- Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 April 2012 22:18
- Published on Tuesday, 10 April 2012 22:18
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Robert Bruce Holcomb, Jr. appeared in Westmoreland County Circuit Court on April 6 and entered into a plea agreement in connection with charges resulting from the police investigation of the methamphetamine operation in upper Westmoreland County. The investigation began when police intercepted a letter at Haynesville Correctional Center about how to make methamphetamine. The letter led them to the homes of Larry Waybright and George Mills.
Surveillance of those homes and controlled buys led them to bring charges against Waybright, Mills, and several others who bought pseudoephedrine to be used in the production of the methamphetamine. Holcomb was caught after police discovered he had bought an unusually large amount of pseudoephedrine from several different places. When he was confronted, he confessed to buying the pseudoephedrine for Mills. He was convicted of conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and
manufacturing methamphetamine. A pre-sentence report will be prepared and Holcomb will be sentenced on June 22.
Andrew O’Neal Brooks was charged with violating the terms of his probation from a petit larceny conviction. While on probation, he was convicted of failure to appear in court and domestic assault, a violation of the promise to be at peace and good behavior. Brooks also had failed to pay his court costs for an earlier show cause resulting from violating probation on the same charge. His attorney explained that Brooks had been injured on the job and was let go, and pointed out that Brooks had completed his community service while he was on probation. Judge Joseph J. Ellis said to Brooks, “The new convictions are a problem. What do you expect me to do?” He sentenced Brooks to serve all of time suspended on the petit larceny.
Jessica Rae Korbar made an Alford plea of guilty (meaning she acknowledges that the evidence would convict her if she were tried, while not actually admitting that she was guilty) to distribution of less than ½ ounce of marijuana, a misdemeanor. A confidential informant supervised by police bought marijuana from her while she was in Westmoreland County housesitting for a friend. Korbar, who is from New York, had returned home before she was arrested. However, she waived extradition to Virginia and came back willingly. In spite of her plea, she admitted to police that she made the sale. Commonwealth’s attorney, Julia Sichol asked the court to give her credit for 19 days she served in jail in New York waiting to be transported to Virginia. Her sentence was 12 months in jail, with all suspended except time served.
Donald Irwin Monroe pled not guilty to possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony. The charge could be said to have resulted from a good deed. Monroe was living with a friend when the house where they lived burned down. Monroe removed a gun, among other possessions from the rubble of the house to keep them from being stolen. The friend was unable to remove them herself. He moved in with another friend, and placed the gun in a cupboard in her house. When the second housemate found the gun, she wanted it out of her house, and when Monroe did not remove it, she called the police. Monroe’s defense attorney, Nicholas Smith, argued that Monroe’s removing the gun to secure it was not the kind of possession the legislature had in mind when they made it illegal for a felon to possess a firearm. He also pointed out that Monroe’s felony conviction was long in the past. Judge Ellis convicted Monroe, agreeing with the Commonwealth’s attorney that Monroe could have simply called the police and had them remove the gun from the house. The judge did say that Monroe’s good recent record and the reason he took the gun could come into play when he is sentenced. A pre-sentence report was ordered. Sentencing will be June 29.
William Lewis Schaeffer, Jr. was supposed to be in court to be tried for violating his probation from a conviction of driving under the influence, second offense. His attorney said he called him the morning of court and said he was on the way to the hospital. Judge Ellis issued a capias to have him picked up and held until his case can be heard.
Representing himself, Anthony Terrell West asked the court to modify his sentence for two counts of distribution of cocaine. His request was to be able to go home on electronic incarceration so that he could help take care of his wife. Judge Ellis explained that, under West’s circumstances, the law does not allow the court to alter his sentence. West and his wife were allowed some time to talk before he was taken back to jail.