Defendants plead guilty to larceny in NK circuit court
Two men indicted for robbing another man at a New Kent County motel have pleaded guilty to lower charges in New Kent Circuit Court.
Nickolas James Burdge, 21, of 24750 Selma Road in Jetersville, and Lamarque Fulton Jones, 19, of 16331 Church St. in Amelia County, had been indicted on one count each of robbery in connection with a wallet and debit card taken from Russell Wayne Ellis on Feb. 18 at the Washington Burgess Inn in Eltham.
In New Kent Circuit Court on May 5 and as part of plea deals, Burdge pleaded guilty to felony larceny while Jones entered a guilty plea to misdemeanor assault and battery.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Linwood Gregory told the court Ellis had earlier won a cash settlement in the aftermath of an accident and was flashing the money on the day of the incident. The prosecutor said an argument ensued between Burdge and Ellis during which Jones grabbed Ellis from behind. Ellis’ wallet was taken and a debit card inside was eventually used in Amelia. Both defendants were arrested on Feb. 22.
Judge Thomas B. Hoover sentenced Burdge to 10 years in prison with all but 13 months suspended for the next 20 years. Jones, who has no prior criminal record, was sentenced to 12 months in jail, all suspended for the next five years.
In another, unrelated case on May 5, felony charges of child endangerment and child abuse and a misdemeanor count of reckless driving lodged against a New Kent woman were dismissed. But Jami Lynn Dionisio pleaded no contest to driving on a suspended license and was found guilty of misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Dionisio, 30, of 7840 Plum Point Road, was arrested last Oct. 15 after police found her wrecked Kia SUV in a ditch on Route 243 (Farmer’s Drive) just after 3 a.m. No one was found in the vehicle, but police traced the vehicle’s ownership and arrived at Dionisio’s address a short distance away a short time later.
Peering through a locked back door window, State Police and sheriff’s deputies spotted a child lying on the kitchen floor. Officers broke into the house after no one answered the door. They found Dionisio asleep on a living room sofa. The child had dried blood on his forehead and a bruised cheek.
Dionisio told investigators she had gone shopping with the child and ran off the road on the return trip home because new medication she had taken had made her drowsy. She said they were given a ride home from the accident scene, and she and the child then fell asleep on the sofa.
Defense attorney Scott Renick argued there were no serious injuries to the child, who had been buckled into a child seat, thus the incident did not warrant felony endangerment and abuse charges that require proof of reckless disregard for human life. Hoover agreed, dismissing both felony counts.
The defendant’s lack of knowledge concerning the proper medication dosage and its effects led to dismissal of the reckless driving count.
“The defendant caused the condition where the child was left unattended,” the judge said in finding her guilty of contributing.
“As bad a situation as it could have been, the only good thing is the child did not sustain any serious injuries while the mother was passed out,” Hoover said.
But the judge added that Dionisio must be sent a strong message, ordering her to serve 40 days in jail.
“A child is not a loaf of bread you just chunk under your arm and take to Wal-Mart at midnight,” Hoover told the defendant.
The judge imposed 12 months in jail with all but one month suspended on the contributing charge and six months with all but 10 days suspended and a $500 fine on the driving suspended count.
Also on May 5, a New Kent man was found guilty on one count of grand larceny in connection with a nail gun stolen from another county man.
Christopher Woodrow Holt, 40, of 14636 Rockahock Road in Lanexa, pleaded not guilty to the charge. He claimed that Andrew Michael Wiggins allowed him to use the nail gun while working on a project at Wiggins’ home. The tool had inadvertently been placed in a toolbox on his pickup truck and he forgot it was there.
Wiggins, however, testified he called Holt on numerous occasions and left messages between last Nov. 19 and Dec. 9, and Holt never returned the calls. But as soon as he pressed charges and sheriff’s investigators contacted Holt, the defendant called back, he said. Wiggins, meanwhile, drove to Holt’s home and recovered the nail gun from the pickup’s toolbox.
Defense attorney Todd Duval argued that his client was guilty only of 14 to 21 counts of failure to return phone calls, but Hoover disagreed.
“[Holt] had no permission to take the nail gun, and his failure to return phone calls shows intent,” the judge said.
Holt remains free on bond pending a sentencing hearing scheduled in July.