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Court briefs

May 22, 2008

Man charged in DUI deaths of women in W.Va. waives hearing

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A man charged with driving under the influence causing the deaths of two Ohio women last month waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Darrell J. Russ Jr., 28, of 140 Rustic Tavern Road near Hedgesville, W.Va., has been in jail on a $100,000 bond since the April 17 accident on W.Va. 9 west of Hedgesville, near Log Home Drive.

Killed in the accident were Edna E. Eash Nofziger, 90, of Pettisville, Ohio, and her daughter, Mary Ellen Kempf, 68, of Fayette, Ohio, according to police and information provided by a surviving family member.

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Two others riding with the women were injured when their vehicle was struck head-on by a dark green Ford Windstar van, police have said.

Russ did not appear to be injured, and police have said the defendant told the deputy that he had taken Percocet prior to the accident, according to the deputy's complaint.

Police have said that Russ failed a sobriety test, had slurred speech and fell asleep while talking to police and then stumbled down an embankment at the accident scene.

Va. man sentenced for assaulting Pa. Wal-Mart employee, shoplifting

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Virginia man was sentenced Wednesday to six to 23 months in jail in Franklin County Court for assaulting a Wal-Mart employee while shoplifting.

Robert Elwood Patillo, 50, of South Hall, Va., pleaded guilty in April to simple assault and retail theft in the Jan. 31 incident at the Wal-Mart on Washington Township Boulevard in Rouzerville, Pa. He also was sentenced by Judge John Walker to an additional two years on probation.

Washington Township police said they were called to the store Jan. 31 about 7 p.m. and as an officer arrived, he saw a man push over a female store security officer and leave in a blue vehicle.

Patillo had stolen a 26-inch LCD television, socks, underwear, shorts and other items, police said.

Patillo was given credit for time served since his Jan. 31 arrest, according to court records.

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