Vancamp will serve original sentence
Twice convicted sexual offender Roger Vancamp, 60, of Middlebourne, who was sentenced on one felony count of sexual abuse by a person in position of trust in June, 2011 by Judge David W. Hummel, Jr., appeared in Tyler County Circuit Court Tuesday for the purposes of a preliminary hearing concerning revocation of home confinement.
Vancamp’s conviction in Tyler County stemmed from an October, 2010, indictment and trial by jury in March, 2011. He was found guilty on one count out of six total felony charges at the time.
The previous felony conviction, on similar charges, occurred in Texas in 1998, resulting in Vancamp’s classification of recidivist status. The sentence statute for recidivist sex offenders is a mandatory twenty years. Vancamp was sentenced to 20 years incarceration in Tyler County Circuit Court approximately one year ago, with sentencing amended to home confinement by Judge Hummel.
At the time of sentencing, Judge Hummel told Vancamp, “Home confinement is not easy. It is not a slap on the wrist. If you violate the terms, you will do twenty years.”
Vancamp began his home confinement sentence on Jan. 1 of this year, only to have his status revoked for violating the terms of the alternative sentencing in May.
Vancamp, appearing with defense counsel John Gainer, waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday and admitted to the violation by having alcoholic beverages on his property, and consuming said beverages, as well.
“You realize the court can impose the original sentence if you admit to the violation,” said Judge Hummel. “Do you understand the consequences and can you tell me what they are?”
“I can go back to jail for 20 years,” replied Vancamp, who then told the judge that deputies from the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office had been to his residence for a routine check and had discovered “some empty cans and some beer in the refrigerator.”
Tyler County Sheriff’s Deputy M.A. Corley, who conducted the check at Vancamp’s home, told the judge it was the first visit he made for that purpose, and that he had discovered the violation at that time. Upon discovering the contraband items (alcohol), Vancamp was tested positive for alcohol consumption.
Speaking for the state, Prosecutor D. Luke Furbee asked the court to note that the prosecution’s position was the defendant was using home confinement to do as he pleased. “I urge the court to adequately address the defendant’s lack of regard for the court’s sentencing,” he said.
John Gainer, speaking on behalf of the defendant, told the court Vancamp “made good use of his home confinement” by remodeling his house, gardening, and staying off alcohol for five months. “He knows he did wrong,” said Gainer. “His aunt had died, and he was unable to go to her funeral. He was unable to obtain his medication (for depression) at the time. His brother (who lives at the Vancamp residence) bought some beer, and Roger asked for some, when he should have told his brother to leave. His brother didn’t offer him the beer, but Roger asked for it.”
Gainer added, “If Mr. Vancamp is released back to home confinement, he realizes he’ll be in big trouble next time.”
“Next time?” queried Judge Hummel. “Why shouldn’t he be in big trouble this time?” Judge Hummel then informed Vancamp he was remanded to the West Virginia Department of Corrections to serve the remainder of his original 20 year sentence, telling Vancamp, “Good luck.”
Vancamp, who was already in custody of the North Central Regional Jail for his violation, was remanded into custody to await transfer to the DOC.
“Home confinement is not a license to do what one pleases. It is in lieu of prison, and the rules are very strict. That legal principle was upheld this afternoon,” stated Prosecuting Attorney Furbee in regard to Vancamp’s sentence.