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West Virginia court briefs

September 07, 2010

Martinsburg man convicted of robbing Burger King

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Martinsburg man convicted of robbing the Burger King in Inwood, W.Va., last year was placed on probation Tuesday after he successfully completed rehabilitation program requirements at the Anthony Center for young adult offenders in Greenbrier County, W.Va.

Denis W. Jones Jr., 24, was ordered to serve five years of supervised probation in place of a 25-year prison sentence, which was suspended as part of a plea agreement that 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III accepted in July 2009.

Jones entered a guilty plea to first-degree robbery last summer, but Silver deferred sentencing, citing "mitigating factors," including the defendant's lack of significant criminal history.

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Police have said Jones came into the restaurant the night of May 2, 2009, and ordered a medium drink. He did not have enough money, then ordered a smaller drink and still did not have enough money, police have said.

Jones then jumped over the counter when the clerk opened the register to put $1.25 in quarters he gave her into the drawer, police have said.

Jones shoved the clerk out of the way and left the store with $120, which Silver on Tuesday ordered that Jones pay back to Burger King.

Jones said in court last summer that he and his wife, Amber Nicole Jones, 24, who also was charged in the robbery, went to Baltimore to buy heroin after taking the money.

Amber Jones, who was convicted of conspiracy in the robbery, is serving a one- to 5-year prison sentence after her probation was revoked in February, according to court records.

Amber Jones was driving the getaway vehicle during the robbery, according to court records.

34-year-old pleads guilty to four counts of first-degree sexual abuse

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --A 34-year-old man accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl in January 2009 pleaded guilty Tuesday in Berkeley County Circuit Court to four counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

Earnest Frank Hardy III of Martinsburg could be ordered by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III to serve a five- to 25-year prison sentence as part of a plea agreement that was reached to resolve the case, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said after the hearing.

Hardy's attorney is free to argue for probation or a less-severe prison sentence, Games-Neely said. Upon serving the sentence, Hardy would be placed on 20 years of post-conviction supervised release, Games-Neely said.

Hardy was indicted in May 2009 on six counts of sexual abuse, according to court records. The plea agreement allows Hardy to serve four sentences of five to 25 years for each felony count at the same time, Games-Neely said.

47-year-old accused of sexually abusing teen

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --A 47-year-old man is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl who told authorities that she recently learned she was pregnant with his child, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Melvin George Simms, of 423 Faulkner Ave. in Martinsburg, on Tuesday was in Eastern Regional Jail charged with three counts of sexual abuse, according to court and jail records.

The alleged sexual contact occurred between 2009 and August 2010, according to court records.

Man accused of unlawful assault in domestic altercation

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A woman was being treated Tuesday for a broken orbital bone around her left eye, a broken cheekbone and jaw, and a possible skull fracture after police say she was struck with a frying pan in a domestic altercation, according to court records.

James Franklin Rubeck, 58, of 378 Cunningham Drive, Falling Waters, W.Va., was arraigned Tuesday by Berkeley County Magistrate Harry L. Snow on one felony count of unlawful assault, according to court records.

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