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W.Va. man sentenced in hit-and-run involving deputy

September 27, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD
  • Robert Elwood Wiley
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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Martinsburg man who was charged in February in a hit-and-run accident involving Berkeley County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Carroll, who was directing traffic as snowy roads were cleared, was sentenced Monday to one to five years in prison.

Robert Elwood Wiley, 47, was ordered to serve a one-year jail sentence for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury at the same time as the one- to five-year sentence for fleeing in a vehicle while driving under the influence. The sentencing was part of a plea agreement that was accepted by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III.

By entering Alford pleas to both charges, Wiley did not admit guilt but acknowledged the state had sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

A misdemeanor count of reckless driving was dismissed.

The state did not ask the court to order restitution because Carroll's medical expenses were being paid and he has received workers' compensation, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Carmela M. Cesare told the court.

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Carroll, who has been recovering from shoulder and leg injuries, was "very forgiving" in the case, Cesare said after the hearing.

At about 3 a.m. Feb. 13, 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.

After failing to stop after striking the deputy, Wiley turned onto U.S. 11., drove into the parking lot near Kmart and turned off the vehicle's lights, Cesare told the court.

A Martinsburg Police Department officer detained Wiley at gunpoint, Cesare said.

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

Carroll, who has yet to return to duty, has attributed his survival to the protective vest and gear he was wearing.

Cesare told the court Monday that Carroll was wearing a jacket with reflective tape.

Wiley acknowledged that he hit something, Cesare said.

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