Berkeley man pleads in 2006 traffic death

January 05, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A Berkeley County man charged in the death of a 16-year-old Martinsburg boy on his birthday in August 2006 entered guilty pleas Friday in Berkeley County Circuit Court to negligent homicide and felony child neglect.

Joshua Delano Sealock, 21, is expected to be sentenced March 14 by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes.

Brian Allen McClurg was one of four passengers riding in a white 1993 Nissan Altima driven by Sealock when he wrecked the car Aug. 9 on Welltown Road.

Passengers Austin Ferguson, Ryan Smallwood and Michael Butts survived. Smallwood lost part of his leg in the accident and all three males were treated for bone fractures of one type or another and other injuries, according to court records.

Sealock was indicted in May 2007 on two counts of felony child neglect, possession of marijuana and negligent homicide.

Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones told Wilkes that the victim's father agreed with the plea agreement, as did others affected by the accident.


Wilkes must decide whether to allow Sealock to serve respective jail sentences for each charge - one to five years for negligent homicide and up to one year for felony child neglect - at the same time or concurrently.

Fines of as much as $3,000, as well as restitution are possible, and Sealock will have his driver's license revoked.

While entering the pleas, Sealock told Wilkes that McClurg's death came about because he was traveling at a "high rate of speed" when he wrecked the car into two trees along Welltown Road.

Police said they learned that eggs were thrown from a vehicle at Sealock and others at a party at a home at 1005 Welltown Road. The mischief prompted Sealock to chase after the vehicle, and the wreck happened in the 600 block of the road after the car crested a slight hill, police said.

Sealock was arrested in January 2007 and released on a personal recognizance bond, which was revoked four months later when he was charged with domestic battery and obstructing an officer, according to court records.

A misdemeanor charge of negligent homicide, along with misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and failure to maintain control originally filed against Sealock, were dismissed in magistrate court in June after Sealock was indicted by a grand jury in circuit court, according to court records.

The Herald-Mail Articles