The hole is only growing deeper for Moses Turner Jones.
The 51-year-old Washington man was found guilty in Rappahannock Court Circuit Court August 18 of violating his probation in connection with a previous conviction for forging public documents.
Court records indicate that Jones signed his brother’s name on a traffic summons that the brother had nothing to do with. State Trooper Phillip Thomas showed dashboard video to the brother, who identified the guilty driver in question as his own brother, Moses Jones.
In 2015, Jones was sentenced to two years in the penitentiary, with all of it suspended, and two years of supervised probation. He was also ordered to seek and obtain employment and pay child support.
On January 22 of this year, Jones was stopped for reckless driving and charged with driving as an habitual offender, a felony.
Jones is currently serving 12 months in jail for not providing child support. However, his court-appointed attorney, Kevin Gerrity, said Jones is on work release and works at a laundry 40 hours a week. His salary from that work is going toward paying the child support.
“He is not a violent man,” Gerrity told Judge Jeffrey W. Parker. “His record is not very lengthy.” He asked the judge for leniency.
Before sentencing, Parker addressed Jones: “You’ve dug yourself a hole. Habitual offenders should obey the law rather than speeding and driving recklessly.
Parker then revoked the previous suspended sentence and sentenced Jones to two years and six months in the penitentiary, but suspended half of that time, and ordered two years of supervised probation upon release. He said he had no objection to Jones remaining on work release.
In the case of Travis Edward Hilley, 27, of no fixed address, Parker dismissed a charge of violating probation in connection with previous charges of aggravated sexual battery and possession of child pornography.
Hilley, who did not concede the violation (failing to pay restitution and court costs), testified in his own behalf that he had not been able to find gainful employment due to his status as a registered sex offender.
“I have sought employment,” he said. “I had an interview to wash dishes in a restaurant, but was told ‘we don’t hire your kind.’”
Hilley told the court that he lives in a motel in Front Royal and does not have a car, bank account, or cell phone, and has been supporting himself with side jobs in the county, doing “anything I can to make ends meet. It’s been a very, very tough year.”
In dismissing the charge, Parker said, “I have a hard time locking someone up for financial reasons, but Mr. Hilley has not contributed toward his costs. I understand it’s hard for a sex offender to find a job. I won’t find you in violation on condition that you make that $450 payment today. This better not be a bogus promise.”
Circuit Court Clerk Peggy Ralph then signaled to Hilley to accompany her to the clerk’s office where his payment would be accepted.