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Man charged in robbery, beating gets prison in unrelated case

December 20, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — One of two men charged in the violent robbery and beating of a 76-year-old man in his Martinsburg-area home last month was sentenced Monday to three consecutive terms of one to 10 years in prison for unrelated cases of burglary and grand larceny.

Tyler Shane Munson, 20, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny, one count of burglary and one felony count of concealing stolen property just before being sentenced by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes.

The judge told Munson that it seemed “impossible” for the defendant to live a crime-free life, citing records that indicate the defendant had been arrested eight times in a 16-month span.

Wilkes cited the frequency of Munson’s criminal activity for imposing the maximum possible sentence under the plea agreement. Munson also was ordered to pay $1,611 in restitution.

Wilkes said the charges pending against Munson that stem from the Nov. 28 robbery of the elderly man did not weigh into his sentencing decision, but told the defendant he was “well on your way to serving long sentences” in prison.

Charges of aggravated robbery, burglary, malicious wounding and assault during the commission of a felony and four counts of conspiracy in the home-invasion style attack last month are still pending against Wilkes in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

The case against co-defendant, Evan Russell Shirley, also of Bunker Hill, W.Va., also is pending.

The plea agreement that Wilkes accepted Monday resulted in the dismissal of one count of grand larceny and one count of burglary, according to court records.

Upon entering the guilty pleas Monday, Munson admitted to taking a dirt bike from the garage of a Bunker Hill resident and stealing his grandfather’s 55-inch television last year.

He also admitted to concealing more than $1,000 worth of stolen items in a third case that had yet to be presented to a grand jury.

As part of the plea agreement, Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones noted the state had recommended Munson be given the opportunity to complete rehabilitative programs for youthful adult offenders at the Anthony Correctional Center to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.

Wilkes concluded that wasn’t an option because Munson already had a previous opportunity through similar programs at the Davis Center, a state minimum security juvenile center.

They had “very little effect,” Wilkes said.

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— Matthew Umstead

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