Natasha K. Dunn, age 23, who pleaded guilty to one count felony breaking without entering in Tyler County Circuit Court in connection with a break-in at the Bens Run Land Company, appeared in front of Judge David W. Hummel, Jr. last week to face sentencing for her crime.
Judge Hummel informed Dunn, who appeared with her attorney, Patricia Kurelac, "The floor is yours. The court will give you the opportunity to speak, or not to speak, on your own behalf."
Dunn told the judge, "I wish I could take it back. I was hanging out with the wrong people, at the wrong time."
"You entered the building, correct?" asked Hummel. "You knew you were on the property illegally. What was your purpose there?"
Dunn claimed she "just drove" to the scene, and that she "wasn't doing anything."
"You were with Mr. Carpenter, who also pleaded guilty to this court and has been sentenced for his acts. He had bath salts and a syringe on his person," said the Judge.
"I didn't want to stay in the van alone," claimed Dunn. "I have no clue (about bath salts). I've never heard of it."
"I have two babies. I realize what I did isn't worth it," she added tearfully. "I want probation." Dunn is currently pregnant with her third child.
Attorney Kurelac next addressed the Judge on Dunn's behalf, saying, "Ms. Dunn has fully cooperated with authorities, and been very forthright. In fact, she's been threatened, because of it."
"At the ripe old age of twenty-three, she has two kids, and one on the way," continued Kurelac. "She's currently separated from her husband, partly because of this incident."
"The father of one of her children was involved in this incident," said Kurelac. "Every time he comes around, there's trouble. I think Ms. Dunn has realized the need to stay away from him, at this point."
"The ones who are going to suffer the most are the children," asserted Kurelac. "Serving a jail sentence would not be beneficial, at this time."
Judge Hummel addressed Dunn, saying, "You may have been just walking around, as you claim, but your were part of a crime, a criminal scheme."
"You don't need rehabilitated. You need the hell scared out of you," said Hummel. "Have you seen the inside of a jail cell yet? I think the experience would be eye-opening."
Hummel then sentenced Dunn to 1-10 years in the WV Department of Corrections for Women, to serve part of her sentence. He then ordered home confinement for the period of one year, and two year's parole following. Dunn was remanded to North Central Regional Jail prior to beginning her home confinement.
Jeremiah Anderson, convicted in September, 2010, on two felony counts (breaking and entering, and attempted breaking and entering), and one misdemeanor charge of destruction of property, appeared in front of the court for a decision concerning revocation of probation. Anderson failed a drug screen in January of this year.
"How did you violate the terms of probation?" questioned Judge Hummel.
Anderson replied that he'd taken medication that was not prescribed to him.
"What kind of medication?" countered the Judge.
"Percocets," replied Anderson, "maybe two or three of them."
"You told Mr. Lantz (Anderson's probation officer) you weren't taking anything," said Hummel. "Did you forget, or did you lie to him?"
"To be honest, I forgot," said Anderson. Anderson explained he'd had a prescription for hydrocodone as a result of having a tooth extracted.
"I ran out of them, so I took the percocets," said Anderson.
Anderson's attorney, David Zehnder, Chief Public Defender of the 2nd Judicial Court, told Judge Hummel, "I have spoken with Mr. Anderson's parole officer, who is currently in training at the West Virginia State Police Academy. He believes my client needs drug rehab."
"He is a drug addict," asserted Zehnder. "His original charge was related to his desire for drugs. Mr. Anderson knows it's up to him to overcome his addictions."
"Just because you haven't had drugs while incarcerated, doesn't mean the urge will go away," explained Zehnder. "My client is currently an in-patient at Mid-Valley Health Care. He has been accepted to in-patient treatment at Chestnut Ridge."
"If probation or parole is revoked, we'll be right back here in a year or two," said Zehnder. "I would suggest to the court that a decision be delayed, as to the revocation."
"Mr. Anderson can be ordered into a treatment facility. In fact, at Chestnut Ridge, the practice is to keep the patient as long as necessary."
"By delaying a decision, if Mr. Anderson fails to submit to rehab, or fails to complete the program for any reason, his status may be revoked at that time."
"There's a hammer over his head, and you can bring it down anytime. Prison is always going to be there," said Anderson's attorney. "This opportunity for rehabilitation may not."
Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee, who by agreement with the court did not take a position on the Judge's decision, was asked his opinion on the suggestion of delaying Anderson's adjudication.
"I realize I wasn't going to have a position on this matter," said Furbee. "However, this sounds like a reasonable solution to me."
Judge Hummel agreed to defer adjudication on the contingency Anderson be enrolled in a drug treatment facility. Hummel also ordered weekly updates on Anderson's progress.
"I want updates every Friday," said Judge Hummel. "If he is terminated, or he walks out, this court is to be immediately notified, whereby he will be taken into custody by law enforcement officers and remanded to serve the remainder of his sentence."
Anderson was ordered to return immediately to Mid Valley Health Care's in-patient program.
Christopher L. Olszewski, who appeared in court recently on charges of violating terms of his probation, was sentenced to serve the remainder of his original sentence on Thursday by Judge David W. Hummel, Jr.
Olszewski was on probation following the completion of one year of a 1-15 year sentence for felony possession with intent deliver (heroin).
Olszewksi reportedly tested positive for codeine, morphine, and hydocodone during a random drug screen ordered by his probation officer, John Lantz, and was arrested in Pittsburgh, PA, on drug charges earlier this year.
Olszewski was remanded into custody and ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence at the WV Dept. of Corrections.