TAYLOR COUNTY—Just weeks after appearing before Judge Alan D. Moats, a defendant found himself back in Taylor County Circuit Court.
Alexander Wolfe Weinstein, 35, who was originally indicted for third offense domestic violence by the Taylor County Grand Jury made an appearance in Taylor County Circuit Court after entering into a negotiated plea agreement with the state of West Virginia.
During the hearing, Thomas Dyer, on behalf of his client, proctored to the court the plea agreement stating Weinstein would plead guilty to felony domestic assault, a charge that could see him imprisoned for not less than one nor more than five years or fined not more than $2,500, or both fined and confined.
Dyer stated that his client was entering the plea in that manner because assault stipulates that there was no physical contact between the defendant and his victim, whereas domestic battery denotes actual physical contact, and Weinstein asserts that he never touched his victim.
“I understand that his intention and that the agreement says domestic assault because he claims to not have touched his victim, but law enforcement and the victim say differently in their report,” Moats noted.
According to Moats, the victim told police that Weinstein, “threw me on the bed, squeezing my face and physically restraining me.” She further stated that he then struck her backpack and their bed with a machete.
“Now, she is saying that she is not sure about the details of his attack or the sequence of events,” noted Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Miller, who was acting on the state’s behalf.
He voiced that the state would be recommending that the defendant’s sentence would be suspended, and he be placed on probation through the Taylor County Probation Office.
Weinstein admitted that there had been an altercation with his wife, and he did in fact hit the bed, dresser and backpack with a machete in a threatening manner, but holds fast to the fact that he never touched her physically.
Moats voiced concern with the number of times that Weinstein had been connected with domestic violence charges, as he noted a previous conviction in October 2013 and another in September 2016, both in Harrison County.
“I don’t know anything about you, other than what is stated in these documents. Therefore, I am ordering that a presentence investigation be completed so that I may have a better picture,” Moats ordered.
Just a few weeks after appearing in court, Weinstein and his lawyer appeared via Skype, this time, for a revocation hearing.
According to court documents, Justin Carter, the probation officer assigned to Weinstein’s case, filed a request for commitment citing that the defendant had violated the terms of his probation by contacting his victim.
It was also noted that the presentence investigation had been completed, and it contained numerous previous violations.
“Alex has a history of displaying irrational, explosive behavior, what I equate to tantrums,” said Dyer. “I have seen these harmless tantrums since he was a small child on the ball field, and it’s my opinion that he is of no danger to anyone.”
He then turned his attention on the victim in the case insinuating that she embellished her report to the responding officers.
“In reality, he is not truly dangerous,” Dyer reiterated.
Citing the fact that Weinstein was helping to care for his ill father, the defense attorney requested that his client be able to remain available to his parents and out on probation.
“Again, I don’t believe that Alex is a real threat to anyone,” Dyer voiced. “He just can’t get out of his own way when he is being irrational.”
Weinstein then spoke on his behalf telling the court that he had been in contact with his wife for her benefit.
“She has no one, just me and my parents,” he revealed. “I asked my parents not to bail me out because I knew she was going to need me, but they did. I know none of that matters in terms of the rules, but I wanted to offer an explanation.”
Judge Moats addressed the defendant’s disregard for the rules set forth to him.
“The court has shown leniency to you with a fundamental component that there be absolutely no contact with your victim, and you couldn’t even comply for a couple of weeks,” Moats expressed. “You were given an opportunity, but you think that the rules don’t apply to you.”
In fact, Moats addressed the list of previous run-ins with the law to further back up his statement.
“You have a long history of incidents with the law. The list goes on and on over the past 10 years. There are charges of threats or violence to other people and multiple DVPs ordered from previous girlfriends, as well as your mother and father,” Moats noted.
In fact, the report showed that Weinstein’s wife had been subject to violence her whole life, but she was pleading on her husband’s behalf because his violence toward her was not as severe.
“You need to do some reflection of who you are. You need to take a hard look at yourself,” said Moats. “You also need to really take a look at the value of your parents and wife.”
With that, Moats ordered that Weinstein’s one-to-five-year sentence would be reinstated and he would serve his time in prison.