Pre-sentence investigations ordered, completed for defendants

TAYLOR COUNTY—After being indicted by the Taylor County Grand Jury during their September 2021 term on multiple charges, a defendant admitted guilt and entered into a plea agreement with the state in Taylor County Circuit Court.

34-year-old Joshua Lee Milburn, of Gypsy, WV, has previously been charged by the Grand Jury for fleeing in a vehicle from law enforcement, showing reckless indifference for the safety of others; wanton endangerment involving a firearm; possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver; and kidnapping.

After discussions between himself, his lawyer Dean Morgan and the State of West Virginia represented by Taylor County Prosecutors, a plea deal was struck between the parties, that would involve the dismissal of various charges.

As part of the agreement, Milburn admitted guilt to count one of the indictment, fleeing in a vehicle from law enforcement showing reckless indifference for the safety of others, as well as count three, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

The state would move to dismiss counts two and four, in return for his guilty plea.

For his crime of fleeing, the defendant faced a possible sentence of a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 and imprisonment in a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years.

Additionally, for his possession charge, Millburn potentially faced an additional one to 15 years in prison, fined not more than $25,000, or both fined and imprisoned.

After discussing with Millburn his rights pertaining to the entry of a guilty plea, Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Shawn D. Nines accepted the defendant’s admission to the accused crimes.

And in accordance with the negotiated plea agreement, Millburn would undergo a presentence investigation. Once the report has completed and filed with the court, the matter would be set down for sentencing.

After undergoing a presentence evaluation of his own, Thorus W. Hawkins, 29, of Grafton, was back in Taylor County Circuit Court to learn his sentence, after entering a guilty plea to malicious assault.

Originally, Hawkins was indicted by the Taylor County Grand Jury during their September 2021 term on six separate counts of sexual assault in the second degree. 

The charges came after the defendant attacked a woman over the course of six days in March 2019.

After receiving the presentence investigation report, Nines was ready to address sentencing for Hawkins.

Although his counsel, Dean Morgan, petitioned the court to consider alternative sentencing, Nines found that because of the seriousness of Hawkins’s crimes, it would be inappropriate.

It was ordered that the defendant was sentenced to not less than two nor more than 10 years in a West Virginia State Penitentiary. Nines further adjudged that Hawkins would receive credit for time already served.


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