A 56-year-old Alton man, Thomas Patrick Doyle, entered an Alford plea Feb. 14 in Halifax County Circuit Court to charges related to a wreck on June 25 that took the life of a passenger in his vehicle.
Doyle pleaded guilty to a felony charge for DUI manslaughter and a misdemeanor charge for a first offense of DWI related to the wreck that killed a passenger in his truck, 27-year-old Theresa Goetz, a New Jersey resident.
Under terms of an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but realizes prosecution would make a guilty finding at trial almost a certainty.
According to an accident report filed by Virginia State Trooper D.N. Clark, along with a Virginia State Police crash team report, a 1988 Dodge Dakota pickup truck driven by Doyle was traveling south on
Traynham Grove Road around 8 p.m. on June 25, when the truck ran off the left side of the road.
Doyle over-corrected causing the truck to cross back over the road and run off the right side of the road, where it struck a tree, according to Clark.
Doyle refused medical treatment at the scene and was transported to Blue Ridge Regional Jail, while Goetz, a passenger in the truck, died at the scene, the police report continued.
Both Doyle and Goetz were wearing seat belts, according to Clark, who later prepared a Virginia State Police crash team report, which noted that the most damage to the truck was on the right side at the passenger’s door, with heavy direct impact damage on the door and door post.
According to the crash team report, Doyle stated that a deer ran out in front of him, and he swerved to avoid it causing him to run off the shoulder of the road.
“While this is possible, it is more likely improbable,” the crash team report stated.
“Barring any statements made by the driver (Doyle), any vehicle swerving to dodge an animal should have more prominent tire marks prior to running off the roadway.
“Additionally, the angle of approach into the shoulder is minor,” the crash team report stated.
“It is inconsistent with a vehicle swerving. It is more consistent with a vehicle gradually entering the shoulder, or rather staying straight while the road curves to the right.”
Judge Kimberley S. White continued sentencing in the case to a date in the April court term.
Other court cases
• Earl Lamont Jordan, 49, of South Boston pleaded guilty Feb. 13 to two felony charges reflecting a third or more offense for larceny, a felony charge for possession of cocaine and a misdemeanor charge for obtaining money under false pretenses.
In exchange for Jordan’s pleas of guilty, the commonwealth moved to nol pros a felony charge against Jordan for forgery of a coin or bank note.
White continued sentencing for Jordan to a date in the April court term.
• Nitzy Derrick Sydnor, 52, of Virgilina pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and an amended felony charge reflecting possession of a firearm while possessing cocaine.
White continued sentencing for Sydnor to a date in the May court term.
• Kelly Dale Glasscock, 36, of South Boston was sentenced Feb. 14 to 20 years in prison for a felony charge of obtaining money under false pretenses.
White suspended all but 10 years, conditioned on Glasscock’s good behavior for 20 years, and White ordered Glasscock to be placed on probation for two years upon the defendant’s release.
White additionally ordered Glasscock to pay restitution of $1,000 a month beginning 60 days after the defendant’s release and have no contact with the victim or the victim’s family.
• Joshua Arkansas Reeves, 24, of Halifax, will serve an effective three months in jail for misdemeanor assault and battery, after reaching a plea agreement with the commonwealth on Feb. 13.
White sentenced Reeves to 12 months in jail, with all but three months suspended, conditioned on Reeves’ good behavior for 12 months, according to the plea agreement, with the commonwealth moving to nol pros felony charges against the defendant for abduction and strangulation, and a misdemeanor charge for destruction of personal property.
The plea agreement calls for the defendant to serve his sentence on house arrest, be placed on probation through Halifax-Pittsylvania Court Services (HPCS) for 12 months, perform 50 hours of community service, pay court costs within two years and have no contact whatsoever with his victim.
The defendant will be allowed to leave home for medical and probation appointments, community service and completion of an anger management course, according to terms of the plea agreement.
• Josey May Noblin, 34, of South Boston pleaded guilty Feb. 13 to a pair of felony charges for distribution of a Schedule IV substance, Alprozolam.
Pursuant to a plea agreement with the commonwealth, White sentenced Noblin to three years in prison for one of the drug distribution charges, with all but 60 days suspended and a fine of $200.
White sentenced Noblin to a three-year suspended prison term for the second drug distribution charge, with all suspended time conditioned on Noblin’s good behavior for six years, beginning immediately.
White ordered Noblin to be placed on probation for two years upon her release, submit to random drug screens and pay $290 restitution to the Virginia State Police BCI program.
