Weatherholt admits to stealing firearms, threatening arson
By Linwood Outlaw III - firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- A White Post man who authorities said stole firearms from a relative's home in March, and later threatened to burn down the residence after he broke into it, must serve two months in jail after pleading guilty Tuesday morning to a larceny charge stemming from the incidents.
David Lynn Weatherholt Jr., 22, of 889 Berry's Ferry Road, White Post, was indicted by a Warren County Circuit Court grand jury in August on two counts of grand larceny related to stolen firearms and one count each of breaking and entering with the intent to commit larceny and threatening to burn a building or structure.
Jimmey Lee Lambert, 24, of 303 Hackberry Drive, Stephens City, also was indicted on two counts of stealing a firearm and one count of breaking and entering in connection with the March 21 burglary at 233 Brinklow Road.
Under conditions of an agreement he and his attorney, D. Eric Wiseley, reached with Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Nicholas Manthos, Weatherholt pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning to the breaking and entering charge. The other three charges were dismissed.
Judge Dennis L. Hupp sentenced Weatherholt to three years in prison and suspended all but two months from the term, which the defendant will begin serving on Jan. 8. The breaking and entering charge is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison, as were each count of grand larceny Weatherholt was facing. The burn threat charge carried a maximum term of 10 years in prison.
Weatherholt, who had no prior felony convictions, was also ordered to pay a total of $700 in restitution and serve four years probation, with at least one year being supervised probation.
Manthos said Weatherholt and two others went inside a trailer on Brinklow Road belonging to Weatherholt's cousin, Eric Jenkins, while Jenkins was on a fishing trip. Lambert was seen forcing his way into the home and leaving with a firearm, court records state. Weatherholt also was seen carrying out firearms and placing them into a car before leaving, according to a criminal complaint filed in court.
Jenkins told authorities that he initially called Weatherholt and said he wouldn't press charges if Weatherholt returned what he stole. Manthos reiterated throughout Tuesday's hearing that Jenkins didn't even want Weatherholt to serve any jail time, and that he only wanted the stolen items back. A neighbor identified Weatherholt and Lambert as being involved in the burglary, Manthos said.
Jenkins claimed Weatherholt told him in a phone conversation regarding the incident that he would show him "what a real Weatherholt is," and told Jenkins "don't be surprised if [your] house is on the ground burned down tonight" before hanging up the phone, court records state.
Lambert is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 3 on charges related to the burglary. In an unrelated matter, Lambert also will have a jury trial in Winchester Circuit Court on Feb. 4 on charges that he committed malicious wounding by mob last spring.