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Man found living in makeshift house works out own plea

January 31, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A man found living inside a makeshift house in a wooded area in Martinsburg Thursday appeared before a magistrate later in the day, acted as his own attorney and worked out a plea bargain.

Shawn Jerome Nicely, 25, had been considered a fugitive since he failed to appear in court in December, according to officers with the Martinsburg Police Department.

Police said they received an anonymous tip Thursday about Nicely's whereabouts and went to a wooded area west of Edwin Miller Boulevard.

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There, Cpl. John Sherman found a makeshift house. After Cpl. Terry Stanley spotted Nicely at a nearby construction site, officers converged on the area and took Nicely into custody without incident, according to a press release.

Later in the day, Nicely appeared before Magistrate Carlton DeHaven on four misdemeanor charges.

Those charges stemmed from a Dec. 15 incident involving Berkeley County Deputy Steve Crites. Crites started following a white Jeep Cherokee on U.S. 11 North, being driven by a man police identified as Nicely.

The driver allegedly refused to stop on Warm Springs Avenue, and continued onto several other streets before stopping on Clover Street. The driver fled on foot, stopping when he got tired, records show. Crites, who had been running behind Nicely, arrested him. Nicely was charged with fleeing from police, driving without an operator's license, improper registration and obstructing police.

In court Thursday, Nicely worked out a plea bargain with prosecutors. All of the charges were dropped except for fleeing, to which Nicely pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to serve four months in jail.

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