On April 10, Devon Lewis Phillips, 22, of Route 1 Box 182, New Martinsville, entered a plea to one information count of uttering before the Honorable David W. Hummel in Wetzel County Circuit Court.
Phillips' conditional plea proposes that he will be released after six months of incarceration on a Rule 35, reduction in sentence, motion. Phillips will then be enrolled in the drug court treatment program and will be placed on two years of supervised probation.
"Your honor, the state could prove that this defendant stole checks from his grandmother and forged, we believe, and uttered those checks at Mayo's Exxon in New Martinsville," Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught stated. "The defendant has other criminal charges, two misdemeanors and two bound-over felonies as well. Those charges stem from his drug use. He's 22 years old. I felt he would be a candidate for drug court . . . I'm recommending to this court, that if he pleas to this, he goes into the drug court program, and if he successfully completes that program, I'll give him the incentive of not having a felony conviction hanging over him for the rest of his life."
Devon Lewis Phillips
Phillips admitted that he stole "some money and checks to provide my heroin addiction." Phillips stated he has been an addict for years and that he started with pain pills. He said he "just came across the pills," and he snorted them first "and smoked them and then began to use an IV."
Hummel agreed to enter a conditional plea and agreed that if Phillips successfully completes drug court and probation, he would be permitted to come to court and withdraw his guilty plea. In the meantime, Hummel sentenced Phillips to one to 10 years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men. He stated that the court would later entertain a motion for modification of his sentence.