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By Linda Cicoira

Attempted second-degree murder, malicious maiming, abduction, and robbery charges from last August were dropped Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court against a New Church man because witnesses refused to testify against him.

The 49-year-old victim, and her adult daughter wouldn’t cooperate in the trial, so Commonwealth’s Attorney J. Spencer Morgan offered a plea agreement to 35-year-old Rymarr Tyquan Rideout, of Hillcrest Drive. Rideout pleaded guilty to a count of possession of methamphetamine in a July 2021 case. In exchange, Morgan agreed not to prosecute charges in connection with the August incident.

At a preliminary hearing, Briana Nelson testified that she was awakened on Aug. 15 to the sound of two arguing voices. At one point, she hid her child in a closet for fear of what was to come.

When Nelson went into the hallway to investigate, she saw Rideout take three knives from a drawer before forcing her mother, Cherlyn Stevens, into the couple’s bedroom.

“When I saw him grab the knives, I kept telling him to stop,” said Nelson. Her mother tried to go out the backdoor so things would “die down.”

Nelson was pregnant with her second child when the incident occurred. The daughter said she and her six-year-old quickly left the home. Nelson said she frantically called police while listening to her mother’s screams.

Eventually, Stevens got free and jumped out of the bedroom window. She broke her knee in the process. Rideout cut Stevens on her hand with one of the knives, the daughter said. Stevens also refused to testify at the hearing.

Judge W. Revell Lewis III accepted the agreement and ordered a short-form presentence report. He advised Rideout that the maximum penalty for the drug offense was 10 years in prison and fine of $2,500. Sentencing was set for June 9.

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