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W.Va. man gets five years probation in wounding case

April 19, 2010

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A 38-year-old Martinsburg man who was accused of chasing his wife with an ax and attempting to set fire to an artificial plant during an altercation in August 2009 was sentenced Monday in circuit court to five years of probation.

Rocky David Sims Jr., of 42 Cornerstone Drive, pleaded guilty under Alford circumstances to counts of attempted malicious wounding, brandishing and domestic battery. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

Sims was credited for time served at Eastern Regional Jail and released Monday. Sims' defense attorney told 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes that his client had been incarcerated for more than four months.

As part of the probation terms, Wilkes ordered Sims to complete a counseling course on anger management and to complete 50 hours of community service.

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Eight months of a 12-month sentence were suspended and two six-month and one-day jail sentences were credited as time served.

Wilkes told Sims that his lack of criminal history and the family's satisfaction with the terms of the plea agreement factored into his decision to allow the lighter sentence.

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