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Va. man gets 18 months for theft, assault

November 04, 1999

A Winchester, Va., man involved in a June 15 car theft and a hit-and-run accident in Hancock that led to an assault on a police officer was sentenced Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court to serve 18 months in jail.

Thomas D. Murphy, 32, of 101 1/2 E. Cork St., pleaded guilty to felony theft, second-degree assault and driving on a revoked license, according to court records.

Judge Donald Beachley sentenced Murphy to six years in prison for the theft of a car, but suspended all but 18 months to be served in the Washington County Detention Center.

Beachley also suspended a six-month sentence for the assault and six months concurrent for driving while revoked.

The Jail Substance Abuse Program was recommended as was three years probation upon his release, court records said.

According to Hancock Police reports, a hit-and-run accident on Main Street at Limestone Road around 7:30 p.m. on June 15 sent police in search of a red Chevrolet Lumina that pulled out from the Shaw Motors lot and hit a Ford Escort

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Police learned the car had just been stolen from that dealership lot and belonged to George Barton Jr., court records said.

The car was found abandoned on River Road in West Virginia. A short time later, Murphy was named a suspect and was in the custody of Hancock Police, court records said.

While Murphy was being processed, he broke free and hit an officer in an effort to get away, court records said. He was recaptured after a brief scuffle.

- Marlo Barnhart

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