When Christopher Blake didn’t pay his brother Billy the money he owed him for mechanic work, things got ugly — and bloody.

Billy Blake, 24, of Ghent, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Raleigh County Circuit Court to malicious wounding. More specifically, he admitted to stabbing his brother five times on Oct. 12 last year.

Assistant prosecutor Dennis Garrison said a third brother at the house on Tolliver Street in Ghent saw Billy Blake with a knife after the incident occurred but that brother did not witness the stabbing. Billy Blake told investigating officers he stabbed his brother in self-defense, then threw the knife into a bushy area behind the house.

“Five times?” Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick asked the defendant.

“I don’t know how many times it was,” Blake said.

“I am guilty,” he said later in the proceedings.

As part of his plea agreement, Blake waived a pre-sentence report and was sentenced to three years’ probation, with a penitentiary sentence of 2 to 10 years hanging over his head should he violate probation.

The term of his probation could be extended or reduced depending on when Blake comes up with full restitution for his brother’s hospital bills. That figure has yet to be determined, but it will have to be paid before Blake can be released from probation.

“Mr. Blake, this is a serious offense,” Kirkpatrick said. “ ... This will follow you the rest of your life, and I’m sure your brother will remember this as well.”

In other court action Tuesday:

- Donald Coleman, 41, pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery in the Nov. 14, 2004, robbery of the Omelet Shoppe in Beckley, from which he stole $318 cash. Kirkpatrick sentenced Coleman to a penitentiary term of 5 to 18 years. Coleman is currently serving an identical sentence imposed in Fayette County for second-degree robbery.

- Bruce Lee Collins, 39, pleaded guilty to felony escape, a charge stemming from his failure to return from a prison pass. Collins was convicted in 1992 of five felony counts of grand larceny and burglary and was serving a prison sentence at Mount Olive Correctional Complex. Kirkpatrick sentenced him to an additional year in prison to be served consecutively to his current sentence.

— E-mail:

bnaudrey@register-herald.com

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