New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | October 4, 2023

Quinton woman guilty of printing lottery tickets illegally, giving to co-defendant

By Andre Jones | September 18, 2023 11:22 pm

A Quinton woman who worked with a co-defendant to steal lottery tickets from an establish entered a guilty plea to the offense as part of New Kent Circuit Court proceedings that took place on Monday.

Melissa Paige Fitzgerald, 49, of the 3800 block of Pocahontas Trail, pled guilty to one count of receiving or buying stolen goods as part of a plea agreement reached.

In a summary of evidence provided by New Kent Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Renick, between Nov. 13-27, 2022, Fitzgerald worked as an employee of Love’s Travel Plaza. During that time period, Fitzgerald and a co-defendant orchestrated a scheme where Fitzgerald would print lottery tickets and place them under the register. Fitzgerald would pass those tickets to a co-defendant, who would turn them in for winnings. Video evidence revealed that the defendant had done it at least three times and stole a minimum of $1,000.

A presentence report is being prepared, but part of the plea agreement calls for Fitzgerald to receive five years in jail with all time suspended for the offense. An amount of restitution and her formal sentencing is scheduled to take place on Oct. 23.

In other circuit court matters:

–Bobbie Ann Couch, 23, of the 600 block of Brown Street, Petersburg, entered a guilty plea to a single count of possession of a Schedule I/II drug as part of a plea agreement.

In a summary of evidence, on Mar. 17, a New Kent Deputy responded to an incident on Poindexter Road that involved the defendant. The officer had received information that Couch was wanted out of New Kent and Hanover on a warrant. The deputy discovered Couch attempting to hide behind a couch in a shed and was arrested. As the investigation began, Couch’s mother told the officer that a box was inside the house with needles and illegal narcotics. The deputy was able to retrieve the box and questioned Couch about the items inside. The defendant admitted they were hers and a subsequent test on the items discovered the substance was methamphetamine.

Under the plea agreement, Couch received a five-year jail sentence with four years, 11 months suspended (one month to serve).

–Albert Eugene Johnson, 36, of the 500 block of Chesdale Court, Williamsburg, entered a straight guilty plea to one count of possession of a Schedule I/II substance.

In a summary of evidence, a Virginia State Police trooper was monitoring traffic on Interstate 64 on Mar. 19 when a vehicle entered their radar traveling 99 miles per hour in a posted 70 miles per hour zone. A traffic stop was executed, and Johnson was identified as the driver of the vehicle. When the officer ran the defendant’s information in the database, it was discovered that Johnson had a warrant for his arrest. Johnson was taken into custody and a search of his vehicle discovered 21 different colored pills in plastic baggies. A test of the pills indicated that the substance inside was methamphetamine.

Under the agreement, Johnson was placed in the First Offender Program. If he successfully completes the program, the charge will be dismissed.

–Shane Wescott Matthews, of Quinton, had one charge of possession of a Schedule I/II drug dismissed after successfully completing community service hours and drug rehabilitation classes. The charge had stemmed from a 2014 offense.

–Hawanda Wheeler Steadman, 38, of the 3500 block of Bainbridge Drive, Prince George, entered a guilty plea to an amended charge of misdemeanor unlawful entry (originally breaking and entering) as part of a plea agreement. Two charges of misdemeanor assault and battery were dropped as part of the deal.

In a summary of evidence, on Mar. 10, a New Kent deputy responded to a call for service stemming from a domestic dispute. It was determined that Steadman had entered the home of her husband, who she had separated from, without her permission. During that encounter, evidence revealed that Steadman had kicked the door open, causing damage to it. At the time of the offense, Steadman had no permission to be in the home.

Under the agreement, Steadman received a 12-month sentence with all time suspended on the unlawful entry conviction. She must pay restitution in the amount of $4,000 as part of the agreement.

–Allison Erica Weagley, 32, of the 13000 block of Cypress Drive, Lanexa, had one charge of possession of methamphetamine dismissed after successfully completing the First Offender Program. Weagley originally pled guilty to an Oct. 22, 2021 offense and was granted the opportunity to participate in the alternative program, which she accepted as part of the plea agreement.