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Man sentenced in theft case

A Staunton, Virginia, man has pleaded guilty to a variety of theft charges. The man, 21, entered his plea to two counts of grand larceny, as well as a count of credit-card theft and another of selling stolen property. Under Virginia law, he could have received as long as six months in jail, but the judge gave him credit for time served.

The prosecutor said the man admitted to his part of the thefts and cooperated in their investigation. Among the charges, to which he entered a guilty plea, had to do with his attempt to sell $14,000 in stolen jewelry at a local mall with another man. According to reports, the jewelry had been taken from a car in Waynesboro, Virginia.

Still, the man is not leaving custody anytime soon. He will remain behind bars, awaiting trial for charges he faces in the death of his neighbor. The man was arrested after police discovered the body of the 20-year-old neighbor in the living room of the accused man's home. The suspect was out of jail on bond, charged in a number of auto break-ins in the Staunton area, at the time of the man's death.

Last month, prosecutors presented evidence at a preliminary hearing in the involuntary manslaughter case. According to their evidence, the man and his neighbor drank alcohol, smoked marijuana and snorted crushed tablets of acetaminophen and codeine. While fiddling with a revolver, the man shot his neighbor in the neck, killing him, police said. They ruled the death an accident.

A grand jury is Staunton is set to review the involuntary manslaughter charge on Oct. 15. The guilty plea in the theft case and the quick disposition of it in court will allow the man and his attorneys the time to devote to fighting the other charges.

Source: News Leader, "Suspected Staunton shooter pleads guilty in Augusta County theft cases," Brad Zinn, Sept. 10. 2012

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