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Woman faces sentencing in animal cruelty case

March 20, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A woman charged with animal cruelty in November 2008 after authorities found a pit bull with open wounds and ribs showing in the attic of a Martinsburg home is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

Breshannon Leslie Deveraux, 33, remains incarcerated at Eastern Regional Jail on $2,500 bond, an amount set Thursday by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gina M. Groh.

Deveraux is expected to be placed on probation in lieu of a one- to five-year prison sentence that will be suspended as part of a plea letter she has signed, Berkeley County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Quasebarth said after the hearing. Deveraux also would be prohibited from owning or having contact with animals upon her conviction on the felony charge, Quasebarth said.

Groh has the discretion to set the terms and length of probation and the plea still is pending before the court, Quasebarth said.

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Defense attorney Nicholas Colvin said Thursday his client had been in jail 120 days, which appears to have met a four-month jail term outlined in the binding plea agreement as a term of probation.

Quasebarth agreed, but argued against Colvin's request that his client be released Thursday on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

Since being rescued, the dog has recovered and been adopted, animal control officers have said.

Deveraux has been in Eastern Regional Jail since Nov. 18, when she was arrested on a misdemeanor count of solicitation of prostitution, prompting the court to revoke her $10,000 bond.

Earlier this month, Deveraux entered a guilty plea to the prostitution charge and was credited for serving 105 days in jail and no additional sentence was added to resolve the misdemeanor case. She was ordered to pay a $50 fine and court costs.

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