Guilty plea entered in shooting case
An Elkins woman charged with accidentally shooting a man in the back while she was under the influence of alcohol pleaded guilty to one felony and two misdemeanors – neither of which were directly related to the shooting – in Randolph County Circuit Court Friday.
Samantha Ashley Armentrout pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy of possession with intent to deliver, one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, and one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.
In exchange, Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker made a motion to dismiss the other eight felonies Armentrout had been charged with due to the fact that Timothy Myers Jr. – Armentrout’s co-defendant and the man she was accused of accidentally shooting in the back – had absconded.
“In light of the fact that a capias had to be issued for Timothy Myers, the victim in the case, he is no longer available as a witness,” Parker said. The prosecuting attorney also said he wouldn’t be opposed to Armentrout being sentenced under the Youthful Offenders Act, as she was just 22 at the time the shooting occurred.
Armentrout allegedly shot Myers in the back near his right shoulder blade on May 31, 2012, while trying to demonstrate that a pistol was unloaded. Police reported finding a “substantial” amount of illegal narcotics at the residence and noted that Armentrout was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the alleged crime, according to previous reports.
In November 2012, a grand jury indicted Armentrout on nine felonies, including wanton endangerment involving a firearm and assault during the commission of or attempt to commit a felony.
Armentrout’s attorney, William T. Nestor, said he believed the agreement was “a fair and equitable plea” given Armentrout’s age.
“This was an accident,” Nestor said. “These charges had the potential to put her away for life, so I believe two misdemeanors and one felony would definitely be beneficial to her.”
When Randolph County Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong asked Armentrout what she did that made her guilty of the three offenses, Armentrout responded, “I brought the wrong man home.”
“That’s not a crime – that’s a bad decision,” Wilfong said.
Armentrout then admitted to helping Myers sell cocaine.
“I knew he was selling drugs and I took him to places, to people’s houses, while he was selling it,” Armentrout said. “He was dealing cocaine.
“So how’d you get hooked up with this guy?” Wilfong wanted to know.
“I met him at a friend’s house… and he gave me a ride home,” Armentrout said.
“And the rest is history?” Wilfong asked.
“I guess so,” Armentrout said.
Wilfong ordered a presentence investigation be conducted in light of the fact that Armentrout had absconded from a drug treatment facility and from the North Central Community Corrections program.
Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. May 3.