Care­giver is al­leged em­bez­zler

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROGER PIANTADOSI AND MATT WING­FIELD Rap­pa­han­nock News staff

The Sper­ryville woman hired last year to care for the ail­ing for­mer mayor of Wash­ing­ton was in­dicted yes­ter­day on 10 counts of felony em­bez­zle­ment.

The sep­a­rate charges span last Dec. 24 through Sept. 4 of this year, when care­giver Tammy Lynn Atkins is al­leged to have re­moved, ac­cord­ing to sources fa­mil­iar with the case, some $ 11,000 from the bank ac­counts of for­mer mayor and long­time Wash­ing­ton res­i­dent Eu­gene Leggett, who

died June 8, and his widow, Clarissa Leggett.

Atkins was ar­rested shortly af­ter the grand jury’s ac­tion Wed­nes­day morn­ing, and is free on a $ 10,000 per­sonal re­cog­ni­zance bond, pend­ing a hear­ing. Fur­ther de­tails were not avail­able at press time on the “di­rect” in­dict­ments against Atkins, which are typ­i­cally sealed un­til the de­fen­dant is in cus­tody and a hear­ing is sched­uled.

Atkins was hired by the Leggetts as a part- time care­giver in Novem­ber 2011, ac­cord­ing to a friend of the fam­ily who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, and worked for them un­til some­time last month.

Other grand jury ac­tions

In other ac­tion, the jury did not find suf­fi­cient cause to in­dict Sper­ryville- based mag­a­zine pub­lisher Melissa Har­ris, af­ter Vir­ginia State Po­lice spe­cial agent John Defilippi pre­sented ev­i­dence of al­leged credit card fraud and em­bez­zle­ment. It also is­sued in­dict­ments against the fol­low­ing ( though no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion was avail­able from Com­mon­wealth’s At­tor­ney Art Goff or the Cir­cuit Court clerk’s of­fice):

Michael S. Barthlow was in­dicted on a sin­gle charge of grand lar­ceny; a war­rant was is­sued for his ar­rest. Is­mael Ramirez- Martinez was in­dicted on charges of car­ry­ing a con­cealed weapon, il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of a firearm and driv­ing with­out a li­cense.

Ash­ley Pom­pell was charged was charged with dis­tribut­ing less than 10 ounces of marijuana to a mi­nor; a war­rant was is­sued for her ar­rest. Davis Win­field Eisen­mann was charged with pos­sess­ing oxy­codone and marijuana, two counts of man­u­fac­tur­ing marijuana for oth­ers and pos­sess­ing a firearm; a war­rant for his ar­rest was also is­sued.

Miguel Za­mu­dio was in­dicted on two counts of man­u­fac­tur­ing marijuana for oth­ers, one count of pos­sess­ing marijuana and one count of pos­sess­ing syn­thetic marijuana. Aubrey Dou­glas Set­tle was in­dicted on one count of grand lar­ceny and one count of en­ter­ing a struc­ture to com­mit lar­ceny.

Shawn An­thony Pain­ter was in­dicted on two counts of writ­ing bad checks of less than $ 200.

Held guilty of Chester Gap rape

Also in cir­cuit court Wed­nes­day, a Front Royal man pleaded guilty to one charge of ag­gra­vated sex­ual bat­tery. Ac­cord­ing to Goff, Phillip Matthew Held had been out drink­ing with friends on the night of Feb. 12. Held met the vic­tim, iden­ti­fied only as C. S. at a 7- 11; after­wards, she in­vited them back to her home in Chester Gap.

Held, C. S. and their friends con­tin­ued drink­ing for a while, be­fore C. S. said she was tired and re­tired to her room. At some point dur­ing the night, she said Held en­tered her room and tried to re­move her cov­ers; she told him to leave be­fore go­ing back to sleep.

Goff said that C. S. re­mem­bered Held on top of her at some point dur­ing the night, but passed out. She awoke at 7: 45 a. m. the next morn­ing, dis­robed from the waist down and called her then- boyfriend, who told her to lie still and re­main where she was.

Rap­pa­han­nock County Sher­iff ’s Deputy Chris Ubben was the first to re­spond and found the vic­tim ly­ing in her bed, still par­tially un­dressed. Sher­iff Con­nie Smith ar­rived and trans­ported the vic­tim to Winch­ester Med­i­cal Cen­ter. A DNA sam­ple was taken at the hospi­tal and matched to Held.

Capt. J. C. Welch of the Sher­iff ’ s Of­fice in­ter­viewed Held on Feb. 13. Held claimed he was too drunk to re­mem­ber any­thing that hap­pened, and said that if any­thing did hap­pen, it had to have been con­sen­sual. Held was later in­ter­viewed by Lt. Rusty McCoy of the Page County Sher­iff ’ s Depart­ment; dur­ing that in­ter­view, Held claimed noth­ing hap­pened be­tween him­self and the vic­tim.

Judge Jef­frey W. Parker found Held guilty based on the ev­i­dence pre­sented by Goff. He al­lowed Held’s bond to continue, but did place him un­der the su­per­vi­sion of a pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer. Held is due to be sen­tenced on Feb. 21.

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