New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | November 17, 2018

New Kent man who stole checks from former employer to serve 14 months in jail

By Andre Jones | June 25, 2018 4:53 pm

A New Kent man who stole checks from his former employer on two separate occasions will spend the next 14 months in jail.

Nicolei Joseph Grindheim, 21, entered guilty pleas to one count each of petty larceny (third offense), breaking and entering, and larceny of checks as part of a plea agreement reached Monday in New Kent Circuit Court.

In a summary of evidence provided by Commonwealth’s Attorney Linwood Gregory, on Dec. 15, 2017, a New Kent deputy responded to Virginia Recycling after receiving a call from owner Christopher Kahn. Kahn told the officer that he saw that two cashed checks were fraudulent. An investigation revealed the checks were made out to Grindheim and that the defendant admitted to taking the checks, signing them, and depositing them into his account.

On Mar. 6 of this year, a New Kent deputy on patrol saw a vehicle sitting in front of the Virginia Recycling gate with its headlights on shortly before midnight. The officer approached the vehicle and occupant, identified as Grindheim. The defendant stated that he was getting off work and locking the gate, but the officer called Kahn to confirm the information. The owner said the defendant no longer worked there. Kahn drove to the site and entered the premises, telling the officer items were stolen. Among those items were ten checks from the back of the company checkbook, gloves, bottles of soda, cheese puffs, and other snacks. The defendant confessed that he used the company’s spare key to enter the building and took the items, all which were inside his vehicle.

Under the plea deal, Grindheim received a 10-year sentence with eight years, 10 months suspended on the burglary charge (one year, two months to serve). All five years on the petty larceny and larceny of checks charges were suspended.

In other circuit court cases:

–Jeffrey Leon Akrie, 61, of the 14000 block of Rockahock Road, Lanexa, pled guilty to a single count of DUI (third offense within five to ten years).

In a summary of evidence, on Nov. 17, 2017, a Virginia State Trooper witnessed a silver and red Ford F-150 swerving across the center line back and forth on Route 60 (Pocahontas Trail) as it was leaving New Kent County and entering into James City County. A traffic stop was initiated and Akrie was identified as the driver. A field sobriety test was issued with the defendant performing poorly on it. A breathalyzer test revealed a blood-alcohol content level of .12, one-and-a-half times the legal limit.

Prior to sentencing, Judge B. Elliott Bondurant, recognized the defendant as someone who had requested a restricted license the year before.

“It’s not looking good for you Mr. Akrie,” the judge said. “I’m sorry to see you back here so soon.”

Akrie received a five-year sentence with four years suspended (one year to serve). The one year imposed is the mandatory minimum under state law and he must also pay a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.

–Jatavious Jaquez Calloway, 30, of the 600 block of Bell Street, Hampton, entered an Alford Plea of guilt to a single count of distribution of marijuana greater than one-half ounce but less than five pounds. An Alford Plea of guilt means while the defendant maintains his innocence, evidence presented during the trial would be enough to convict him of the crime.

In a summary of evidence, on Sept. 29, 2017, a Virginia State Trooper initiated a traffic stop after he noticed a red Honda had dark tint. Upon approaching the car, the officer also saw the driver, identified as Calloway wasn’t a wearing a seatbelt. An odor of marijuana was emitting from the vehicle and the trooper asked Calloway to come to the back of the car to sign the summonses for the two infractions. After signing the trooper asked if he could search the vehicle due to the scent of marijuana. After receiving consent, the officer located paraphernalia in the glove compartment of the vehicle. In the trunk of the Honda, the driver located a tool bag that had eight individually wrapped bags with a substance inside, identified later as marijuana. When questioned about the substance, Calloway told the officer that he was transporting the substance to Charlottesville from Hampton.

Formal sentencing for the defendant is scheduled for Sept. 10.

–Taz Elliot Fisher, 39, of the 9200 block of Boulevard Road, Providence Forge, entered guilty pleas to one count each of unauthorized use of a vehicle and petty larceny (third offense) as part of a plea agreement.

In a summary of evidence, on Sept. 19, 2017, Vence Brown took his truck to Eddie’s Garage just before the facility closed for a state inspection and dropped it off with Fisher, who worked at the garage. Brown left but returned later because he’d left something in his truck. Upon returning, Brown’s vehicle was gone and reported it to authorities. Fisher had driven the vehicle off the facility without permission to Charles City, but returned later. However, an investigation revealed the defendant did not have authority to drive the vehicle off the premises nor conduct a state inspection.

On Nov. 26, Alexander Alfonso had dropped his truck for an inspection as well. The defendant, however, noticed that his checkbook was taken from the vehicle and funds were taken from his account. An investigation uncovered that Fisher had stolen the checks and used them at a local Food Lion and a 7-Eleven store in James City County.

Under the agreement, Fisher received a five-year sentence with all but two months suspended on the petty larceny (third offense) conviction. All five years on the unauthorized use of a vehicle were suspended as part of the deal. The defendant must also pay $73.24 in restitution.

–Shelly Jones, 48, of the 8700 block of Lewis Tyler Road, Charles City, pled guilty as part of an agreement to one count of DUI (third offense within ten years).

In a summary of evidence, last Christmas around 4 p.m., an officer noticed a vehicle on Pocahontas Trail (Route 60) cross the outside boundary line and the middle line multiple times before executing a traffic stop. When the officer approached the vehicle, he detected a strong odor of alcohol. The driver, identified as Jones, was asked to conduct sobriety tests based on the suspicion of DUI. The defendant performed poorly on those tests and a breathalyzer test resulted in a blood-alcohol content level of .28, nearly three-and-a-half times the legal limit.

The defendant received five years in jail with four years, six months suspended (six months to serve). Three months of her sentence is required to serve under state law and she must also pay a mandatory fine of $1,000.

–Samuel Patrick Nye, 34, of the 18000 block of Kayla Drive, Barhamsville, entered a guilty plea to possession of heroin as part of a plea agreement.

In a summary of evidence, around 8 a.m. on Nov. 30, 2017, a Virginia State Trooper patrolling Route 106 (Emmaus Church Road) passed a vehicle with no front license plate. The officer reversed direction and initiated a traffic stop. As the office approached the work van, he noticed the passenger attempt to tuck something in either the floorboard or his pants. The trooper received permission to search the van and the passenger, identified as Nye. Located on Nye was a folded lottery ticket with half-a-gram of powdery substance, later identified as heroin. A cut straw with the heroin was also found in the defendant’s possession.

Under the agreement, Nye received five years in jail with four years, nine months suspended (three months to serve).

–James Paul Walton, 32, of the 6600 block of Jackson Road, Quinton, entered a guilty plea to an amended charge of misdemeanor driving revoked (originally driving suspended or revoked-felony related) as part of a plea agreement.

In a summary of evidence, just after 3:30 p.m. on May 1, 2017, a New Kent deputy initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for traveling 71 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone on Route 60 near Rockahock Road. The driver, identified as Walton, told the officer that he didn’t have a license and that he had been suspended. The information was verified by the deputy and Walton was taken into custody.

Under the agreement, the defendant received a 12-month sentence with six months suspended (six months to serve).