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Woman charged as accessory in 2011 W.Va. shooting death is headed to jail

Ashley Nicole Carpegna's probation revoked for multiple violations

July 23, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • Ashley Nicole Carpegna
Ashley Nicole Carpegna

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Berkeley County Circuit Court judge on Monday ordered a woman convicted as an accessory in the March 2011 shooting death of a man to serve a five-year sentence after her probation was revoked for multiple violations.

Ashley Nicole Carpegna, 29, who had been placed on probation in February at her sentencing hearing, admitted to several violations Monday, including failure to adhere to a 10 p.m. curfew while working at a strip club, drug use and contact with convicted felons, according to court documents.

Carpegna’s attorney, Chris Barnhart, told 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes Monday that his client would not admit to four specific drug-related allegations in the petition filed for probation revocation, including possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of prescription medication without a valid prescription and the sale of marijuana at a strip club.

Given the year or so that Carpegna already has served in jail before she was sentenced in February and additional time on home confinement served for the case, she could possibly “kill the sentence” in four months, Barnhart told the court.

Carpegna pleaded guilty in February to one felony count of accessory after the fact of murder in the death of Geronimo Garcia-Cruz, 26, of Winchester, Va.

At that time, a five-year sentence was suspended in lieu of five years of probation. Carpegna had been on home confinement since August 2012, and in jail before that.

In February, Carpegna admitted in court that she gave investigating Berkeley County sheriff’s deputies false information about the homicide at her apartment building south of Martinsburg. Carpegna also admitted she disturbed some of the evidence at the crime scene.

Co-defendant Jonathan Frederick Bennett, who was indicted for Garcia-Cruz’ death, was found not guilty of felony murder in January. Carpegna agreed to enter the guilty plea prior to Bennett’s trial, and a condition of the agreement was that she testify at the co-defendant’s trial, which she did.

Garcia-Cruz was found dead in Carpegna’s secondfloor apartment. Carpegna was working as an exotic dancer when Garcia-Cruz met with her several hours earlier at the club where she worked, police have alleged.

Carpegna took Garcia-Cruz and his companions to her apartment after negotiating “an illicit informal business agreement,” police had said.

In addition to dancing, Carpegna told the court in February that she had worked as a sales associate and bartender.

The probation revocation petition indicates Carpegna began working again at a strip club in mid-February, but she had denied it, according to court documents.

In a recorded phone call in March, she admitted to being in violation of her curfew by working at a strip club until the early hours of the morning, the court documents said.

Carpegna was sentenced to five years of probation on Feb. 4.

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