By Linda Cicoira

      A 25-year-old Oak Hall man testified Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court that using illegal drugs since he was 10 led him to commit a series of crimes.

     Timothy John Vanhart will be behind bars for nine years. Judge W. Revell Lewis III revoked previous suspended sentences leaving the defendant with two years to serve. The judge then sentenced Vanhart to two years for burglary and grand larceny in one incident, four years for burglary, attempted burglary, and destruction of property in another case, and a year for wounding a fellow inmate at the Accomack Jail.

      “I would like to apologize for my actions and my mistakes,” Vanhart said. “I was not intentionally trying to hurt anyone.” He said he started smoking marijuana, which he bought in his neighborhood around the Atlantic/ Wattsville areas when he was 10 years old. He got into using “heavy drugs” at 15.

    Lewis said he would request that Vanhart be put in a therapeutic environment in prison so he can get help for drug abuse and receive mental health counseling.