Timothy Joe Nottingham, 36, of New Martinsville, was sentenced in Tyler County Circuit Court Thursday, April 19, for several felony and misdemeanor charges he had pleaded guilty to earlier this month.
Nottingham, who was already incarcerated in North Central Regional Jail due to felony convictions in Wetzel County, appeared with his attorney for the sentencing hearing.
Nottingham pleaded guilty to felony burglary, felony grand larceny (2 counts), and misdemeanor petit larceny (3 counts). Although originally scheduled to go to trial, Nottingham made a last minute decision to plead to the charges with no agreement.
Nottingham addressed the court prior to sentencing, saying, "I'd like to apologize to the victims of my crimes, to their families, and to my family. It was ignorant to steal, in order to support my drug habit."
Nottingham's attorney also spoke on his behalf, telling Judge David W. Hummel, Jr., "Mr. Nottingham started his adult life out on the wrong foot." (Nottingham had previously been incarcerated in prison at age 19 for a period of 10 years.)
"He got out, and went to work, and became a productive member of society," added the defense. "Then he was in an accident and was injured, and got addicted to pain pills."
"If he get another (prison) sentence, it means he'll essentially spend the rest of his life in prison." Defense counsel requested probation for his client.
Speaking for the State, Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee noted, "Mr. Nottingham is an old hand at property crimes. No disrespect to Mr. Nottingham, he's a thief. He's actually a pretty good thief."
"There is a great deal of pre-meditation to his crimes," added Furbee. "He cased the places, knew where he wanted to go, and knew where to get rid of the stolen items."
Furbee requested Nottingham's sentence be incarceration, a period of 1-15 years on count one, a period of 1-10 years on the other felony count, and six months each for his misdemeanor crimes, as well as restitution for his victims.
"There's a boatload of restitution to be considered," said Furbee, "and while it may be symbolic, the state asks restitution be ordered."
Nottingham responded to Furbee's remarks, saying, "I'm far from a criminal mastermind."
"I wasn't the only one involved in these cases," he added. "I just ask that you (the court) don't add to my sentence. I'm asking for another chance."
Judge David W. Hummel remarked, "With all due respect, when Mr. Nottingham says he wants another chance, I believe him."
"What he wants is another chance to commit more crimes," said Hummel. "He's been committing these crimes for over 2 decades."
"What happened in Wetzel County, has no bearing on what happened in Tyler County," said the Judge.
"You are going to pay for Tyler County crimes on Tyler County time," Hummel told Nottingham.
Nottingham was sentenced to consecutive time on all the felonies he pleaded to, to run consecutively with Wetzel County. However, the judge suspended the sentences on the grand larcenies in lieu of 4 years probation. The misdemeanors will run concurrently. Actual incarceration time equals not less than 3 nor more than 35 years, including the Wetzel Co. verdict. Restitution amounting to $2,433 was also ordered by Judge Hummel.
Ryen M. Archer, who was re-indicted on one count, felony delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana) in February, appeared in front of Judge Hummel for the purposes of entering a plea.
Archer was re-indicted for failing to comply with the terms of his original plea agreement which ordered he enlist in the United States Armed Forces and complete his service with no less than an honorable discharge. He was originally arrested in December, 2010.
Prosecutor D. Luke Furbee told the court that Archer was arrested following an investigation by the Tyler County Sheriff's Office, who was monitoring a residence where Archer was observed several times. With the help of a cooperating witness, a buy was set up and the witness purchased a substance from Archer which later tested positive for marijuana.
Archer told the court, "I sold six or seven grams of marijuana out of my house," when he entered a guilty plea to the charge.
Archer was sentenced to the WV Penitentiary for a period of not less than one nor more than five years, sentenced suspended (credit for time served); two years supervised probation; 100 hours of community service; and $60 in restitution to TCSO for the amount spent on the buy.
Abdul-Kahar Al-Janaby, indicted on two counts, felony child abuse resulting from injury and misdemeanor domestic battery, entered into an agreed plea with the court.
Al-Janaby was charged with the crimes after an incident in June, 2011, when Sistersville General Hospital called the 911 center to report injuries sustained by a minor child. Deputy Shannon Huffman, who responded to the call, interviewed the child, who told Huffman he had been "slapped around in the face". The child exhibited redness and bruising, which Deputy Huffman photographed as evidence.
Mr. Al-Janaby did not deny the allegations, stating the boy was being "difficult" and that he'd tried to get him to behave, then administered corporal punishment, and got "over-zealous."
