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Gun, eluding charges net six years for Halifax man

SoVaNow.com / February 12, 2018


A Halifax man has sentenced Thursday to an active term of six years in prison for felony weapons possession and eluding police after a reckless driving incident touched off a manhunt in the Vernon Hill/White Oak community in April.

Timothy Thor Austin, 28, was arrested April 12 after he crashed his vehicle on Chatham Road and fled into nearby woods with firearms. His disappearance prompted a two-and-a-half hour search by local law enforcement that included warnings to county residents to stay inside their homes until the danger passed. Police eventually found Austin in nearby woods, along with a discarded shotgun and handgun.

Austin was in Circuit Court on Thursday to receive his sentence on the felony weapons charge — a mandatory term of five years in prison — and the eluding charge, which drew a second five-year prison sentence with all but one year suspended.

Austin also previously pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault, which brought an additional sentence of two months in jail. He further pleaded to reckless driving, possession of marijuana and failure to stop at an accident scene. All jail time on these charges was suspended by the court.

In other court rulings this week:

» Tommy Ray Shotwell, 45, of Roxboro, N.C., received one year and four months in prison for assaulting a police officer and attempting to elude police, also a felony offense. In the May 14, incident, Shotwell assaulted Halifax Sheriff’s Deputy R.L. Compton.

Shotwell also was sentenced on Thursday to a number of suspended two-year prison terms for forgery charges and felony shoplifting, and four-month jail terms for misdemeanor fraud and shoplifting. The offenses occurred in March and April 2017.

» Ryan Roger Barnes of Clover was sentenced to five years in prison for felony eluding of police, with all time active, and a separate five-year sentence for grand larceny auto theft, with all time suspended on that charge. Barnes also received 12 months in jail for petty larceny, with all time on that charge also suspended.

» Devante Gregory Lewis of Ringgold was given 12 months active prison time for grand larceny auto theft, misdemeanor destruction of property and entering a structure to commit assault and battery.

» April Witcher of Nathalie was convicted on Thursday of destruction of property, receiving a 12-month jail sentence with all but two months suspended.

» Larry William Berkley of Nathalie received a suspended five-year prison sentence for grand larceny and a $250 fine for a June 2, 2017 offense.

» William Michael Burpo of South Boston pleaded guilty Thursday of misdemeanor destruction of property, and was convicted after entering an Alford Plea to a felony charge of assault and battery of a family member. He is set to be sentenced in April.

» On Friday, Steven Deon Logan pleaded guilty to a June 6, robbery. He is due to be sentenced in April.

» Timothy Stewart Daniel of South Boston was sentenced to a year in prison for violating his probation on a felony offense.

» Dwayne Edward Cash of Halifax received six months in jail for violating a court order to be of good behavior after committing a felony offense.

» Kenneth Wilborne of Buffalo Junction was given 12 months, all suspended for vehicle larceny after pleading guilty to the crime.



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