The court also ordered Noblin to pay court costs within two years and suspended the defendant’s operator’s license for 12 months.
• Brian Kenneth Pumphrey Jr., 38, of Danville pleaded guilty Feb. 13 to misdemeanors for petty larceny and credit card fraud, after reaching a plea agreement with the commonwealth.
White sentenced Pumphrey to 12 months in jail for the petty larceny charge, with all time suspended to that already served, and she sentenced the defendant to a 12-month suspended jail term, conditioned on Pumphrey’s good behavior for 24 months.
White ordered Pumphrey placed on probation through HPCS for 12 months, undergo substance abuse counseling through the Oxford House and submit to an intensive outpatient program.
• Amy Marshall Davis, 25, of Alton was sentenced Feb. 13 to a 10-year suspended prison term for felony possession of a Schedule I/II controlled substance, heroin, and the defendant also was sentenced to a 12-month suspended sentence for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
White ordered all suspended time conditioned on Davis’ good behavior for 10 years for the felony and 12 months for the misdemeanor, with credit for time served.
White also ordered Davis be placed on probation for one year, to abstain from use of alcohol, marijuana and other illegal drugs, and submit to random drug screens.
• Raymond Kyle McKernan, 32, of Hardy was sentenced Feb. 13 to a five-year suspended prison term for possession of a Schedule I/II controlled substance.
White ordered the suspended sentence be conditioned on McKernan’s good behavior for five years and ordered him placed on probation for two years, and she further ordered the defendant to pay court costs in full within two years.
White ordered McKernan to submit to random drug screens, abstain from marijuana, alcohol and illegal drugs, and undergo substance abuse evaluation and treatment.
• Donna Kay Bomar, 59, of Nathalie pleaded guilty Feb. 14 to an amended charge reflecting possession of a firearm as a non-violent felon.
Pursuant to a plea agreement with the commonwealth, White sentenced Bomar to five years in prison, with all time suspended to that already served, conditioned on Bomar’s good behavior for 10 years.
White also ordered Bomar to be placed on probation for one year and submit to random drug screens, as well as pay court costs within one year.
McKernan pleaded guilty to the drug possession charge in April 2019, with the court placing the defendant on first offender status, finding evidence sufficient for a guilty finding and withholding its finding of guilt and continuing the case until Thursday.
• James Osborne Edmonds Jr., 49, of Vernon Hill pleaded guilty Feb. 14 to a felony shoplifting charge.
White continued sentencing for Edmonds to a date in the May court term.
• Talesha Renae Medley, 22, of South Boston had a charge against her for a probation violation dismissed on Feb. 14 in Halifax County Circuit Court.
• Allison Duenes Puckett, 28, of Danville pleaded guilty Feb. 14 to a misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana.
White sentenced Puckett to a six-month suspended jail term, conditioned on Puckett’s good behavior for 12 months, and she ordered the defendant to be placed on probation for 12 months through HPCS.
White ordered Puckett to pay court costs within 12 months and ordered her to undergo substance abuse counseling and submit to random drug screens, as well as ordered a restricted operator’s license for six months.
• Paula Dunaway Lacks, 52, of Clarksville pleaded guilty Feb. 13 to an amended charge reflecting misdemeanor obstruction of justice, after reaching a plea agreement with the commonwealth.
White sentenced Lacks to 12 months in jail, with all time suspended, conditioned on the defendant’s good behavior for 12 months.
White additionally ordered Lacks to pay a $250 fine.
• Eric Monroe James, 51, of Danville was convicted Feb. 13 of a probation violation.
White revoked James’ previously suspended jail term for the violation but re-suspended all but 10 months, conditioned on James’ good behavior for five years, and White extended James’ probation for 12 months, while ordering the defendant to pay court costs in full within three years.
• Jessica Denise Seate, 21, of South Boston had the court modify her sentence on Feb. 14 for a probation violation.
White revoked Seate’s previously suspended jail term for the violation but re-suspended all jail time.
The court also modified Seate’s sentence for distribution of a controlled substance as an accommodation, suspending all but 12 months of a 10-year sentence, conditioned on Seate’s good behavior for 10 years.
White also ordered Seate to complete the Community Corrections Alternative Program.
• Thomas Franklin Hammock Jr., 30, of Halifax had the court amend its prior sentencing order for a firearm larceny conviction to serve his 30-day sentence on weekends.