole a 1989 blue and yellow Ford F-350 from the Rappahannock County School Board offices on July 27.

According to the incident report, Thompson drove the truck east onto U.S. 211 and was arrested shortly afterwards in Manassas by the Prince William County Sheriff’s Office. She previously underwent an exam to determine her competency to stand trial and was found capable. Her next court appearance is Feb. 7.

Ashleigh Renee Baldwin, the 22-year-old Chester Gap resident who pleaded guilty in October to three felony counts of possessing schedule II drugs and one count of contributing to juvenile delinquency, was sentenced Monday afternoon.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff previously said that James Daniel Wines’ 7-year-old son, who lives with Baldwin and Wines, told police about drug abuse taking place in the home Baldwin shares with Wines.

A March 2 search by Capt. J.C. Welch of the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office 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.

Monday afternoon, Goff encouraged Judge Jeffrey W. Parker to adhere to the Commonwealth’s recommendation when sentencing Baldwin, which Parker did, though not without some hesitation.

“This is a very favorable disposition for you,” said Parker. “I have my concerns about it, frankly, but I’ll go along with it.”

Parker sentenced her to two years of supervised probation for the three felony possession offenses, suspended her license for 18 months and ordered her to complete 100 hours of community service per charge. “And you’re lucky to be getting just that,” Parker added.

Parker also sentenced Baldwin to 12 months in jail on the contributing to delinquency offense (all suspended), placed her on two years of supervised probation (concurrent with her other probation) and ordered that she complete a parenting class.

The case against 37-year-old Bascom Darnell Jr. of Jeffersonton, who is charged with raping a woman through force or threat, was continued to Feb. 7; Goff told the court he has been unable to reach the victim in the case, known only as L.T.

Darnell, who had previously undergone a mental health evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial and his sanity at the time of the alleged offense in November 2010, had his bond revoked Monday by Parker after he tested positive for cocaine use.

Amanda Zadrozny, Darnell’s defense attorney, said Darnell had intended to turn himself in voluntarily Monday afternoon, and did not admit to any “wrongdoing” in the alleged drug offense.