May 29, 2024

By Linda Cicoira 

     An Exmore man, who the prosecutor said is a suspect in a drug investigation, pleaded no contest Monday in Northampton Circuit Court to felony assault and battery of a police officer and several misdemeanor charges. 

      The pleas entered by 42-year-old Pierce Scanlan, of Occahannock Neck Road, are treated by the court as admissions of guilt. The distinction is that “no contest” means he knows there is enough evidence against him for conviction, but he does not admit to committing the June 23, 2023 crimes.

      Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Thornton said the incident also included yelling profanities at a passerby, neighbors, and officers; intoxication; seeking to quiet a dog with a knife; challenging a neighbor to a fight; pulling the knife on an unidentified woman; and trying to threaten a police officer with a knife. 

     The pleas were part of an agreement with Thornton. The prosecutor asked for an active sentence no greater than two years with Scanlan agreeing to waive his Fourth Amendment right regarding search and seizure for five years, not having contact with neighbors, and refraining from alcohol and illegal drugs. The bargain also calls for five years of supervised probation and eight years of good behavior. 

     Defense lawyer Jon Thornbrugh said his client never threatened the woman with a knife, did not try to open the knife when he was handing it to a deputy, and has no connection with drug distribution. Sentencing was set for Aug. 12. 

     Thornton said the stipulations should help end any drug dealing connections.

     In another case, defense lawyer Sharri Mapp-Jones, asked to withdraw from representing Tricia Janelle Lee, of Birdsnest, who was set to be sentenced after pleading guilty to hit and run in connection with a Sept. 25, 2023 incident. The lawyer said there was an issue that could not be remedied. Thornton said this could be a situation where Lee may want to withdraw her guilty plea. Judge Lewis appointed Andre Wiggins to the case and set sentencing for June 24. Lee was allowed to remain free on bond.

     A secured bond of $7,500 was set for 47-year-old Solomon Omar Jones, of Machipongo. He was indicted on a third or subsequent offense of possession with the intent to distribute a Schedule I or II on July 31, Aug. 1, and Aug. 21, 2023. A trial is set for July 8.

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