TAYLOR COUNTY—Failure to comply with the rules of his alternative sentence caused even more legal woes for a local defendant.
Briston Edward Skidmore was back before the Honorable Judge Shawn D. Nines, alongside his counsel Gabrielle Flanagan, to address new charges after he failed to return to the Taylor County Community Corrections program following his release from a drug treatment program.
Skidmore, indicted for felony escape, entered into a negotiated plea agreement with the State of West Virginia, agreeing to plead guilty to the lesser included charge of failure to appear.
The charge carries with it a one-to-five-year sentence term, pursuant to West Virginia State Code §62-1C-17b. As part of the agreement, Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord agreed to dismiss Case No. 21-F-62, in which Skidmore faced an additional felony escape charge.
In March, Skidmore and his counsel Ashley Smith were present via TEAMS in Taylor County Circuit Court to address his termination from a drug treatment program.
According to court documents, Skidmore had previously been sentenced to a period of not less than two nor more than ten years, after being found guilty of forging a public document. That sentence was held in abeyance, and the defendant was permitted to serve his time on Community Corrections.
Through the program, Skidmore entered a drug rehabilitation program at the Mercer County Fellowship Home. However, in March 2021, he was terminated from the program after his continued consumption of alcohol.
Once terminated, Skidmore failed to report back to the Taylor County Community Corrections Program, according to Director Tammy Narog, and a capias was issued for his arrest.
During the March hearing, Smith told the court that her client admitted to the allegations presented to the court.
According to Skidmore, once he left the rehab center, he checked himself into a hospital and began treatment in Point Pleasant.
However, finding that the defendant had violated the terms of his supervised release, Judge Nines ordered that Skidmore’s underlying sentence was reinstated with credit for time served, and that the remainder of the term would be served behind bars.
The failure to adhere to the rules and stipulations of his alternative sentence brought on the additional charge and potential for more time served by Skidmore.
Because the plea agreement stated that a pre-sentence investigation would be held in the matter, Bord shared that he would withhold any sentencing recommendations until the report had been completed.
Judge Nines noted that once the pre-sentence investigation was completed and the report submitted to the court, the matter would be set down for sentencing.