Sex offender gets 25-to-100 years
Judge Gina Groh presided over an extensive Morgan County Circuit Court docket last week, handing down sentences and considering pleas in cases that dated back as far as 2004.
Dale Shoop, 37, of Hancock, Md., was sentenced to 25-to-100 years in the state penitentiary for first-degree sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl in July 2007. A jury found Shoop guilty of the crime in January.
Shoop's attorney, Craig Manford, made a motion for a new trial and acquittal in the case. Dressed in his orange prison jumpsuit, Shoop addressed the court, admitting he had touched his victim sexually. Shoop argued, however, that his actions only constituted sexual abuse, not sexual assault.
Judge Groh denied Shoop's motions for a new trial and acquittal.
In sentencing him, Groh drew attention to the fact that Shoop's young victim had testified in front of 12 strangers during the jury trial. She also noted that he had committed sexual crimes against two other minors in the past.
Your client is a predator, Judge Groh told Manford.
In addition to his prison sentence, Shoop must pay a $25,000 fine and court costs.
Keean Henson, 25, was sentenced to one-to-five years in prison for conspiracy, to be followed by a suspended sentence of two-to 10 years for malicious assault. A jury found Henson guilty of the charges in January.
After serving his jail sentence for conspiracy, Henson will be placed on five years supervised probation for the malicious assault charge. Henson is currently at Eastern Regional Jail.
Henson is the third person to plead or be found guilty of the attempted kidnapping and battery of Andrew Harler in eastern Morgan County in July 2007.
Virginia Weigle, 32, of Autumn Acres Road, Berkeley Springs, was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of fraudulent schemes involving worthless checks and one count of petit larceny (medications) while she worked as a home health nurse in 2005 and 2006.
Weigle will serve three years supervised probation, with the condition that she cannot work with any clients who are physically or mentally disabled, and cannot seek or hold a job where she handles money. Weigle will also pay restitution.
Shaun Longerbeam, 25, of Kearneysville, was sentenced to one year in prison after he pled guilty to a second offense of driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages and driving when his license had been suspended for DUI. Judge Groh granted Longerbeam's request to serve his sentence on home confinement.
Khalil Nelson, 28, of Philadelphia, Pa. was given a suspended sentence of one-to-five years in prison after pleading guilty to delivery of a controlled substance (cocaine) in 2007. Nelson was put on five years probation.
Robert Conti, Sr., 37, of Elkins, was given a suspended sentence of one year in prison after pleading guilty to failure to pay child support. Conti was placed on five years probation, with the condition that he continues making payments.
Thomas Murphy, 21, of Great Cacapon, was given a suspended sentence of one year at Eastern Regional Jail after pleading guilty to petit larceny for a 2007 burglary.
Murphy also pled guilty to one count of destruction of property, for which he was sentenced to one year in jail. Both sentences were suspended, and Murphy was placed on two years probation with 300 hours of community service. He must also pay $2,960 in restitution.
Joel Largent, 36, of Paw Paw, was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading no contest to simple possession of a controlled substance. Largent must serve his sentence on home confinement.
Judge Groh revoked probation for Richard Mann, of White Trail Drive, Berkeley Springs. Mann must now serve a one-to-three year jail sentence for failure to pay child support.
Plea cuts trial short
Lynn Shambaugh, 42, of Amelia St., Paw Paw, entered a guilty plea to a charge of wanton endangerment (threatening people with a firearm) from an incident in July 2007. Shambaugh's April 16 trial had already begun when he entered the plea around lunchtime.
Shambaugh is free on bond and will face sentencing on July 7.