WOODSTOCK — A judge sentenced a man to three years in a state penitentiary for unlawful shooting inside a building after he accidentally shot himself in the hand in November 2018.
Robert Frankenfield Jr., 32, appeared in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Monday morning to plead guilty to several charges related to the November incident. Frankenfield entered Alford pleas — conceding the commonwealth had substantial evidence against him — to charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession with the intent to sell marijuana, as well as guilty pleas to the unlawful shooting charge and a charge of reckless handling of a firearm.
According to evidence provided by the commonwealth, Strasburg Police Department officers responded to Frankenfield’s home in November 2018 to respond to a call about an accidental discharge of a weapon.
Police spoke with Frankfield who said he was cleaning his wife’s gun and he forgot to clear the chamber and it went off. He told police outside that he set the gun on a table in the basement.
When police entered the house to look for the weapon it was not on the table. In searching for the gun, police found “glass smoking devices” and could smell marijuana, according to the commonwealth.
Police found a gun in a drawer in the house as well as a bullet hole under the table where Frankenfield said he was sitting while cleaning the gun.
Police filed an affidavit for a search warrant to investigate the suspected drug charges. They found several containers and bags with what a lab report later confirmed was marijuana and cocaine.
Frankenfield and his wife were arrested on charges of possessing the drugs.
Amanda Strecky, assistant commonwealth’s attorney, said that part of the leniency in the deal with Frankenfield came because he took full responsibility for the drugs in the home. Frankenfield’s wife said she didn't know about the drugs and Frankenfield told police they were his and his wife was not involved.
The court sentenced Frankenfield to seven years in a state penitentiary with four years suspended; one year in jail with all of his time suspended. He will also lose his driver's license for one year.