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Man Charged In DUI Has Record

August 15, 2008
By ANNIE DIMMICK

He recently was accused of causing a car accident with his young children inside after a night of drinking alcohol, but John Angelo Gillespie, 27, of Moundsville isn't free on the $12,000 cash-only bond set in the case.

Instead he's serving a jail sentence because he was not supposed to be outside his home when the July 25 accident occurred.

Gillespie was serving a home confinement sentence for a similar incident involving his children last year - one of several DUI incidents in which Gillespie has been involved in the last eight years.

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GILLESPIE

After reviewing the facts in the case against Gillespie on Thursday, Marshall County Magistrate Mark Kerwood imposed the remainder of a six-month jail sentence for Gillespie that was the result of a December incident in which Gillespie was caught driving drunk with his young child in the vehicle. The action comes after Gillespie was arrested July 25 for a hit and run accident involving a pedestrian in Glen Easton. The pedestrian was not seriously injured, but Gillespie, who was serving home confinement, led officers on a high-speed chase while intoxicated, all while his 5-year-old and 7-month-old were in the back seat.

Now, he must serve the remainder of the sentence, which expires Sept. 20, according to Kerwood.

According to court documents, Gillespie has been charged with DUI involving children three times in the last year, in addition to public intoxication, DUI and driving while suspended charges since 2001.

He also had been charged with carrying a dangerous weapon, domestic battery, possession of a controlled substance, entering without breaking, underage consumption and failure to drive on the roadway in several incidents since 2001.

For some of the charges Gillespie did serve time in jail and was released.

On other charges, he served probation or home confinement. Still other charges were dismissed, some with prejudice, as part of plea agreements he took in a few of the cases.

But what will happen now, as he not only faces two counts of DUI with a minor in his latest case, but also charges of driving while his license was suspended, driving while suspended for non-payment of fines, speeding, driving left of center, fleeing from law enforcement while under the influence, third-offense DUI and two felony counts of child neglect?

"Due to the fact that he has prior offenses, he's looking at a substantial amount of jail time," said Kerwood.

Kerwood said each charge of DUI with a minor carries a sentence of two days to 12 months, while the third-offense DUI charge carries a penalty of one to three years in prison.

The child neglect charges carry a combined sentence of two to 10 years, the fleeing charge carries a sentence of one to five years, while the misdemeanor charges also carry prison sentences.

"It's dangerous," Kerwood said, pointing to the severity of the offenses. "Hopefully, the prosecution will prosecute strenuously."

Even though Gillespie does not face aggravated DUI charges, prosecuting that charge strenuously recently became easier for prosecutors due to stricter DUI laws now being implemented in West Virginia.

In April, Gov. Joe Manchin signed into law Senate Bill 535, a bill that makes driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher an "aggravated offense" with a stiffer penalty of six months.

Gillespie's preliminary hearing on the most recent charges is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Aug. 27.

 
 

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