Hit-and-run on Interstate 64 results in 30-month jail term for Gloucester man
A hit-and-run accident on Interstate 64 last June has resulted in a 30-month jail term for a Gloucester man.
Jared Earl Congleton, 36, of the 6700 block of Lemburn Lane, entered into a plea agreement during Mar. 6 morning proceedings in New Kent Circuit Court. Congleton entered Alford pleas of guilt to one count each of felony failure to stop at the scene of an accident, DUI malicious wounding, misdemeanor DUI (first offense), and misdemeanor driving revoked (third or subsequent offense). One charge of misdemeanor unauthorized use of a vehicle was dropped as part of the plea deal. Congleton’s Alford plea means that while the defendant maintains his innocence, evidence presented in the trial would result in a guilty conviction.
In a summary of evidence presented by Commonwealth’s Attorney Linwood Gregory, on June 6, 2016, a vehicle was driving at a high-rate of speed on Interstate 64 near the 206 mile marker. Gregory read statements from several witnesses, indicating a white car was weaving in-and-out of traffic very quickly before striking the back of a van. The impact of the collision ejected a passenger sitting in the rear of the van, resulting in him landing in a mud pile on the shoulder of the road. The victim sustained a torn MCL and PCL in the leg, along with a cut on his head.
The driver of the white car, identified as Congleton, exited on foot and begin walking in the opposite direction. Many of the witness statements identified the defendant’s clothing as a red shirt and blue jeans, including one individual who said Congleton came up to his window looking for a ride. A New Kent deputy saw Congleton walking on the highway, inquiring the reason he was on foot. After detaining the defendant, a Virginia State Trooper received a description of the driver of the white car. The trooper and deputy met up, resulting in the defendant’s transfer into the trooper’s custody.
When questioned about his identity, Congleton gave the name of his half-brother before fully admitting the truth. A subsequent investigation revealed his license had been suspended. The trooper detected the scent of alcohol and a search of the white Oldsmobile resulted in finding two open alcohol containers.
Under the plea deal, Congleton was sentenced to 10 years in jail with eight years suspended on the failure to stop at the scene of an accident (two years to serve). A five-year jail term was handed to him on the DUI malicious wounding with all but six months suspended. He will serve 10 days on driving revoked, and all 12 months on the misdemeanor DUI charge were suspended. He must also pay $1,000 in fines.
In another case, a Quinton man will spend 15 months in jail after pleading guilty to five counts each of forgery and uttering.
Ross Maurice Thompson, 34, of the 5700 block of New Kent Highway, admitted to the crimes, in relation to passing fake $100 bills in businesses throughout the county, as part of a plea agreement.
In a summary of evidence, on a number of dates throughout last October, the defendant spent the fake currency at Family Dollar, Rick’s Stop & Shop, Rick’s Local Deli, Waffle House, and Milton Pizza. Although employees of those businesses were suspicious, they accepted the cash and then wrote down a description of the suspect and license plate of the vehicle. A New Kent deputy was able to identify Thompson through video surveillance and notified neighboring jurisdictions of the fake currency.
A traffic infraction in Henrico resulted in Thompson’s arrest. Prior to his vehicle’s impoundment, a search of his van found bleach, counterfeit bills, and a printer in the back. That information was relayed back to the New Kent Sheriff’s Office and charges were served on the defendant. According to Gregory, Thompson bleached out $10 bills then copied the image of $100 bills on them. The serial number on three of those $100 bills were the same at three of the businesses where the defendant used them.
Under the plea agreement, Thompson received a five-year sentence with three years, nine months suspended on the first charge of forgery (one year, three months to serve). Five years on each of the remaining nine charges were suspended.
Other circuit court proceedings included:
–Donna Lynn Harding, 48, of the 3000 block of Magnolia Woods Trail, Quinton, accepted a plea deal and entered a guilty plea to an amended charge of misdemeanor embezzlement (originally felony embezzlement). In a summary of evidence, Harding was an employee of the Bottoms Bridge Shell gas station on Nov. 23, 2016 when the owner noticed money from a cash register continued to come up short. When confronted, Harding admitted she had taken the money.
Under the agreement, the defendant received a 12-month sentence with all time suspended. Restitution has been paid and Harding must complete 48 hours of community service.
–Amber Marie Schall-Putze, 30, of the 8000 block of North Henpeck Road, entered guilty pleas to two counts of grand larceny as part of a plea deal. In a summary of evidence, Schall-Putze and a co-defendant stole industrial batteries and gas cans from Metheny Contracting and Craft Landworks Inc. and sold them for scrap metal. When Schall-Putze was questioned by authorities about her involvement, she admitted that she would carry the batteries and her co-defendant would cut the wires in order for her to tote them away from the site.
Under the agreement, Schall-Putze received a five-year sentence with all but three months suspended on the first count of grand larceny. All five years on the second count were suspended. She must also pay $3,927.50 in restitution.
–Kevin Eugene Squire, 47, of the 2900 block of Candle Circle, Chesapeake, was found guilty on one count of possession of cocaine and one count of misdemeanor possession of marijuana as part of a contested trial. A not guilty verdict was rendered on one count of misdemeanor driving under the influence. Testimony and evidence at the trial convicted Squire of the June 3, 2016 offenses. Initially, he was pulled over for a traffic offense. A search of his vehicle revealed that he was in possession of cocaine and marijuana. A presentence report is being prepared with formal sentencing scheduled for May 1.