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Martinsburg man signs plea agreement for causing death while DUI

March 19, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. -- A Berkeley County man is scheduled to be sentenced in May for causing the deaths of an Orange County, Va., couple in August 2008 while driving under the influence of alcohol, according to court records.

Troy S. Bean, 41, of 435 Gantt Drive in Martinsburg, signed a plea agreement that was presented Thursday to 23rd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Gina M. Groh, Assistant Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones said after a status hearing on the case.

The agreement gives Groh discretion in sentencing Bean for entering guilty pleas to two felony counts of DUI resulting in death and misdemeanor counts of second offense DUI and driving while license was revoked DUI, Jones said.

Groh could order two prison sentences of not less than two nor more than 10 years in prison be served consecutively or concurrently for causing the deaths of Howard Diamond, 80, and his wife, Nancy A. Diamond, 70, of Locust Grove, according to state code.

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For the misdemeanor offenses, Groh could sentence Bean to up to 18 months in prison. Bean faces a maximum of $9,500 in fines, according to state code.

As part of the plea agreement, one count of DUI causing injury also returned by a grand jury in Bean's case last month was dismissed after the state talked with the third victim in the three-car accident that happened Aug. 14, 2008.

The Diamonds were southbound in a Ford station wagon on Interstate 81 when their vehicle was struck head-on by a Ford F-150 truck that had just sideswiped a Nissan Altima, police have said.

The couple were pronounced dead at the scene, which was a mile south of Exit 16 of Interstate 81 near Martinsburg. The driver of the Nissan, Lonn Stevenson of Hagerstown, was treated for back and wrist pain and was released, police have said.

Bean was found on the ground next to the F-150 he was driving and had one leg through the driver's door in the passenger compartment, according to a complaint filed by West Virginia State Police Trooper J.D. Schuessler. Bean suffered a collapsed lung and other major injuries, Schuessler said in the complaint. Beer cans were found on the ground around the driver and inside the truck, according to the complaint.

Police later discovered Bean in May 2008 was convicted of DUI in Martinsburg Municipal Court, according to a copy of the indictment released last month by Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely's office.

The Diamonds were on their way home from Ann Arbor, Mich., where they, friends and family had celebrated Howard Diamond's birthday, which was three days before the accident, according to an obituary published online by The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va.

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