Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

April 30, 2013

Man gets 4-plus years for cutting off ankle bracelet

GRUNDY, Va. — A Buchanan County man has been sentenced on charges violating of his probation and contempt of court after he cut off his court-ordered electronic monitoring ankle bracelet.

Garnie Coleman, 41, of Vansant, Va., was sentenced to a total four years and four months in prison by Buchanan County Circuit Court Judge Henry Vanover Monday on charges of violating his probation and contempt of court, according to Buchanan County Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Arrington.

Arrington said that Coleman had appeared previously before the same judge in October 2012 on his fourth probation violation stemming from a 1998 charge of manufacturing marijuana. Arrington said in 2012 the court had opted to sentence Coleman to only 12 months of home confinement due to health issues. As a condition of the home confinement, Arrington said Coleman was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet to allow court officials to monitor his whereabouts.

During the hearing, Arrington said a representative of Alternative Community Corrections testified in early December 2012 his company became aware of an issue with Coleman’s monitoring bracelet. Arrington said it was later determined that Coleman had cut the monitoring bracelet off of his ankle.

 “We are extremely satisfied with the court’s sentence in Mr. Coleman’s case,” Arrington said. “ We understand that sometimes an individual deserves some leniency for one reason or another, but that generosity is fair only if there are harsh consequences to face should he abuse that generosity. The court and the Commonwealth clearly sent message that its generosity should not be mistaken for weakness.”

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com

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