©2012 NPT PHOTO BY GILBERT SOESBEE
Circuit Judge Ben W. Hooper took the unusual step of coming down from the bench
to administer the oath to tell the truth to 57-year-old Thomas Walter McCusker
during a hearing on Monday. The defendant is legally blind, extremely hard of
hearing, and suffered the loss of a leg last week. Nevertheless, Judge Hooper
handed down the maximum 12-year prison term after McCusker pled guilty to two
counts of voluntary manslaughter on Monday. Assistant District Public Defender
Keith Haas also took the oath because he earlier advised McCusker of his
constitutional rights before the sentencing hearing.
|Published: 8:41 AM, 11/06/2012
||Last updated: 8:45 AM, 11/06/2012
Author: Gilbert Soesbee
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
NEWPORT-In a wheelchair and obviously disabled, a
57-year-old Cosby man pled guilty on Monday to two counts of voluntary
After hearing an emotional statement from the sister and
daughter of the victims, Circuit Judge Ben W. Hooper II sentenced Thomas Walter
McCusker to 12 years in state prison, the maximum time allowed by law for the
McCusker, who had been indicted on two counts of
first-degree murder, entered an "open plea" to the lesser offenses, permitting
Judge Hooper to determine the sentence.
The defendant, who is legally blind, extremely hard of
hearing, and lost a leg last week because of a blood clot, answered "yes" when
asked if he understood his constitutional rights, if he was entering a plea
voluntarily, and if he was entering a plea because it was in his best interest.
For more details, please see the latest edition of the Newport Plain Talk.
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