Hummel Sentences Rine To Penitentiary
Nine cases were heard in Wetzel County Circuit Court on April 29. Of those heard, several had surprise outcomes as Judge David Hummel Jr. presided the courtroom.
“I should have kept going down the road,” sums up the remorse Cody Madison Rine, 22, of HC 60, Box 21C, Reader, felt as he awaited sentencing in Judge Hummel’s courtroom on April 29. On April 2, Rine convicted himself of the felony offense of attacking, hindering, or obstructing a firefighter. In agreement with the state’s recommendation, Hummel sentenced Rine to one to 10 years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men. Rine is also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amounts of $82 for Tennant’s mileage, $150 to Folsom VFD for its expenses, and $1,393.39 to the Reader VFD to do as they wish.
Adult Probation Officer John Lantz was present as the court discussed the pre-sentence report he prepared on Rine following his plea hearing on April 2. Regarding this report the defendant and the state both clarified one point on Rine’s record. Rine’s attorney, Roger Weese. stated the January charges against Rine for domestic battery were dropped. Haught concurred, adding the charges were dropped per the plea agreement.
Rine then was given permission to speak, “I’m very sorry for what I’ve done. I’ve realized it and I can understand how much it’s hurt this family. I think I’ve learned my lesson.”
Weese then spoke on Rine’s behalf, commending him as a model defendant and inmate. “He never denied this offense and he is ready to accept the court’s punishment.”
Weese stated Rine was one of very few he’s represented who would do whatever it took to make things right, and who has worked. Weese even mentioned how Rine was heavily weighted by the knowledge that as a convicted felon he can no longer own fire arms, preventing him from hunting with his farther again or teaching his son to hunt some day.
Weese further fought for alternative sentencing for Rine, stating he is the only provider for his girlfriend of four years and their son. Currently living with his father, Rine’s girlfriend is a full-time mother and is also unable to drive at this time. Weese stated they were waiting to hear sentencing before making plans to get a home for themselves. “He has no criminal history and a good family structure. He’s an ideal candidate for probation,” Weese underlined.
Rine’s father and girlfriend Chelsea Bassett both testified that Rine was a good man and wanted him to receive alternative sentencing. They both agreed they would do whatever was necessary in the matter, affirming to stand by Rine. Weese also presented Judge Hummel with a copy of Rine’s letter of apology to Mr. Tennant.
Tim Haught called Forest Leroy Tennant to the stand. The 73-year-old long-time firefighter with the Reader VFD took his seat and told the court how he remembered the accounts of that evening of Sept. 24, 2009, wherein Rine unlawfully, intentionally, feloniously, and knowingly, caused bodily injury to Forrest L. Tennant, both a firefighter and a person who was 65 years of age or older, by hitting him in the face with his hand while Tennant was lawfully exercising or discharging his official duty during an emergency, causing Tennant to be delayed and removed from his emergency vehicle. Following Rine’s unmitigated punch to the firefighter, Tennant concluded, “He ran away like a little girl.”
Tennant further told the court he’d known Rine and his family for many years. “Evidently he doesn’t have respect for anyone or anything that I’ve seen,” Tennant commented. “I hear a lot about him.” Tennant received two black eyes, substantial injury to his left eye, and a broken nose from the punch Rine threw at Tennant.
Haught then spoke upon the state’s behalf. “It’s inexcusable what Rine did,” Haught said. “It’s an unmitigated act of violence against emergency personnel, and they (the Reader VFD) were delayed by what happened.” Haught then spoke about the two counts of domestic battery and his count one indictment of unlawful assault against a person who is 65 years of age or older, both of which were dropped per the plea agreement. “In other words, Rine got three criminal offenses for the price of one.” Haught said it’s a stiff sentence but is justifiable under this set of circumstances.
Rine then spoke again, saying he could pay Tennant back shortly if not put in jail. “I’d do anything for the man to show him I’ve got respect for him.” Roger Weese made a final plea for home confinement, however Judge Hummel ruled in favor of the state’s recommendation of one-10 years in the state penitentiary with restitution to two fire departments and to Mr. Tennant. “My only regret is that this is only a minimum sentence of one year…You sucker-punched the defendant, this is your sucker-punch,” Hummel stated firmly.