WV Civil Rights Lawyer

Police Misconduct, Civil Rights Law

Plea Rejected by Raleigh County Circuit Judge

From the Register-Herald today:

Plea rejected for woman accused of robbery

Michelle James
Register-Herald Reporter
A plea hearing went awry Wednesday when the defendant admitted to Raleigh County Circuit Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick she was only taking the plea because she wanted to go home, not because she thought she had done anything wrong.

Bridget Rene Sizemore, 33, of Beckley, was expected to plead guilty to first-degree robbery in connection with a March 31, 2006, incident during which she allegedly broke into a Bolt residence and attempted to steal a woman’s purse at knifepoint.

At the time of the alleged crime, Sizemore was on probation for a forgery conviction. By entering a guilty plea Tuesday, Sizemore would have been sentenced to probation for the robbery and her probation for forgery would have been revoked with the underlying sentence of one to 10 years reinstated.

Sizemore, who said she was under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident, did admit to grabbing the victim’s purse but said she was not trying to rob her.

Kirkpatrick told Sizemore he could not accept the plea and told her he believed “it would be best to just set the matter for trial.”

Sizemore was returned to jail and a trial date will be set.

Note: Defendants are forced to take plea agreements all the time despite their claim of innocence. The issue isn’t always is the person “guilty” or “innocent.” There are books and books full of technical crimes. A person could be charged with two or three different crimes for doing the same thing, just depending on what kind of mood the prosecutor was in. One crime could bring a sentence of up to one year in jail… the other crime could carry ten to twenty years in prison – mandatory. Thus, in this woman’s situation, she may not have actually “robbed” the lady, but the State may have a statement from her whereby the police officers carefully got her to unknowingly admit to each and every element of robbery, thus ensuring her conviction of “robbery” rather than simple larceny, which would be a misdemeanor. The point is, that nobody cares about her motives for pleading to a lesser unless the defendant states something in open court that could bring problems if the case ever crossed the bench of an appellate court. – John H. Bryan, West Virginia criminal defense attorney.

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January 24, 2008 - Posted by | Judges, Larceny, Plea Agreements, Prosecutors, Robbery

1 Comment »

  1. Hmmm, I know this lady… I knew her better as a girl, or young lady… She was a bad berry then, and there isn’t any amount of sugar that could make her sweet… she stabbed herself in the stomach when she was juvenile and had many stays in ARH’s Psycho ward. She forced herself on younger females, and seriously never thought that anything she did came with consequence… She also was doing hard drugs in JR High at Stoco, and trying to get others to as well… the list really can go on here… Does the prosecutor need charter witnesses? *laughs* I can’t believe they would even want to let this woman back into the public… Can you say repeat offender? What happen to the 3 strikes, your out rule?

    Comment by R. Lane | March 24, 2008 | Reply


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