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W.Va. man enters plea in hit-and-run

July 26, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD
  • Robert Elwood Wiley
West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority,

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Martinsburg man charged in a hit-and-run involving a Berkeley County sheriff's deputy signed an agreement Monday to enter Alford pleas to fleeing in a vehicle while driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident involving injury.

Robert Elwood Wiley, 47, could serve a one- to five-year penitentiary sentence and a one-year jail sentence concurrently, or at the same time, if the plea agreement is accepted by presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III.

A misdemeanor count of reckless driving would be dismissed, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Carmela M. Cesare said after the hearing. The amount of restitution Wiley is expected to pay would be determined by the judicial circuit's probation office.

Wiley, who is incarcerated at Eastern Regional Jail, is scheduled to return to court Sept. 27 for a possible plea and sentencing hearing. Silver then is expected to announce whether he will accept Wiley's plea after reviewing a preplea investigative report by the probation office.

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Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges there is enough evidence to gain a conviction.

About 3 a.m. Feb. 13, police said Deputy Thomas Carroll was struck by a car while helping direct traffic on Apple Harvest Drive as a grader cleared snow in front of Lowe's.

Carroll said in an interview after the accident that he rolled across the car, "from the hood to the tail," and landed on his feet, but then collapsed from the pain.

The car was stopped near Kmart on Apple Harvest Drive by a Martinsburg Police Department officer after failing to stop at the accident site, according to court records.

In addition to streetlights, there were three to four police vehicles, a Hummer and a grader with lights on in the area where Carroll said he was struck.

Carroll, who underwent surgery for shoulder and leg injuries, attributed his survival to the protective vest and gear he was wearing.

The deputy is not expected to return to duty for several months, Sheriff Kenneth M. Lemaster Jr. has said.

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