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Martinsburg man gets life sentence on three-strikes rule

October 26, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A 41-year-old Martinsburg man with an extensive criminal history was sentenced Monday in Berkeley County Circuit Court to life in prison by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes.

Charles E. Redman of Martinsburg received the life sentence with mercy under West Virginia's three-felony conviction rule, meaning he could be considered for parole after serving 15 years.

Since 1986, Redman has been arrested for 78 offenses and convicted of 35 violations of the law, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory Jones said during Monday's sentencing hearing.

Those totals did not include Redman's felony conviction of unlawful assault in June, Jones said after the hearing.

Last month, a jury found that Redman was the same man convicted of two previous felony crimes -- unlawful assault in September 1987 and possession of a firearm by a felon in September 2001.

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Martinsburg Police Lt. George Swartwood, one of several current or retired law enforcement officers to testify during the trial, said he had known Redman "quite probably my entire career, professionally."

Jones said after the hearing that the felony conviction was actually Redman's fourth, according to a presentencing investigation.

Redman was convicted in June of stabbing another man in the shoulder with a pocket knife in an incident in the 300 block of West Race Street in Martinsburg on July 13, 2008, according to court records.

In the 1987 case, Redman received a statutory penitentiary sentence of not less than one year or not more than five years after having an opportunity to complete an alternative sentencing program at the Anthony Correctional Center for young offenders, according to court records.

In the 2001 case, Redman was convicted in U.S. District Court of a firearm possession charge and sentenced to 96 months in prison, according to court records.

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