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Alford Plea

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By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com | December 17, 2012
A Williamsport man charged with kidnapping his former girlfriend from The Improved Order of Red Men Club in Williamsport last April entered an Alford plea to the charge Monday in Washington County Circuit Court. Jeremy S. Keadle, 30, formerly of 247 E. Potomac St. in Williamsport, had asked for a jury trial when he appeared in court Monday morning, but after a jury was selected, he returned from a brief recess to say he wanted to enter a plea. Keadle repeatedly answered, “Yes, sir,” as Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. asked a number of questions to confirm whether Keadle was comfortable entering the plea.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | July 14, 2011
A Clear Spring man convicted earlier this year for a sexual offense against a girl entered an Alford plea Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court to a sexual offense against the girl's sister. James Weller Sr., 56, formerly of 14402 Mercersburg Road, had been convicted in a May trial before Judge Donald E. Beachley of attempted third-degree sex offense and second-degree assault. He was sentenced at that time to seven years in prison with four years suspended, court records said.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | July 18, 2013
A Hagerstown man charged with robbing the Brothers Pizza Express on Dual Highway at gunpoint in March could face 10 years in state prison after entering an Alford plea Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court. Timothy Blaine Ennis, 30, of 2052 Day Road entered the plea to charges of armed robbery and use of a firearm in a crime of violence before Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. Although not an admission of guilt, an Alford plea is an acknowledgment by a defendant that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | February 15, 2013
A Falling Waters, W.Va., man accused of shooting a couple twice in the head at their home in November 2009 entered an Alford plea Friday to two counts of second-degree attempted murder and two counts of malicious assault. Donald Mark “Donnie” Seibert Jr., 24, faces a sentence of six to 26 years in prison, according to the terms of a plea agreement reached between Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Timothy D. Helman and Seibert's attorney, Matthew Harvey. Two counts of malicious assault, along with single counts of grand larceny and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in other pending cases were dismissed Friday by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge John C. Yoder, who accepted the plea agreement and scheduled a sentencing hearing for April 11. Seibert could be ordered to serve a one- to three-year sentence for each attempted murder conviction and a two- to 10-year sentence for each malicious assault conviction, Helman said.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | August 30, 2011
A Washington County Circuit Court judge Tuesday suspended the sentence of a Hagerstown teenager after he entered an Alford plea to second-degree assault in the robbery of a convenience store. Judge John H. McDowell suspended a 10-year sentence for Eric Shaquille Baymon, 18, of 411 S. Potomac St., but gave him three years of probation, according to court records. Baymon had been charged with armed robbery, robbery, assault, reckless endangerment and firearms violations in the Feb. 20 robbery of Nadia's Convenience Store at the corner of North Prospect and West Franklin streets in Hagerstown.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | January 3, 2013
A Pennsylvania man faces a possible state prison sentence after he entered an Alford plea Thursday to negligent manslaughter by vehicle in the death of a Williamsport man last summer. Stephen James Bonafede, 27, of Mountville, Pa., also entered Alford pleas to two counts of causing life-threatening injuries in a July 24 crash on Eastern Boulevard near Security Road. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but is an acknowledgment that the state has enough evidence to gain a conviction.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | August 16, 2011
A Hagerstown man serving 15 months in jail on charges from a 2010 fatal accident entered an Alford plea Tuesday in Washington County District Court to a charge stemming from a Memorial Day incident at his home. Cory Scott Kuczynski, 26, of 17544 Gay St., entered the plea to a charge of failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order from a law enforcement officer, and was fined $100 by Judge James Vaughn, attorney D. Benson Thompson III said after the hearing. Related charges of second-degree assault, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct were dismissed, he said.
NEWS
by PEPPER BALLARD | December 14, 2005
A former Hancock man entered an Alford plea Tuesday to disorderly conduct in connection with causing a disturbance at Washington County Courthouse in April. Berkeley Springs, W.Va., resident David Leroy Creek Sr., 47, whose address at the time of his arrest was 109 E. Main St. in Hancock, entered the plea before Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III, who ordered Creek to serve three years of probation. Wright suspended a 60-day jail sentence, the maximum sentence for a conviction on the charge.
NEWS
By DON AINES | July 23, 2010
A Hagerstown man entered an Alford plea Friday to a charge of solicitation to intimidate a witness, with the state agreeing to dismiss a more serious allegation that he tried to solicit someone to have the witness murdered. Louis Geraldo Gonzalez, 28, who is serving a 20-year state prison sentence for armed robbery, was sentenced to a concurrent 20-year sentence by Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. Long suspended all but four years of the sentence in the witness intimidation case. The witness the state alleged Gonzalez wanted to silence was Bruce Allen Jones, the man shot in the January 2009 robbery for which Gonzalez is serving the armed robbery sentence, according to the grand jury indictment.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | July 16, 2012
An 18-year-old Hagerstown man charged in a February armed home invasion entered an Alford plea Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 15 months in the county detention center. Curtis Evans, of 916 Lanvale St., was 17 years old when the incident occurred Feb. 26 in the 900 block of Main Avenue, according to the application for statement of charges filed by Hagerstown police. He was scheduled to be in court for a hearing to determine whether his case should be transferred to juvenile court.
