WA vandals

By Joseph McCain

The Winston County Journal

 

In a packed courtroom, the two defendants entered in orange jumpsuits far from the school uniforms they once donned.

Hunter Glass, 19, and Vernon Brown, 20, had pleaded guilty earlier in the term and were sentenced Dec. 4 by Circuit court Judge Clarence E. Morgan.

Both were sentenced to 57 years. Of the 57 years, each will serve 10 years and two days. The 10-year sentence was handed down for grand larceny. Each then received a 7-year sentence for auto burglary with 1 day to serve and a 7-year sentence for burglary of a building with 1 day to serve. The first two 7 years sentence will run consecutively with the 10 year sentence with about 14 years of post release supervision. The two then received 7 years each for the remaining 4 counts of burglary for 28 years to run concurrently with the other sentences. For the final count of malicious mischief, the two received 5 years to run concurrently with the first sentences. The two were credited for the 298 days they have served since their arrest. They will also each pay $10,000 in reinstitution.

Judge Morgan during the handing down of the sentences noted that the time frame of two hours to complete the damage showed “signs of psychological problems” and extreme anger issues.

“This is not just a case of vandalism,” said Judge Morgan.

“Hopefully this will have an deterrent effect,” added Judge Morgan.

Judge Morgan also illustrated that the case was an example that “Schools are no longer the sanctuary of safety they once were.”

During the sentencing phase, the defense attorneys and prosecutor presented views of the crime to the judge prior to his determining sentencing.

The prosecutor presented a video of the damage and had the courtroom and defendants watch the video of the damaged rooms.

Winston Academy Headmaster Farrell Rigby took the stand and discussed the discovery of the damage as well as the emotional damage on the school’s 513 students. Rigby also outlined how the community turned out to help make repairs and cleanup to make sure the school back to teaching students as quickly as possible.

“The effects of the damage are still felt even today,” said Rigby about the February destruction.

Rigby also explained that the video evidence of the incident along with a cooperative insurance company had helped the school collect the $104,000 in insurance funds to repair the physical damages and equipment.

Both Glass and Brown took the stand prior to sentencing to express remorse and apologize for their actions.

“I regret every bit of it,” said Glass. “What I have done is wrong.”

Glass noted he had been drinking and let it get out of hand.

Brown also apologized from the stand and noted he only remembered “bits and pieces” of the event.

The defense had argued on balancing punishment with the redemptive power of a young person while the prosecutor argued on the number of victims affected in the community by the crimes.

In other cases held during the court term:

• Romeo Henton pleaded guilty to burglary of a building other than a dwelling and received a 6 year sentence.

• Will Turner, Jr. pleaded guilty to burglary of a building other than a dwelling and received a 7 years.

• Shawna R. Murphy pleaded guilty to burglary of a building other than a dwelling and received a 7 years with 5 years suspended as supervised probation and 0 years to serve and pay $500 fine.

• Justin M. Wallace pleaded guilty to statutory rape and sexual battery. He received 30 years for each offense with the two sentences to run concurrent. He will serve 18 years before eligible for post release supervision.

• Rita Keeton pleaded guilty to simple assault on a police officer and received 5 years with all five years as probation and $500 fine.

•Heather Parnell pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence and received 5 years with 4 years suspended and one year to serve and a fine of $2,000.

• Thomas M. Hathorn pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence and received 5 years with 4 years suspended and one year to serve and a fine of $2,000.

• Joseph Parker pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence and received 5 years with 4 years suspended and one year to serve and a fine of $2,000.

• Jeffery A. Burrage pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence and received 5 years with 4 years suspended and one year to serve and a fine of $2,000.

• Charles Ward, III pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence and received 5 years with 4 years suspended and one year to serve and a fine of $2,000.

•Jonathan E. McCullough pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and received 4 years with one year and one day to serve and remaining with post release supervision along with a fine of $500.

• Corandus Pledge pleaded guilty to two counts of the sale of cocaine and received 20 years on the first count and 15 years on the second count. He will serve 15 years with five years suspended with the two sentences running concurrently. He was fined $5,000.

• Candice Reed pleaded guilty to fleeing a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault on a police officer. She was sentenced to 5 years for fleeing and 10 years for assault. She will serve 5 years with 5 years suspended and the sentences to run concurrently.

• Cody Frank Adams pleaded guilty to possession of oxycodone and received 5 years with 1 to serve and 4 years of supervised probation.

• Jimmie D. McMillian pleaded guilty to shoplifting and received 5 years with all five as supervised probation.

•Desiyung Foster pleaded guilty to simple assault on a police officer and received 5 years with all five as supervised probation.

•Darrin Paul Edwards pleaded guilty to misdemeanor of failing to stop for police officer and received six months with all six months suspended.

• Samuel Miles pleaded guilty to grand larceny and received 10 years with 5 years of supervised probation and 5 years suspended and pay restitution of $5,125.

• Fredrick T. Rush pleaded guilty to motor vehicle theft and received 5 years with 360 days to serve and 4 years of supervised probation.

• Ira Boyd pleaded guilty to shooting at a motor vehicle and sentenced to 5 years. Boyd will serve two years with three years suspended.

•Jimmy Coleman pleaded guilty to shoplifting and received 5 years with all five as supervised probation.

• Michael Foster pleaded guilty to auto burglary and received 7 years with three years to serve and 4 years suspended.

• Chantel Haynes pleaded guilty to possession of marihuana as a subsequent offender and received 6 years.

• Tony Harrington pleaded guilty to transfer of amphetamine and received 15 years with 8 to serve and 7 years of post release supervision.

•Shun Eiland pleaded guilty to sale of cocaine and received 17 years with 12 years to serve and 5 years suspended.

• Fredderick N. Clark pleaded guilty to sale of cocaine and received 17 years with 12 years to serve and 5 years suspended.

• Marquis Davis was placed in drug intervention treatment program since no prior criminal convictions and had been arrested for possession of marihuana.

• Johnny Rush was found not guilty of felony crime of burglary of a building other than a dwelling.