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Man pleads guilty, sentenced to prison

December 23, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG - The man accused of shooting two people during a drug-related robbery attempt a little over a year ago has been sentenced to serve more than 10 years in prison.

James Edward Fox III, 21, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to deliver ecstasy, and one count of brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

U.S. District Court Judge W. Craig Broadwater ordered Fox to serve 10 years in prison for the gun charge, and three years and four months for the drug charge. Fox must also participate in the Bureau of Prisons' 500-hour drug abuse rehabilitation program, according to court paperwork.

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After Fox is released from prison, he must serve five years of supervised probation.

The charges stemmed from a shooting on Dec. 10, 2001, in which Matthew Cook and Michael Largent were shot. Cook was shot twice in the head and twice in the hip. He survived, as did Largent, who was shot once in the chest.

The sentencing follows a plea bargain that Fox formally accepted during a court hearing in September.

At that time, West Virginia State Police Trooper Brian Bean was called to the stand to give enough evidence to substantiate Fox's guilty pleas.

Bean testified briefly, and said the shooting occurred during an attempted drug-related robbery at Fox's home on Burnside Drive in the Potomac Hills subdivision, in the northern part of Berkeley County.

Bean said Fox sold marijuana, ecstasy, and cocaine from his home.

Police have not recovered a 9-mm gun used in the shooting, he testified.

Largent and three other men allegedly broke into Fox's home when the shooting happened, reports indicate. Although Largent fired a gun, he did not hit anyone, reports indicate.

Cook, who was in Fox's home when the attempted robbery happened, was shot accidentally by Fox, reports indicate.

After the shooting, police pulled over a car near the housing development, inside which Largent was found, suffering from his wound, according to reports.

Fox originally was indicted on additional charges, which were dropped as part of the plea agreement. He was sentenced Tuesday.

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