Error could reopen Chesapeake escape cases
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) - A Chesapeake prosecutor is asking the circuit court to reopen the cases of three inmates convicted of felony charges of helping a fellow prisoner escape.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Mara L. Kane sent letters to the inmates' attorneys saying the indictments only allow for misdemeanor convictions.
Thomas M. Evans and Travis Christian pleaded guilty to the felony charges in October. Michael E. Darnell was convicted following a bench trial.
Kane is asking the court to reopen the cases and find the inmates guilty of the lesser crimes. The sentences would be reduced if the court grants the request.
The inmates are scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 28. The prisoner who escaped, 40-year-old Dan Starling, is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.