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NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | September 5, 2013
A Washington County Circuit Court judge on Thursday sentenced a Hagerstown man with a long criminal record to eight years in prison after he entered an Alford plea to conspiracy to commit a third-degree burglary in a January break-in linked to a federal case. “Given your record, you certainly ought to thank your lawyer,” Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley told James Thomas Grapes Jr., formerly of View Street. Beachley told Grapes he could have faced a much longer sentence had he been convicted by a jury.
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NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | August 1, 2013
A 74-year-old Williamsport man accused of having a preteen girl perform a sexual act on him was sentenced to 90 days on home detention after entering an Alford plea Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court to a charge of contributing to the condition of a minor. Gerald Lester Shindle of Mount Williams Circle was originally charged with sex abuse of a minor, which carries a 25-year maximum sentence, and a third-degree sex offense, which can result in a 10-year sentence, according to court records.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | July 18, 2013
A Hagerstown man charged with robbing the Brothers Pizza Express on Dual Highway at gunpoint in March could face 10 years in state prison after entering an Alford plea Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court. Timothy Blaine Ennis, 30, of 2052 Day Road entered the plea to charges of armed robbery and use of a firearm in a crime of violence before Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. Although not an admission of guilt, an Alford plea is an acknowledgment by a defendant that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | July 15, 2013
A Bunker Hill, W.Va., woman accused of selling a lethal dose of heroin to a man who died at her home in March 2012 was sentenced Monday on grand larceny and uttering convictions in an unrelated case. Autumn T. Blaine, 38, entered an Alford plea Monday in Berkeley County Circuit Court to one count of uttering and one count of grand larceny. A one-year jail sentence for each conviction was ordered to be served concurrently by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III. By entering an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | June 20, 2013
A Hagerstown man accused of injuring a baby boy last fall has received a suspended sentence after entering an Alford plea to second-degree assault in Washington County Circuit Court. David Michael Malekar, 26, 18808 Preston Road, entered the plea on June 11 before Washington County Circuit Judge Daniel P. Dwyer, according to court records. Malekar was sentenced to seven years in state prison, but all of it was suspended except for 113 days he had served after his arrest, the court records said.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | June 10, 2013
A Washington County Circuit Court judge Monday added 10 more years to the prison term of a Hagerstown man sentenced last month to eight years in state prison for a 2012 assault involving a handgun after he was found in violation of probation in a 2011 assault case. Eric Shaquille Baymon, 20, formerly of 42 E. Washington St., Apt. 3, was convicted by a jury in January of first-degree assault, use of a handgun in a crime of violence and other offenses for an April 11, 2012, incident near the intersection of Lee and Potomac streets in which a gun was fired, according to court records.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | May 28, 2013
A Martinsburg man accused of a violent attack in August 2012 that left a woman “unrecognizable” with multiple facial fractures faces a sentence of at least 15 years behind bars. Christopher C. Dawson, 23, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Berkeley County Circuit Court to six counts of malicious assault, three counts of domestic battery and entered an Alford plea to one count of second-degree sexual assault. Under an Alford plea, a defendant doesn't admit guilt, but acknowledges the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | May 13, 2013
The trial for a man charged in a February 2011 bar fight in Martinsburg that left a man with severe injuries was set Monday for Aug. 27 in Berkeley County Circuit Court. Benjamin Jason Bean, 37, who was indicted on one count of conspiracy in October 2011, made a brief appearance in court Monday for a status hearing held by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes. Bean, aka “4th Grade,” along with Waynesboro (Pa.) Borough Councilman Craig L. Newcomer, were charged for their role in an altercation that involved then-45-year-old Ernest E. Cumbie at the Dirty Dawg Saloon along South Queen Street on Feb. 13, 2011, according to court documents.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | April 29, 2013
A Waynesboro (Pa.) Borough Council member who was charged in a 2011 bar fight in Martinsburg that left a man with severe injuries was ordered to serve 200 hours of community service Monday and placed on probation for five years. Craig L. Newcomer, 48, who also was ordered to pay $2,900 in restitution, was sentenced in Berkeley County Circuit Court moments after he entered an Alford plea to one misdemeanor count of battery. A one-year jail sentence was suspended by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes, who accepted a plea agreement that was presented to the court in February to resolve what had been a felony case.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | April 11, 2013
A Falling Waters, W.Va., man accused of shooting a couple twice in the head at their home in November 2009 was sentenced Thursday to five to 23 years in prison in Berkeley County Circuit Court. Donald Mark “Donnie” Seibert Jr., 24, who entered an Alford plea in February to two counts of second-degree attempted murder and two counts of malicious assault, had faced a maximum of six to 26 years behind bars. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgment by a defendant that the state has enough evidence to get a conviction.
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