New trial set for Youngbloodin 2000 sexual assault case
A new trial was set for early 2008 for Denver A. Youngblood after Circuit Judge Gina Groh refused to accept a plea bargain last week in a sexual assault case from 2000.
Youngblood, 35, of Berkeley Springs, had been offered a plea arrangement by which he would be sentenced to two-to-10 years in prison if he pled no contest to two first-degree sexual abuse charges.
The sentence would run concurrently with a one-to-15-years sentence that Youngblood is currently serving for delivering the heroin that led to the death of an 18-year-old woman in 2001.
In addition, Youngblood would have had to register as a sex offender with the State Police so he could be listed on the state's Sex Offender Registry.
In 2003, a Morgan County jury found Youngblood guilty of two sexual assault charges as well as brandishing a weapon and wanton endangerment. He was sentenced to 26-to-56 years in prison, but the conviction was overturned by the West Virginia Supreme Court earlier this year.
By a three-two vote, the court justices ruled that Young-
blood should get a new trial, because his defense attorney had not been told of a note written by the alleged victim that may have been used in his defense.
Prosecutor Debra McLaughlin said she offered the plea bargain to Youngblood because the alleged sexual assault victim was now in her 20s, was married and had a child. The woman did not want to testify again about events that took place in July, 2000, preferring to move on with her life.
But Judge Groh felt the plea deal was not in the best interests of the state because it included no actual jail time for Youngblood due to the sexual assault.
The judge set Youngblood's new trial for February 12, 2008.
Judge Groh sentenced three men while presiding in Morgan County Circuit Court in recent weeks.
Bradley Duckwall, 21, of Berkeley Springs. was given a suspended sentence of six months in jail and placed on a year's probation after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of Percocet tablets.
Duckwall was accused of providing the prescription drug to Kevin Hancock, the former superintendent of the Berkeley Springs Water Works. In
September, Hancock pled guilty to possession and to fleeing from police. He is expected to be sentenced on December 3.
Judge Groh sentenced Brant E. Hogbin, 32, of Johnsons Mill Road, Berkeley Springs, to one-to-three years in home confinement after Hogbin pled no contest to a felony third offense of driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
The judge handed down a suspended sentence of a year
in prison for Darrell Andreas, who pled guilty to domestic battery in a 2006 incident. Andreas was placed on one year's probation.