TAYLOR COUNTY—A Mississippi man accused of various charges was sentenced in Taylor County Circuit Court last week.
After being indicted by the Taylor County Grand Jury on the charges of two counts of wanton endangerment involving a firearm; persons prohibited from possessing firearms; Unlawful assault; and kidnapping, Brian Marquis Knighten, age 39, of Waynesboro, MS, was entered into a negotiated plea agreement with the state of West Virginia.
In return for his guilty plea of one count of wanton endangerment involving a firearm and count three, persons prohibited from possessing firearms, the state moved to dismiss the remaining charges.
Knighten faced a potential sentence of not less than one year nor more than five years on his endangerment charged, as well as up to five years for his firearm charge.
During his plea hearing, the court ordered that a presentence investigation be completed before the matter would be set down for sentencing. The report was recently completed, and Knighten was present in court to learn his fate.
In the case, it was presented that a Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy reported that during the commission of the crime, Knighten had brandished a weapon at a man.
However, Knighten, alongside his counsel Paul Gwaltney, Jr., told the court that he could not remember the events that led to his arrest clearly, because he was under the influence of ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol at the time of the incident.
“I feel whatever happened, I did not mean to do it,” he told the court. “I have never been violent in my life. I am sorry.”
It was revealed that Knighten was wanted out of the state of Mississippi for a parole violation, that he had been sentenced in Harrison County and that he had an extensive criminal history, Judge Shawn D. Nines handed down a stiffer sentence for the defendant.
Court documents revealed that Knighten is facing a possible 10-year sanction in Mississippi for the parole violation.
With all the facts and findings presented, Judge Nines ordered that Knighten would serve five years on each of his Taylor County charges and that those sentences would run consecutively with his eight-year term for conspiracy of out Harrison County.
Knighten will have to serve a quarter of his combined 18-year sentence, at least four-and-a-half years, before he would become parole eligible in West Virginia.
However, there is still the matter pending in Mississippi.