The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

February 22, 2013

Mabscott man to serve 20 years

A Mabscott man who broke into an 86-year-old woman’s house in June was sentenced Thursday in Raleigh County Circuit Court to serve 20 years for his crimes.

Christian Brandon Hines, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree robbery and was sentenced by Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick to serve two flat 20-year terms concurrently.

By pleading guilty, Hines admitted a violation of probation for former larceny and forgery charges, which left him with two consecutive one- to 10-year sentences for two counts of forgery, and one concurrent one-to 10-year sentence for grand larceny.

The underlying sentences will run consecutively to his flat 20-year term for robbery.

He will also serve one to 10 years for a breaking and entering charge in Kanawha County, to run concurrently.

Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller reviewed the evidence that Hines and his co-conspirator Kevin Saunders, 25, also of Mabscott, broke into the residence of Helen Jackson, 86, and demanded money and pain medication from her.

They threatened Jackson with a stun gun, took her purse, landline phones, jewelry, and removed a wedding band from her finger that she had been wearing for 60 years.

After they left the house, Jackson ran out and Saunders grabbed her, dragged her back inside, and tied her up with a belt and a sports bandage.

The two stole Jackson’s car and drove to a Mabscott residence, but police quickly located the stolen vehicle and much of the stolen property.

Keller also noted Hines had committed an act of robbery previously against another woman in her 80s.

Jackson and several of her family members attended the court proceedings Thursday, but did not offer any comments.

Hines offered an apology to the victims: “I hope they can find it in their hearts to forgive me. I am truly, truly sorry to all the victims in the last couple years.”

He said he had plans of bettering himself and he hoped the time he serves will make it up to the victims in some way.

Keller said, “Saying ‘I’m sorry’ just is not enough. These were horrific crimes and it’s a wonder a victim wasn’t killed.”

Kirkpatrick reserved the right to order Hines to pay restitution if the victims find that any of their property was not recovered.

After a request from the defense, Kirkpatrick agreed to give Hines credit for the time he has served thus far.

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