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Court rejects Walker’s sentence request

KINGWOOD — The West Virginia Supreme Court has rejected a Bruceton Mills man’s request that he be able to count his time in jail toward his prison sentence.

David Hiram Walker Jr., 52, was indicted in 2017 and convicted of one count of  grand larceny by false pretenses. 

As previously reported, Walker pleaded guilty to taking $4,500 from an elderly couple as a down payment for putting shingles on their home. He did so under the name Pronto Construction, which hadn’t had a business license since 2010, and admitted to police he never planned to do the work.

 Walker repaid the money and was sentenced to serve  one-to-10 years in prison. The sentence was suspended for three years probation,  the first year to be served on home confinement.

Under the terms of a deferred adjudication, if he had followed the court’s orders, the felony conviction would have been dismissed at the end of his probation and he could have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor petit larceny.

“At some point during the first year of probation, Mr. Walker violated his probational terms,” according to the court’s opinion. 

Preston Circuit Judge Steve Shaffer sentenced Walker to 60 days in jail, as allowed under state code for probation violations. After serving that time, Walker was returned to probation and home confinement. 

When Walker violated probation again,  in June 2019,   Judge Shaffer revoked Walker’s probation and sentenced him to the underlying one-to-10 years in prison. The judge gave him credit for 16 days he was in jail prior to trial.

But Walker’s attorney filed a motion, arguing  the 237 days  served on home confinement while on probation and 60 days served for probation violation should also be subtracted from his prison sentence.

Shaffer gave Walker credit only for the 60 days.

“The circuit court found that defendants are not entitled to credit for time served under this statute when the home incarceration is imposed as a condition of probation,” the high court wrote in its ruling.

Walker appealed to the State Supreme Court, which recently ruled against him, saying “Mr. Walker’s suggested interpretation of the statute is not only illogical but also contrary to its plain language.”

It is “clear that Mr. Walker was not entitled to credit for time served while on home confinement incarceration,” the court concluded.

According to the West Virginia Divisions of Correction and Rehabilitation website, Walker’s projected release date is April 2024.

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