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Man gets 28 years for attempted manslaughter, six other offenses

John Phillip Martin, a 35-year-old Scottsburg resident, will serve a total of 28 years in prison for the attempted voluntary manslaughter of Halifax County Sheriff’s Deputy Stanley Britton Jr. and six other charges, two of which the defendant pleaded guilty to on Thursday.

A Halifax County Circuit Court jury returned guilty verdicts against Martin following a jury trial in March for five charges related to an armed confrontation between Martin and Britton in October 2011.

The jury recommended 15 years in prison for carjacking, five years for attempted voluntary manslaughter, one year for disregarding a law enforcement signal to stop, three months for identity fraud and three years for use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Martin pleaded guilty Thursday to two additional charges, including possession of a weapon or ammunition as a convicted felon and possession of a weapon as a violent felon.

Retired Judge Jonathan Apgar of Roanoke affirmed the jury’s recommendation that Martin serve five years in prison for attempted voluntary manslaughter; 15 years for carjacking; and three years for use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Judge Apgar suspended all of the jury’s recommended one-year and three-month sentences for disregarding a law enforcement signal to stop and identity theft, respectively.

Judge Apgar sentenced Martin to a five-year suspended prison term for possession of a weapon or ammunition as a convicted felon and a mandatory five-year term for possession of a weapon as a violent felon.

The court ordered the defendant receive credit for time served, ordered the suspended portion of Martin’s sentence be conditioned on his good behavior for five years and ordered him placed on probation for two years upon his release.

 

Other court cases

Jonathan Kent Guy, 37, of Halifax pleaded no contest Thursday to a violation of his good behavior provision as ordered by the court.

Guy was remanded to await sentencing set for the July court term.

 Tia Tameka Ballou, 32, of South Boston was convicted Friday of two misdemeanor charges for cruelty to animals following a bench trial.

The court found the defendant not guilty of an additional charge for misdemeanor cruelty to animals.

The court sentenced Ballou to 12 months each in jail for the two convictions, with all but 30 days suspended, conditioned on Ballou’s good behavior for 30 days and with weekend confinement authorized.

The court additionally banned the defendant from being able to own companion animals for two years and ordered her to petition the court following that period for permission to own companion animals.

 Kenneth Lee Jones, 49, of Halifax was convicted Friday of misdemeanor obstruction of justice following a bench trial. 

The court sentenced Jones to 12 months in jail, with all but three months suspended, conditioned on his good behavior for 12 months and with work release authorized.