BUCKHANNON — A man who stole two game cameras and other items from a camp in Southern Upshur County earlier this year was sentenced Friday in Upshur County Circuit Court.
Heath Brian Foster, 38, pleaded guilty to grand larceny on July 6 and had a pre-sentence report completed.
Foster was represented by attorney Thomas Prall who noted that Foster had led law enforcement to where the game cameras had been tossed in a stream. Both cameras were recovered and still usable. Foster also brought $130 to the hearing as restitution for the solar panel which was not recovered.
“He has taken responsibility and expressed remorse,” Prall said adding this would be Foster’s first felony conviction.
The attorney said his client was asking for home confinement or probation.
But 26th Judicial Circuit Judge Jake Reger noted that the probation officer had difficulty in getting ahold of Foster.
Foster told the court that probation officer Jason Kelley had told him he would be in contact with him but then he never received a phone call.
“I had no clue that he was trying to get ahold of me,” he said.
Foster admitted that stealing the items was “a very childish thing to do” but that he had to pay child support and also had a 3-month-old baby.
“I don’t know how I can better myself and pay the child support, sir,” he said.
Prosecuting attorney David Godwin noted the victim believes that Foster should serve time in prison for his actions.
Reger said, “It is a concern when the probation officer tells me he can’t get in contact with the defendant. When someone enters a plea it has a heavy importance on what they do between the time they enter the plea and the time they are sentenced.”
While Reger said he appreciated that Foster had restitution ready to pay the victim in the recent case, he noted that Foster had not paid the fines or court costs in nine out of the 12 previous convictions.
With that, the judge sentenced Foster to an indeterminate sentence of one to 10 years with credit for any time served. However, Foster had not served any time for the current case, Reger noted. Foster was also ordered to pay court costs and attorney fees up to $500.
The first and third counts of the indictment, conspiracy and trespassing, were dismissed under the terms of the plea agreement.
In a second case heard Friday morning, Joshua Shipman, 41, also represented by Prall, was sentenced for driving while license revoked for DUI third or subsequent offense.
Shipman had tested positive for methamphetamine on Aug. 23 while on home confinement and also drove to the home confinement office without his license.
But Shipman asked Reger to consider home confinement.
“I’ve got too many good things working for me right now and I don’t think incarceration is going to be a positive step,” he said.
Reger expressed concern with Shipman testing positive for meth while on home confinement and driving without a license.
“You can’t go out and use meth between time you plea and the time you are sentenced and then expect to get on home confinement,” he said.
With that, Reger sentenced Shipman to an indeterminate sentence of one to three years with credit for all time served including 257 days on home confinement and 51 days in jail, a mandatory $3,000 fine and ordered him to pay court costs and fees up to $500.