The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

July 30, 2013

White sentenced to life in prison

LEWISBURG — In a pre-sentencing statement punctuated by an obscene invitation, a defiant David Clayton White placed blame for his legal woes on his defense attorney, the State Police, the prosecutor and the judge who presided over his arson trial.

“Nineteen months ago, I was an innocent man,” the 48-year-old White proclaimed during his Tuesday sentencing hearing in Greenbrier Circuit Court. “Now, I’ve lost everything.”

White was convicted in February of 21 arson, retaliation and conspiracy crimes in connection with a December 2011 fire that destroyed numerous vehicles in the parking lot of the State Police detachment in Rainelle.

A separate jury, impaneled three months after his trial, identified White as a habitual criminal, effectively requiring Greenbrier Circuit Court Judge Joseph C. Pomponio Jr. to sentence the man to life in prison.

Asking the judge to hand down the life sentence, plus an additional 45 to 129 years of imprisonment, Greenbrier County Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Via acknowledged during Tuesday morning’s hearing, “It is an extraordinary sentence ... the maximum provided by law.”

But, he noted, “The acts ... merit that type of sentence.”

White demanded the death penalty instead of life in prison, saying the two amounted to the same thing.

Using crude language, White also asked court officials and law enforcement officers involved in his case to line up and kiss his posterior, even repeating the invitation when a dismayed Pomponio inquired, “What did you say?”

Citing White’s “substantial” criminal record — which includes the federal offenses of racketeering and being a felon in possession of a firearm — the judge sentenced him to the prison terms Via had recommended.

“We don’t have the death penalty in the state of West Virginia, so this court can only sentence you to life,” Pomponio told White.

After another brief outburst by the defendant, Pomponio added, “I’m supposed to follow the law, and that’s what I’m doing.”

At the conclusion of the hearing, defense attorney Douglas Arbuckle stated his intention to appeal his client’s conviction.

— E-mail: talvey@register-herald.com

 

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • twv twins One Hatfield, two actors

    If you shake hands with the cast and crew at Theatre West Virginia after the show, don’t worry if you think you’re seeing double.
    Jacob and James Cline, 12-year-old twins, are a part of the team this year, assisting  with props and portraying Little Troy Hatfield.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Construction begins on Meadow River Rail Trail

    Construction has finally begun on the Meadow River Rail Trail, a recreation project undertaken in a unique partnership between Greenbrier and Fayette counties.

    July 25, 2014

  • AARP reps talk future of Social Security

    The future of Social Security was on the menu at a listening session staged Thursday by AARP West Virginia at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

    July 25, 2014

  • Juvenile petitions sought against teens in Mount Hope B&Es

    The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department is filing juvenile petitions against two Page-area teens after two businesses in the Mount Hope area were broken into early Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • US issues 186 mining citations in June

    The Mine Safety and Health Administration says inspectors issued 186 citations at 13 U.S. mining operations in June.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed after Dirty Girl Run canceled

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn't be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • Juveniles caught after breaking and entering in Fayette

    The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department is filing juvenile petitions against two teens from the Page area after two businesses in the Mount Hope area were broken into.

    July 24, 2014

  • Saints arrive 1 Saints march into ‘Almost Heaven, W.Va.’

    At 3:54 p.m. Wednesday afternoon the New Orleans Saints’ chartered flight touched the ground at the Greenbrier Valley Airport, and Greenbrier County officially became “Who Dat?” Country. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Broadband panel eyes access to rural areas

    The West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council met far outside its typical Charleston venue Wednesday to hear issues about Internet speeds in some of the state’s most rural regions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg official says fuel spill contained, drinking water safe

    Lewisburg’s public works director is confident that a Tuesday afternoon fuel spill 60 miles upriver from the city water system’s intake has been contained and the water is safe to drink.

    July 24, 2014