By Joe Beck
FRONT ROYAL -- A town resident was sentenced to five years probation Monday in circuit court for offenses that his defense attorney described as related to heroin addiction.
Dennis Allen Showers Jr., 21, was also sentenced to 15 years in prison, but the prison time was suspended under terms of a plea agreement reached between defense attorney Nancie Kie and assistant comonwealth's attorney Bryan Layton. The five years probation is divided into three years supervised and two years unsupervised.
Showers was charged with five felony counts -- two thefts of firearms, two counts of forgery and one count of obtaining money by false pretenses.
The offenses spanned a period from Aug. 1 to March 13, according to online court system documents.
Kie told Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp that her client committed the crimes to obtain money that was used to buy heroin.
"His sole motivation was addiction to heroin," Kie said of Showers.
In an interview after the hearing, Kie said Showers needed to get out of jail, where he has been since early April, and into a treatment program.
The plea agreement also calls for the suspended prison sentences to be served concurrently, a provision that caused some confusion between Kie and Layton in the courtroom.
Layton indicated that he thought the agreement had called for the sentences to run consecutively, not concurrently, then quickly dropped the subject when Hupp asked him if he had any concerns about the agreement.
"No, your honor," Layton said. "It's fine. I signed it. I shouldn't have, but I did."
Kie said after the hearing that she had drafted the agreement and Layton signed it after she submitted it to him.
"It certainly wasn't anything I was hiding," Kie said of the provision calling for concurrent sentences.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org