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Alford pleas entered to child neglect charges in Halifax County

A 31-year-old South Boston woman, Dorothy Lynn Deshetler, entered Alford pleas Tuesday in Halifax County Circuit Court to five charges, including three for child neglect.

Deshetler entered Alford pleas to one charge of child neglect, one charge of recklessness in the care of a child and one for “committing a willful act or omission in the care of a child which was so gross, wonton and culpable as to show reckless disregard for human life,” according to court records.

Deshetler also entered Alford pleas to a first offense of DUI and failure to secure a child in a seatbelt system.

Under terms of an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but realizes prosecution evidence would make a guilty finding at trial almost a certainty.

The commonwealth moved to nol pros six other charges against Deshetler during the trial, one each for operating an uninsured motor vehicle, assault resulting from DUI, failure to secure a child in a seatbelt system, failure to wear a seatbelt, having no operator’s license and reckless driving (speed).

Sentencing for Deshetler was continued to a date in the May court term.

Other Court Cases
• Marvin Lee McCray, 55, of Virgilina pleaded guilty Thursday to five counts for distribution of cocaine.

Pursuant to a plea agreement with the commonwealth, three counts for conspiring to distribute cocaine were nol prossed.

Under terms of the plea agreement, the court sentenced McCray to five years in prison for each conviction, with all suspended but two years, conditioned on McCray’s good behavior for 25 years.

The court ordered McCray placed on probation for two years following his release, suspended his operator’s license for a total of 30 months, and it ordered him to pay $610 restitution to the Virginia State Police.

• Kenneth Alvester Brooks, 40, of South Boston entered an Alford plea Tuesday to petty larceny from Kora Canada.

Under terms of the Alford plea agreement, the commonwealth nol prossed two additional charges against the defendant, one for conspiring to commit breaking and entering, the other for burglary of a building.

The court sentenced Brooks to a 12-month suspended sentence for the petty larceny conviction, conditioned on Brooks’ good behavior for 12 months.

• Mark Lovelace Crabtree, 20, of Alton pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession of a controlled substance.

Pursuant to a plea agreement with the commonwealth, the court granted Crabtree first offender status, finding evidence sufficient for a guilty finding but continuing the case.

The court ordered the defendant to undergo a substance abuse assessment and random drug and alcohol screenings, and it ordered a restricted operator’s license in addition to ordering Crabtree to perform 100 hours of community service.
Under modified terms of the first offender agreement, the court will review the case after Crabtree completes all 100 hours of community service.

• Keith Antonio Hunt, 37, of Clover had two charges against him nol prossed Tuesday upon a motion by the commonwealth.

Charges nol prossed included those for resisting arrest/obstruction of justice and breaking and entering.

• Mark Anthony Williams, 54, of Scottsburg pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession of a Schedule I/II controlled substance.

The court found evidence sufficient to convict Williams of the drug possession charge, but it withheld its finding of guilt and continued the case one year, granting Williams first offender status.

The court placed the defendant under supervision of Halifax-Pittsylvania Court Services, ordered him to submit to random drug and alcohol screenings, and it ordered Williams to perform 100 hours of community service.