By Wesley Edwards
Benjamin Mathai, of Exmore was in Northampton County Circuit Court facing 3 separate charges that included use of a weapon without a permit, land disturbance, and a violation of the Chesapeake Bay act.
Mathai withdrew his appeal of the lower court findings and entered a guilty plea after judge Lewis explained that he was facing a $2,500 fine plus a maximum of 12 months in jail in addition to the violation of the Chesapeake Bay preservation act.
Charges 2 and 3, land disturbance and the Chesapeake Bay preservation act violation occurred on August 6, 2016 after the defendant purchased approximately 3 acres off of Old Neck road and subsequently clear-cut the entire 3 acres removing hundreds of trees with no permits of any kind. It was proffered that the wetlands board had developed a mitigation plan for the lower court.
Judge Lewis accepted the guilty plea to all 3 charges and continued the case until December 11, 2017 for sentencing.