The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

February 29, 2008

‘Very rare’ probation given in Raleigh child pornography case

Seven people appeared Friday before Raleigh County Circuit Judge John Hutchison for sentencing.

Brian Keith Hubbard, 34, of Naoma, was sentenced to three years’ probation after Hutchison suspended a three-year sentence for child pornography.

Attorney Doug Buffington told Hutchison his client, who downloaded pornographic images, took immediate responsibility for what he had done, telling his wife and then checking into a mental health hospital.

It was the doctors at the hospital, Buffington said, who contacted authorities.

Hubbard apologized to the court, telling Hutchison he was ashamed of himself.

Both sheriff’s Detective Cpl. James Canaday and assistant prosecutor Tom Truman agreed to recommend probation, which chief deputy prosecutor Kristen Keller said was “very, very rare” when the case involved child pornography.

Hutchison commended Hubbard’s wife for taking swift action in taking charge and getting her husband treatment.

Hubbard, who is still receiving treatment, is required to register as a sex offender.

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Larissa Brinegar, 28, of Shady Spring, received one to 10 years for forgery and one to five years for conspiracy, but those sentences were suspended and Brinegar was placed on four years’ probation.

Hutchison also ordered Brinegar to complete a one-year program at the Raleigh Day Report Center.

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Joseph Michael Hawks, 27, of Beaver, will serve three years’ probation after Hutchison suspended a one- to-three-year sentence for his Dec. 18 guilty plea to attempt to commit a felony.

Hawks, who was originally charged with public intoxication, attempting to disarm a police officer and battery on a police officer, apologized, telling Hutchison he was so drunk that “still yet to this day I don’t recall it.”

Hutchison said what “saves” Hawks was that, prior to that incident, his record included only motor vehicle-related offenses.

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Hutchison ordered Coretta Marie Leftwich, 27, of Beckley, to undergo 60-day diagnostic testing before sentencing her for wanton endangerment.

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