Pleas entered, sentences handed down in Brooke County cases

WELLSBURG — On Monday sentences were ordered for a Weirton man pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse of a child and a Wellsburg man pleaded guilty to strangulation and domestic battery.

For the sexual abuse charge, Jim P. Mitchell, 48, of Weirton, was ordered to serve 5 to 25 years in home confinement and pay a $1,000 fine.

The plea agreement reached by his attorney, John Jurco; and Brooke County Prosecutor Joseph Barki III calls for Mitchell to be considered, after 5 years of home confinement, for 10 years of supervised release.

Mitchell will be required to register as a sexual offender for life and may not live, work or loiter within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare center or the victim’s home.

He was arrested by Weirton Police for touching the sexual organ of a child known to him in 2018.

For strangulation and domestic battery, Robert L. Baxter, 40, of Wellsburg, was ordered to serve 1 to 5 years in prison and pay a $100 fine.

The sentence was part of a plea agreement reached by Josh Cain, his attorney; and Brooke County Assistant Prosecutor David F. Cross.

Cross said Baxter held a woman in a chokehold at Wellsburg’s Fourth Ward Park one evening in May and after she blacked out, was attempting to drag her into a restroom when a passerby called 911.

City and state police and Brooke County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the scene.

Because of concerns about the coronavirus, hearings for the two were held Monday by telephone, with 1st Judicial Circuit Court Judge Ronald Wilson, the defendants and attorneys in separate locations.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)


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