By Wesley Edwards

Joseph Burton was arrested on January 3, 2017, after he struck his stepson in the head after an altercation between the two. Burton was charged with unlawful wounding.

In Northampton County Circuit Court, Burton, a Cape Charles resident, was being sentenced on Monday for the unlawful wounding. The victim, Durrell Taylor, testified that Burton was his stepfather and that he had hit him in the head with a hammer after an argument. However, he  did not want Burton to go to jail due to multiple illnesses that included the need for an oxygen tank, taking chemo for cancer and several other major medical issues. Burton’s wife Linda then testified that the defendant was on a long list of medication that she had to prepare for him daily and take him to his chemo appointments and that she was very concerned about the jail’s ability to provide adequate medical care.

The Commonwealth’s attorney Bruce Jones told the court that he had no objection to no jail time, it was the court’s decision. Jones reported that Burton had one other felony many years ago. Defense attorney Garrett Dunham told the court that the jail could not provide adequate medical treatment and with the victim not wanting the defendant to go to jail along with the fact that the blow to the head could not have been very dramatic or the charges would be different.

Judge Lewis then sentenced Burton to 3 years with time served which was 7 days after his arrest. Lewis explained that there was restitution being claimed by the victim for 2 days of loss work at $100 total which should be repaid by the defendant before June 30, 2018.