Two Plead Guilty
BY TAMMY WAYMAN, Staff Writer
On April 22 John Edward Wright III, 28, of 609 East Main St., Mannington, W.Va., appeared before Judge David Hummel Jr. for a plea agreement. On Nov. 15, 2008, Wright allegedly drove a motor vehicle on W.Va. 7 near Burton while under the influence of alcohol and while his license was revoked for DUI. He was previously convicted of DUI in Marion County Magistrate Court on Feb. 4, 2003; May 23, 2003; and Nov. 23, 2005. On Nov. 23, 2005, Wright was convicted of driving on a license suspended for DUI in Marion County Magistrate Court.
His attorney, Jeremiah Gardner, made the motion to withdrawal this not guilty plea to third offense DUI and enter a guilty plea. Judge Hummel accepted the plea and sentenced Wright on count one to no less than one year nor more than three years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men. He was granted alternative sentencing of home confinement for one year followed by six months parole. He is also to pay all court costs.
Hummel told him, “You will be in an orange jump suit (meaning the jail-issued clothing) if you violate this.”
Lynsey Brook Erb, 21, of HC 60 Box 70, Pine Grove, was also present in the courtroom for her sentencing. Erb entered a dwelling of Tisha M. Crites in Pine Grove on Dec. 6, 2008, and struck her in the head and neck.
Her attorney, Roger Weese, told the court “This was a group of girls out drinking and partying and the fight was over a boy. She apologizes.”
He also told the court the victim was fine if probation was granted and she did ask for drug counseling.”
Hummel asked her to explain to him what she did. Erb told him, “It was wrong of what I did; I don’t even remember what happened. I apologized to her. Hummel asked her, “Was she drunk?” Erb replied she didn’t know. She told Hummel she has served three days in jail and knew it was no place for her.
Prosecutor Timothy Haught told the court, “She allowed herself to get in that situation. We had to occupy the police officer’s time and the court’s time because of this and we think probation is not an option.
Weese replied that with regard to his client she has knowledge that she has done wrong. She has learned her lesson.
Hummel paused for a moment and spoke, telling the court, “We are not anti-society and we don’t cat fight. “Alcohol doesn’t excuse people for their acts.” He also told Erb, “The fact that you are a girl doesn’t excuse you.” He also told the the court, “We should not, nor could not, tolerate beating someone up.”
He then gave her a sentence of one year in the Northern Regional Jail and he will consider a Rule 35 motion for modification of her sentence after she has served 90 days in jail. She is to attend drug and alcohol treatment counseling, pay all court costs, and a $120 restitution to Valley Manor Apartments for a damaged door.
In other court matters, Joseph D. Wade, 24, of 604 Foundry St., New Martinsville, was present with attorney Weese on a Rule 35 motion for reduction of his sentence.
On Feb. 6, Wade was sentenced to one to 15 years for delivery of a controlled substance (hydrocodone). Weese told the court that Wade has a family to support, no past criminal record, and employment waiting for him if released. He also submitted to Hummel certificates of classes Wade had completed while while serving his time.
Hummel asked Wade, “What have you learned?”
Wade explained to Hummel that he had himself in a bad situation. “I realized I can go on working outside (of jail) and not get in that situation again.
Hummel then asked, “Why should I let you out?” Wade answered, “I’ve learned my lesson.”
“If you screw up, to be blunt with you, you will serve a long time in jail,” said Hummel.
The judge told him he would let him know his decision by the end of the week.