Advertisement

W.Va. man sentenced to 18 months in jail in connection with road rage incident

September 03, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A West Virginia man who pointed a shotgun at a tractor-trailer driver during a road rage incident earlier this year was sentenced Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to second-degree assault.

“I can’t think of another case where this kind of assault presented as much risk” to other people, Washington County Circuit Judge Dana Moylan Wright told Brandon Scott Castle.
 
Wright sentenced the 20-year-old Falling Waters, W.Va., man to eight years in state prison, suspending all but the 18 months, which he will serve in the Washington County Detention Center.

Shortly after midnight on April 2, Washington County Emergency Communications received a call that a passenger in a car had twice pointed a shotgun at the driver of a tractor-trailer on Interstate 81, Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson said, reading from the statement of facts.

The car left the interstate and headed into Hagerstown on U.S. 40, where a Hagerstown police officer spotted the car and pulled it over, Wilson said. Castle was the passenger, and an unloaded shotgun was found in the car’s trunk, he said.

The driver of the car was a 21-year-old Hagerstown man, police said at the time. Wilson said that man could face a possible grand jury indictment in the case.

“We still have to deal with the driver of the car, who was the owner of the shotgun,” Wilson told the judge.

There was also a small child crying in the back seat of the car, Wilson said.

Had the truck driver panicked, there could have been an accident involving other vehicles on the highway resulting in injuries or death, he said.

A similar case last year involving a driver pointing a gun at another vehicle resulted in a trial that ended with the man receiving a five-year sentence, Wilson said.

That man had been offered one year in jail had he agreed to a proposed plea agreement, so the prosecution was asking for at least one year for Castle, he said.

Deputy District Public Defender Eric Reed told Wright that Castle told him that the tractor-trailer driver had cut off the car and that he “presented” the shotgun to the truck driver at the urging of the car’s driver.

Reed asked Wright to impose a suspended sentence, noting that Castle faces up to six months in jail for a probation violation on a misdemeanor theft conviction in West Virginia.

“This is the kind of case where a message does need to be sent,” Wright said before sentencing Castle.

In addition to the jail sentence, Wright placed Castle on probation for three years.

Other charges, including first-degree assault, were dismissed as part of the plea agreement, according to court records.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|