"He came home from school, and I checked his backpack for homework assignments. In his backpack, I found one note for misbehaving in school. I then found another note for misbehaving on the school bus, saying he was kicked off the bus. My wife and I work conflicting schedules, and this puts a strain on our relationship," said Al-Janaby. "The fact that we would now have to drive our son to school further complicated our schedules."
Al-Janaby then proceeded to feed the children dinner but had to leave the table to tend to another child. At this point, the child in question began "tearing up the car-seat". Al-Janaby took the child from the table and tried to address the behavior.
"He kept flipping out," said Al-Janaby, "and he was covering up his behind, so I slapped him. I just lost it."
"I was slapped and hit, my whole life, by my father," admitted Al-Janaby.
"When I realized what I'd done, I told him I was really sorry," he added. "I thought, Oh, my God, what have I done?"
The prosecution noted that "the defendant is willing to acknowledge his guilt."
"We (the State) and the boy's mother have approved the plea agreement, and hopes the court will do the same," said Prosecutor Furbee.
"There was no permanent injury?" asked Judge Hummel.
"No," replied the Prosecutor.
Furbee noted that although Al-Janaby would plead guilty to both charges, only the misdemeanor charge would be entered into the court record.
"Mr. Al-Janaby worked as an interpreter in Iraq," explained Furbee. "If a felony goes on his record, he would be deported, and could be murdered, if sent back to Iraq."
Judge Hummel sentenced Al-Janaby to 45 days in North Central Regional Jail for the misdemeanor charge; and home confinement and two years supervised probation. Al-Janaby was ordered to report NCRJ by Sunday noon to begin serving his sentence.
Joshua Ebert, who was convicted in 2011 of one count, delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana), appeared in front of Judge Hummel following completion of Anthony Center's court ordered drug-rehabilitation program.
"I took a lot of classes - blueprints, construction - and got my OSHA card," said Ebert.
"Did the experience benefit you?" asked Judge Hummel.
"Yeah, a lot," said Ebert.
Ebert was released on two years supervised probation.
Kenneth D. Ahouse, of Pennsboro, appeared in front of Judge Hummel for the purpose of probation revocation. Ahouse, who was convicted of felony attempted sexual assault (second degree) in 2008, was charged with failure to comply with the terms of his supervised probation.
Ahouse, who was sentenced to 1-3 years in the DOC, was originally given credit for time served and placed on three years supervised probation.
Speaking for the State, Prosecutor Luke Furbee told the court, "Mr. Ahouse has been given every opportunity, and has shown himself manifestly unable to comply (with the terms of his probation)."
"He has failed to comply several times; the first time, it was alcohol, the second time it was prescription drugs," added Furbee. "
Ahouse was found in possession of 10 Vicodin pills by his probation officer in the latest violation.
"I was depressed. I didn't know what to do. I tried NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings," said Ahouse. "I think I deserve another chance. I pay child support. I'm really a good person, besides my problem with pills."
"What were you originally charged with?" asked Judge Hummel.
"I tried to get my step-daughter to have sex with me," said Ahouse.
"How'd you get caught (breaking probation)?" countered the Judge.
"My PO showed up at the house, and I acted nervous. Then I showed them the pills," said Ahouse.
"I was on anti-depressants, but I quit taking them. I didn't think they were doing any good," added Ahouse.
Would you agree, when you were given probation, that was a chance?" asked the Prosecutor.
"Yes," replied Ahouse.
"And you violated with alcohol?" said Furbee.
Ahouse confirmed he had violated his probation at that time.
"You were given yet another chance?" asked Furbee. "Now, you've violated yet again, and are asking for another chance? How many chances do we need to set up for you? Five, ten, fifteen?"
"Just one more, sir," replied Ahouse, adding, "I've found God, sir, and He's changed my life."
"Are you addicted to opiates?" asked the prosecution.
"Yes," admitted Ahouse.
"Have you tried in-patient therapy?"
"No, sir," replied Ahouse. "I thought I'd try NA first, then in-patient."
Judge Hummel then remarked, "You have been here more than any other offender, for violations."
"Trick me once, shame on you. Trick me twice, shame on me," said Hummel. "You haven't tricked this court, but you haven't gotten it yet."
"You have been given chances," added the Judge. "You have failed yourself, and failed your children. I am not going to give you the chance to fail the community."
"You can enter the 'Judge Hummel in-patient treatment program', at the DOC," concluded the Judge.
Ahouse was ordered to finish the remainder of his sentence at the WV Dept. of Corrections and remanded into custody.