Drug, al­co­hol-re­lated guilty pleas, sen­tences

Rappahannock News - - FROM PAGE ONE • NEWS - By Matt Wing­field Rap­pa­han­nock News staff

Guilty pleas were en­tered and sen­tences were handed down on a va­ri­ety of charges Mon­day af­ter­noon (March 10) in Rap­pa­han­nock County Cir­cuit Court.

The first was Jerry Wayne Vanover, who was in­dicted by a grand jury Mon­day and pleaded guilty to fail­ure to re­port an ac­ci­dent where some­one was se­ri­ously in­jured.

Sum­ma­riz­ing ev­i­dence for the court, Com­mon­wealth’s At­tor­ney Art Goff said the 50-yearold Vanover was driv­ing a GMC pickup truck near Ch­ester Gap last Oct. 16 when he col­lided, head-on, with a Ford Ex­plorer driven by Thomas Wil­liams.

Vanover con­tin­ued driv­ing for a short dis­tance, Goff said, be­fore flip­ping his truck and leav­ing the scene of that crash to walk to a friend’s house. Vanover told Vir­ginia State Po­lice Trooper Phillip Thomas he had dropped a cig­a­rette in his lap, looked down to get it and hit Wil­liams’ truck. When asked why he didn’t stop, Vanover ad­mit­ted he “freaked out” af­ter the ac­ci­dent. Goff said po­lice de­ter­mined al­co­hol was a fac­tor in the crash.

He’s sched­uled to be sen­tenced June 16.

Also sen­tenced Mon­day was 23-year-old Ahmed Safwat Mo­haram, of Fair­fax, who pleaded guilty to one felony count of pos­ses­sion of oxy­codone last De­cem­ber.

Sum­ma­riz­ing ev­i­dence, Goff said RCSO Deputy Christo­pher Koglin pulled Mo­haram over on View­town Road last Jan. 28 for speed­ing and no­ticed the car smelled like mar­i­juana; Mo­haram ad­mit­ted he “had a roach” sit­ting in the ash­tray. Goff said Koglin also dis­cov­ered a bag with 32 green pills in Mo­haram’s shoes; they were later iden­ti­fied as oxy­codone.

Both Goff and Mo­haram’s coun­sel, Mark Bai­ley, ar­gued for le­niency: A de­ferred dis­po­si­tion or “first of­fender sta­tus.” Judge Jef­frey W. Parker agreed, putting Mo­haram on pro­ba­tion for 10 months and re­quir­ing him to com­plete 100 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice. Parker also sus­pended his driver’s li­cense for six months.

“This is a real op­por­tu­nity for you and not ev­ery­one takes ad­van­tage of it,” Parker cau­tioned Mo­haram. “You can avoid a felony charge on your record if you just do as you’re told here.”

Ch­ester Gap res­i­dent Brian Patrick Swof­ford, 40, pleaded guilty to vi­o­lat­ing his pro­ba­tion and was re­manded into the cus­tody of the Rap­pa­han­nock County Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

Swof­ford, who ap­pealed the case from district court, of­fered no de­fense to three charges of vi­o­lat­ing his pro­ba­tion: a pos­i­tive drug test (mar­i­juana), fail­ure to re­port to his pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer and fail­ure to com­plete his man­dated drug coun­sel­ing.

“He’s just not reporting, and that means we have no idea how he’s do­ing,” Goff said, adding that he felt reim­pos­ing a “sig­nif­i­cant por­tion” of Swof­ford’s sus­pended sen­tence was ap­pro­pri­ate.

“You couldn’t have done much worse here be­sides go­ing out and com­mit­ting an­other crime,” Parker said. “I haven’t heard a sin­gle rea­son why I shouldn’t re­voke your en­tire sen­tence, so that’s what I’m go­ing to do.” Parker then sen­tenced Swof­ford to 90 days in jail.

Theo­tis Dar­nell Wil­liams, 36, of Culpeper, also pleaded guilty to vi­o­lat­ing his pro­ba­tion and was sub­se­quently sen­tenced.

Wil­liams picked up his vi­o­la­tion for driv­ing on a sus­pended li­cense. Goff ar­gued for ex­tend­ing Wil­liams’ pro­ba­tion for 90 days, to re­mind him that “he must obey the court’s or­ders . . . . He’s only on pro­ba­tion by the grace of the court.”

Parker agreed, adding that he didn’t want to send Wil­liams to jail un­less he had to and that the 90-day sen­tence “is about as lit­tle as this court can do, hon­estly.”

Grand jury in­dict­ments

In ad­di­tion to Vanover, three oth­ers were in­dicted by a grand jury con­vened Mon­day morn­ing in Rap­pa­han­nock County Cir­cuit Court. All three cases were con­tin­ued to April 3.

Al­lante To­bias Strother was in­dicted on one count of elud­ing po­lice; Thomas Leroy Wal­ter III was in­dicted on one count of il­le­gally pos­sess­ing a firearm; and Van­phu­nida Iv was in­dicted on one count of pos­ses­sion of nar­cotics.

DUI ar­rests

On March 5, Deputy Christo­pher Koglin stopped a ve­hi­cle on Fod­der­stack Road for a traf­fic vi­o­la­tion. The driver, 50-yearold Mar­cus Lee Mar­shall of Front Royal, was ar­rested and charged with driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence.

Last Satur­day (March 8), Koglin en­coun­tered a ve­hi­cle at May­hugh’s Store; the driver, 21-year-old Robert Ed­ward Or­ange of Woodville, was also charged with DUI.

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