By Joe Beck
A Stephens City man who fought with another man in a domestic dispute has entered an Alford plea of guilty to malicious wounding and violating a protective order.
Derrick Dehaney's plea in Shenandoah County Circuit Court was entered under an agreement reached between defense attorney Charles Ramsey and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Louis Campola. In exchange for the guilty plea, Campola agreed to drop a charge of cruelty and injury to a child.
The plea states there is "no agreement as to the appropriate sentence in these matters. The defendant understands that sentencing will be left to the discretion of the court."
Malicious wounding is a class three felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A violation of a protective order leading to serious injury carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison.
Dehaney's Alford plea means he is insisting that he is innocent while acknowledging the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him.
Authorities said the fight in the 1600 block of Pendleton Street on Aug. 12 was triggered by a domestic dispute and a violation of protective order imposed on Dehaney.
The criminal complaint in the case states that witnesses at the scene identified Dehaney as the assailant in a fight that sent the victim, Kevin Anderson, to Winchester Medical Center with a severely broken ankle.
The complaint by officer L.W. Lineweaver states that Anderson told him that Dehaney "slammed him on the ground."
Police Chief Tim Sutherly said in an interview Thursday that Jada Anderson, Kevin Anderson's daughter and the mother of Dehaney's child, had given the defendant the key to the door of her home.
"She invited him there during the protective order phase," Sutherly said.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org