Inmate sentenced to three more years
A man already serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges related to a bloody stabbing in Front Royal has been sentenced to three more years after biting a corrections officer at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail.
The defendant, Maximino Mendoza Miranda, 24, pleaded guilty in December in Warren County Circuit Court to malicious wounding. Miranda also entered an Alford plea of guilty to armed robbery with the intention to commit murder, rape or other violent crime.
An Alford plea allows a defendant to insist on his innocence while admitting the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him of a crime.
Miranda was indicted by a grand jury on Monday and pleaded guilty the same day to the latest charge, felony assault and battery on a law enforcement officer. Judge Ronald Napier imposed a three-year sentence, which brought Miranda’s total sentence to 10 years.
The indictment identifies the law enforcement officer as Dusty Hottinger, a corrections officer at RSW. The date of the offense is listed as Jan. 11.
RSW Superintendent William Wilson said Hottinger received “some treatment” after being bitten through his shirt, but did not require hospitalization.
“He was acting up, and they went in to restrain him, and he bit my officer,” Wilson said of Miranda.
Miranda was initially sentenced in a case stemming from the stabbing of Steven Williams in Front Royal in early September 2010. Miranda fled to Mexico after the stabbing and remained at large until he turned himself in to authorities in Texas in 2015.
Miranda stabbed Williams repeatedly after the victim had appeared at the Lewis Street residence of a woman, Rebecca Militello, whom both men knew. Authorities say Miranda had been involved in an on and off relationship with Militello, who had received a text message from the defendant hours before the stabbing.
Militello told Miranda not to come to her residence, but he entered through her bedroom window at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m.
Authorities say Miranda found Williams lying in the bed and began stabbing him. Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Madden said at the sentencing hearing in December that Williams had “stab wounds all over his body” and had to be taken to Winchester Medical Center.
Wilson said he hoped the additional sentence imposed on Miranda will deliver a message that deters other inmates from attacking corrections officers.
“Basically, don’t assault officers because you’re going to end up doing more time,” Wilson said.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org