Two co-defendants pleaded guilty in Wetzel County Circuit Court Friday to information charges of conspiracy to commit nighttime burglary.
The charges stem from an incident on June 24 when three individuals allegedly broke into a residence on Kappel Street, New Martinsville, and beat up both the male and female occupants of the residence.
Brandon Cole Walters, 28, of 230 Wood St., Sistersville, and Dustin Todd Kendall, 31, of 228 Chelsea St., Sistersville, both pleaded guilty Friday through plea agreements with the state.
The third individual said to be involved in the incident was Gary Michael Willie, 27, of 631 Clark Ridge Road, Sistersville. Willie subsequently died from wounds sustained during the burglary incident.
After the incident last year, Wetzel County Prosecutor Tim Haught stated at least two of the individuals allegedly entered the Kappel Street residence and beat up both the male and female occupant of the residence.
Haught stated all three assailants were wearing ski masks at the time of the incident.
Kendall's attorney, Kevin Neiswonger, stated Kendall disputes entering into the residence.
Although called a burglary, Haught said the incident did not involve the theft of anything. Whenever a person breaks into a residence to commit a crime, it is called burglary.
Haught stated both victims at the residence received superficial wounds, were treated, and released from Wetzel County Hospital. However, during the altercation at the residence, Willie cut himself with a box cutter.
"He subsequently got into the car and left with the other two suspects," Haught stated at the time. Eventually Willie was dropped off in Tyler County by the other two suspects, where he got into a vehicle and bled to death.
He stressed that there is no evidence to suggest that the occupants of the Kappel Street residence, nor the other two suspects, inflicted the wound.
Upon answering a series of questions from Judge David W. Hummel, the defendants were each sentenced to one to five years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men. Both were ordered to make restitution and pay the cost of prosecution. They were remanded to serve the remainder of their sentences.
Both men were given credit for time served-108 days for Kendall and 198 days for Walters.