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Pendleton gets life plus in beating

September 02, 1998|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Charles Town, W.Va., man convicted of taking part in the brutal beating and robbery of then-Musselman High School student Ryan B. Frankenberry in 1995 got more than a life sentence on Monday.

Ricky V. Pendleton, 22, found guilty of kidnapping, malicious wounding, grand larceny and aggravated robbery by a Berkeley County jury on July 24, received consecutive sentences of life, 2 to 10 years, 1 to 10 years and 60 years for the crimes, according to Berkeley County Circuit Court records.

That's on top of a 12-year sentence Pendleton already is serving for a federal carjacking conviction stemming from the same incident, said his attorney, Keith L. Wheaton, who had pleaded for mercy from both the jury and the judge.

The jury didn't recommend mercy when it delivered a guilty verdict on the kidnapping charge, so it carried an automatic life without parole sentence, Wheaton said.

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The judge had a lot of latitude in sentencing Pendleton on the aggravated robbery conviction, which could carry anywhere from 10 years to life, he said.

But based on the judge's instructions to the jury, Wheaton said he suspected his client would get a stiff penalty. He got 60 years.

David "Dee" Gibson, who Pendleton claimed was responsible for the attack in his defense, couldn't stand trial on the charges.

He was shot to death in a New Jersey swamp after police spotted Frankenberry's stolen 1987 Porsche and chased the pair down, according to court records.

Pendleton was shot several times, according to court records.

Frankenberry, a key witness in the trial, was 17 when he was attacked on Nov. 28, 1995, after agreeing to give Gibson and Pendleton a ride to a supposedly broken-down car.

When he got to the rural spot where the car was supposed to be, the Inwood, W.Va., teenager was beaten, put back in the car, taken to an abandoned house near Bakerton Road in Jefferson County, beaten again and left for dead, according to court records.

Pendleton claimed he only served as a lookout while Gibson was beating Frankenberry, according to court records.

After leaving Frankenberry at the house, the two drove his car to New York to visit friends, according to court records.

Wheaton said he plans to appeal Pendleton's conviction.

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