Family agrees to assault plea

WELLSBURG – A Mineral Wells, W.Va., man has been sentenced to three years of supervised probation after pleading Tuesday to two counts of unlawful assault.

Brian W. DeVore, 36, received the sentence through a plea agreement negotiated by his attorney, William Brogan, and Brooke County Prosecutor Joseph Barki III.

Barki said the agreement was supported by two family members whom DeVore struck in the face. The agreement would allow him to continue to work in Wood County, where he lives, and financially support his child in Brooke County.

DeVore initially was charged with child neglect resulting in injury. Barki said that charge was dropped because DeVore grazed his infant child while attempting to strike the child’s mother but didn’t harm the child.

Barki said the other two family members received facial injuries that required surgery and one also suffered a broken ankle while struggling with DeVore.

The prosecutor said DeVore was under the influence of alcohol during the July 28 incident involving family he was visiting at the time.

Barki said the plea agreement also was supported by a sheriff’s deputy and other officers involved in DeVore’s arrest. He noted earlier DeVore struggled with officers as they attempted to put him into a police car.

Circuit Court Judge Ronald Wilson called for DeVore’s probation conditions to include a psychological evaluation for alcohol abuse and anger management issues and appropriate counseling at a Wood County day report center.

Another condition of DeVore’s probation is that he be placed on monitored home confinement, to be released only for work, during the first six months.

If the alternative sentence hadn’t been approved for DeVore, he would have faced one to five years in the state penitentiary or up to 12 months in jail and a $500 fine for the felony charge of unlawful assault.

The charge was reduced from malicious assault, for which he had been indicted.

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