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Man sentenced for fleeing charge

BUCKHANNON — A man who fled from law enforcement before landing in the ditch in North Buckhannon was sentenced this week in Upshur County Circuit Court.

Christopher Robert Taylor, 45, was sentenced for fleeing in a vehicle with reckless indifference to the safety of others, a felony.

On Dec. 14, 2019, Taylor fled from Buckhannon Patrolman Sam Kraemer who attempted to initiate a traffic stop for defective equipment. But Taylor fled on Buckhannon crossroads, cutting across Route 20 and driving on both sides of Morton Avenue before he wrecked into a ditch and then fled on foot, according to a previous article.

Taylor’s attorney, Steve Nanners, noted Taylor had felonies from the late 1990s and then nothing until 2018/2019.

“I would note that he has 313 days credit for time served,” he said. “If he has accelerated parole, that would put him eligible for parole in basically 22 days.”

Instead, the defense attorney recommended probation for Taylor which would allow more supervision than parole.

However, Judge Kurt Hall denied the request for alternative sentencing.

“I think the court believes you are not a good candidate for probation based on what is contained in the record in this case,” he said. “You have had at least three prior felony convictions.”

Hall sentenced Taylor to one to five years in the penitentiary with credit for time served and ordered court costs to be paid.

In another case, Brandon Cole Cartrette, 24, was sentenced for felony breaking and entering, a felony.

Nanners told the court that Cartrette had been accepted into a rehab in the southern part of the state which an inpatient six-month program.

“As part of the plea agreement, the state would not object if my client had been accepted into an inpatient treatment plan subject to the court’s approval,” Nanners said.

He noted Cartrette’s criminal history was mostly traffic citations and a trafficking charge and that his client would be a good candidate for probation.

With 184 days of time served, Nanners said Cartrette would be parole eligible in three months.

“I would ask the court to place my client on probation and make a term and condition of probation that he successfully complete the treatment program,” Nanners said.

Hall said, “I think this is probably the best opportunity we have to fix the problem you have right now.”

He recalled the pre-sentence investigation and the evaluator’s comments that Cartrette had a severe drug problem.

Hall sentenced Cartrette to one to 10 years in prison with credit for time served but suspended that sentence and placed him on probation. He also ordered restitution be paid to the victim and the payment of court costs.

Should Cartrette be kicked out of the rehab or leave the program early, he is to report immediately to the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department.

The petit larceny charge was dismissed with prejudice.

Hall told Cartrette, “You are 25 years old. If this doesn’t work, I have a feeling you will be in the court system the rest of your life. This is your chance. Don’t squander it.”

•••

A man who was found with his wife passed out in a car with drugs and a small child in the vehicle last year was sentenced also this week in Upshur County Circuit Court – months after he failed to appear for his first sentencing hearing.

Codey Mark Jones, 30, pled guilty to child neglect creating risk of death or injury, a felony, in January 2020 but then failed to appear for sentencing in March 2020.

He was later picked up on a capias and has served 63 days since the capias arrest and 204 days from the initial arrest for a total of 267 days.

Jones’ attorney, Steve Nanners told the court that his client had been getting help for his addiction issues but then had come back to the Buckhannon area to deal with the pending abuse and neglect case, but had not gotten the court’s approval to do that..

“The presentence report also outlines a very significant drug addiction issue with methamphetamine, prescription medicine, heroin use, marijuana and alcohol,” he said.

Jones admitted to Judge Kurt Hall that he was a drug addict.

Hall said, “At the time of the plea, the court was willing to work with you. I thought we made all kinds of exceptions and we tried to work with you. Some of the in-court behavior and some of the stuff that was going on was just too over the top. We can’t help people that don’t want to help themselves.”

The judge sentenced Jones to one to five years in prison with credit for all time served and a minimum mandatory fine of $1,000 along with court costs.

William Baisden, 38, represented by Phil Davis, was sentenced for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, a felony.

Davis noted that Baisden had served 80 days in jail, received some treatment for his addiction and obtained employment.

Baisden told the court that he was “ashamed” for what he did.

“I have no intentions of ever going around those people or that stuff ever again,” he said.

Hall noted that Baisden had performed well on bond supervision and had a criminal history of mostly speeding offenses.

He sentenced Baisden to one to five years in prison with credit for time served but suspended the imposition of that sentence and placed him on probation for five years. Baisden will also be required to perform 80 hours of community service for each year he is on probation.

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