Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 21, 2014

Bramwell man sentenced on DUI with death charge

PRINCETON — A Mercer County man was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of 2-10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of DUI with death stemming from a two-vehicle wreck on Oct. 19, 2013, that claimed the life of his friend.

“I am truly sorry,” James Mabry, 48, of Bramwell, said at his sentencing hearing on Thursday afternoon before Mercer County Circuit Court Judge William Sadler. “I have no idea how I got under the wheel, but I am extremely sorry.”

Mabry was driving a pickup truck west on Brushfork-Falls Mills Road at about 1:20 a.m., on Oct. 19, 2013 when he lost control of the truck, traveled up an embankment, spun around and landed back in the middle of the road straddling the center lines of the road and facing the opposite direction of where he had been traveling, according to a deputy who assisted in the investigation of the crash.

A second vehicle that had been following Mabry and his passenger, Melvin Lambert, 63, of Bramwell, did not see the pickup truck and struck it head on, Deputy A.M. Ballard of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said of the crash. Lambert was transported to Bluefield Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Sadler said that Mabry has been convicted of domestic battery and has been convicted of prior DUI charges as well as driving on a suspended or revoked license. Sadler said that for two prior domestic violence convictions, the defendant did not do well on probation and had to serve his sentences in jail.

“I do think Mr. Mabry is truly sorry,” Sadler said. However, the court added: “He got behind the wheel of that vehicle and he was drunk.”

Sadler sentenced Mabry to an indeterminate term of 2-10 years in prison, and recommended that the defendant undergo the Department of Correction’s substance abuse program. “You’re not getting any younger,” Sadler told the defendant, and added that he should take advantage of the opportunity to get free of alcohol.

At the request of Tristan Clark Bragg, defense counsel, the court credited Mabry with 153 days served.

Assistant Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler represented the state at the sentencing.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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