New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | November 17, 2019

‘Bad night’ at Colonial Downs results in 12-month jail term for Texas man

By Andre Jones | October 28, 2019 4:36 pm

In what was called a “bad night out” by the defendant, a former North Carolina Resident will spend the next 12 months in jail after accepting a plea deal in New Kent Circuit Court Monday afternoon.

Daniel David Rocha Jr, 35, formerly of the 600 block of English Road, Rocky Mount, North Carolina and now currently of San Antonio, Texas, entered a guilty plea to an amended charge of misdemeanor assault and battery (originally assault on a law enforcement officer). One charge of misdemeanor assault and battery on a family member was dropped as the victim refused to testify.

In a summary of evidence provided by Commonwealth’s Attorney Linwood Gregory, on Aug. 8 New Kent deputies responded to a call for service from security personnel at Colonial Downs. When they arrived, they encountered Rocha, who had said he’d gotten into a verbal argument with the victim. The victim, however, indicated that Rocha had pulled her hair in the argument.

As the officers continued their investigation, they smelled the odor of alcohol on Rocha as he sat behind the wheel of his vehicle. Deputies asked the defendant to step out of the vehicle, which Rocha complied with. However, when he was asked to move away from the vehicle as he was being detained as part of the investigation, he refused. Rocha became aggressive and after receiving more information about the incident with the victim, he was arrested. As the officers began to pat down Rocha, who was laying face down on the ground due to his drunken state and aggressiveness, the defendant kicked a deputy in his hand, prompting the assault and battery charge.

Under the plea agreement, Rocha received a 12-month jail sentence.

In an unrelated case, a Barhamsville man entered guilty pleas to amended charges for possessing drugs.

Shaun Kenneth Foley, 35, of the 7300 block of Farmer’s Drive, entered guilty pleas to one charge each of misdemeanor distribution of marijuana less than one-half ounce (originally felony misdemeanor distribution of marijuana greater than one-half ounce but less than five pounds), and possession of a schedule I/II substance (originally distribution of a schedule I/II substance).

In a summary of evidence, on May 23, 2018, a safety checkpoint was being conducted in Barhamsville when a black Ford Escape entered into the area. The driver of the vehicle, identified as Foley, rolled down the window and a deputy detected the smell of burnt marijuana. After asking the driver to step out, the officer inquired about the smell and Foley stated that he had used the substance five hours earlier. The officer searched the vehicle and discovered green leafy material, mushrooms, grinders, and a smoking device in the center console. Foley was subsequently arrested on the charges.

A presentence report is being prepared with formal sentencing scheduled for Dec. 16. While sentencing guidelines recommend probation with no incarceration, Gregory indicated he would be asking jail time.