Several people were sentenced recently in Rappahannock County Circuit Court for serious crimes, including assaulting a police officer, eluding police and grand larceny and another defendant pleaded guilty to embezzlement.
In Circuit Court last Thursday (Feb. 19), Charles G. Boyd, 33, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of embezzling more than $900 from the United States Postal Service (USPS) while serving as postmaster of the Flint Hill Post Office. In September of 2014, a representative of David Semmes wrote a check for a book of stamps and inadvertently overpaid by $970.20. When a USPS auditor discovered the overpayment, Boyd was ordered to reimburse Semmes. Instead Boyd wrote himself 11 money orders to pay personal bills. At first Boyd denied the charge, but later recanted. The charge carries a 1- to 20-year sentence of incarceration in a penitentiary. Judge Jeffrey W. Parker ordered a pre-sentencing report and scheduled sentencing for May 7.
On Monday (Feb. 23), Howard Clayton Jones, 63, of Flint Hill was sentenced for felonious assault and battery against a law enforcement officer. On March 27, 2014, Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Dodson responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint in a driveway on Crest Hill Road and arrested Jones. According to Dodson’s complaint, while awaiting booking for the charges, Jones was unruly and refused to sit down, and kicked Dodson in the shin. The complaint said Jones assaulted Dodson again while being moved to a holding cell.
Jones testified that alcohol was at the root of his problem, saying that “alcohol played a part [in my behavior]. I’ve never done drugs, but I love the bottle.” However, he said he has not had anything to drink since his arrest. He also testified that he has been in his current home for 21 years and has worked for four years as an underground utilities technician.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff, in discussing the sentencing guidelines for Jones’s charges, objected to Jones’s attorney’s request for no incarceration. “When someone strikes a law enforcement officer, it’s a strike against the whole system,” he said. “We have to send the message that striking an officer is serious.”
Judge Donald M. Haddock imposed a sentence of one year in the penitentiary, with six months suspended. Jones will spend the first two months incarcerated with authorization for work release, and the last four months at home wearing a home electronic monitoring (HEM) device. Haddock delayed execution of the sentence until March 16. Upon release from jail, Jones will be on supervised probation for one year, and he must complete alcohol and anger management programs. Judge Haddock said, “You’re getting an easy way to serve a mandatory sentence, but you must follow the rules or you will be required to serve a full 12-month jail term.”
Jones apologized to the court, saying. “I am very sorry this happened.”
Allante Tobias Strother, 24, of Culpeper, was sentenced for reckless driving and a felony charge of eluding police in a high-speed chase on Viewtown Road in December 2013. At the time, the RCSO deputy following him clocked Strother at speeds exceeding 100 mph in a 35 mph zone. The taxicab Strother was driving left the snow- and ice-lined road, flipped over and hit a tree. He had to be cut out of the wreck and sustained serious injuries requiring a two-week hospital stay.
Strother’s bail was revoked last November and he has spent 113 days in jail.
Strother and his wife Shariaka Strother both testified in his defense. Mrs. Strother said that her husband’s absence had been difficult. “I’ve been trying to do everything on my own,” she said. “He’s a good father. He’s plays ball with his kids and takes them to the movies. He’s also involved with his other children” from a previous relationship.
Strother’s attorney, Kevin Smith, requested that his client be allowed in-home monitoring, as he is the sole support for his three children and his wife. He also pays monthly child support for his other children. “We aren’t asking for a slap on the wrist,” said Milam. “Mr. Strother made an extremely poor decision and his behavior had serious consequences.” Smith suggested that Strother could wear an HEM and requested work release if his client is incarcerated.
Goff, in discussing sentencing guidelines, said, “Mr. Strother’s actions resulted in a serious accident. It’s only by the grace of God that no one else was seriously injured.” He reported seeing a rise in high-speed chases recently and asked that the court send a message about the seriousness of this behavior. “Mr. Strother’s behavior was a choice. Who knows why he did it,” said Goff. “This conduct is beyond the pale.”
Haddock sentenced Strother to three years in jail, but suspended two years for good behavior; supervised probation for two years; and six month’s suspension of his license. Judge Haddock added an additional 90 days in jail for the reckless driving charge. He denied the request for in-home monitoring and authorized work release if the sheriff agrees to it.
In Circuit Court Tuesday (Feb. 24), Prince Louis Marshall Jr., 57, of Washington, was sentenced for driving after being declared an habitual offender. Judge Parker sentenced him to two years in the penitentiary but suspended 12 months; and two years of supervised probation after his release.
Jeremy Dylan Newcamp, 20, of Castleton, was sentenced on multiple charges, including assault and battery, grand larceny and entering a structure with the intent to commit larceny, as well as unlawfully possessing a firearm.
Newcamp’s mother, Kim Newcamp, testified about Newcamp’s past. Because of offenses as a juvenile, “he was taken from home at 12 and returned at 17. When he came back he worked very hard to finish high school.” She said her son worked as a landscaper and was a hard worker. “He doesn’t stop until he gets the job done.”
When asked if she had seen changes in Newcamp, she said, “Yes, he’s more focused on bettering himself and getting a steady job.”
In discussing sentencing, Newcamp’s attorney, Kirk T. Milam, cited mitigating factors affecting the plea agreement he had reached with Goff. “Mr. Newcamp is 20 years old and can be rehabilitated,” said Milam. Referring to a court-ordered mental competency evaluation of Newcamp conducted last fall, Milam said that Newcamp had been diagnosed with an IQ of 52, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and emotional disturbance disorder, causing him to behave like a young child.
“Mr. Newcamp had a difficult childhood, spending several years in different environments,” said Milam. “We agree he needs to be punished, but he’s a good candidate for rehabilitation. We should not lock him up and throw away the key.”
Sentencing guidelines for the breaking and entering and grand larceny charges call for up to 20 years total in the penitentiary; the firearms charge carries up to 5 years in the penitentiary. However, Goff and Milan presented a plea agreement that included reduced sentences.
Before sentencing Newcamp, Parker said, “The court is aware of the torturous history of this case. Both counsel carefully considered the circumstances of this case. The court is impressed with the plea agreement and how it was constructed.”
He then sentenced Newcamp to 12 months’ incarceration for the assault charge, with all suspended; 10 years’ incarceration for grand larceny, with all suspended; 10 years’ incarceration for the charge of entering a structure, with all suspended; five years’ incarceration for the firearms charge, with none suspended; three years of supervised probation upon his release; and ordered to pay $3,200 restitution to the victim.