A retired circuit court judge rejected a plea deal last week for one of four people charged in connection to an abduction case in Greene County last June.
Retired Judge Humes J. Franklin, Jr. said in court on July 2 that he was “not comfortable” with the plea deal presented for Karlee Lynn Samuels, 29, of Stanardsville. Samuels faces two counts of abduction by force, two counts of object sexual penetration and one charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Samuels was also indicted last month on two felony drug charges from an unrelated incident. The proposed plea agreement would have allowed Samuels to plead guilty to one felony and serve less than a year in prison.
Three others charged in connection to the June abduction all took plea deals earlier this year.
Casey Nicole Rutherford, 27, of Stanardsville, was charged with two counts of abduction by force and one count of malicious wounding by mob. She pleaded guilty to an amended felony drug possession charge on Feb. 26 and, per her plea agreement, received five years incarceration with all five years suspended.
Kenny Mccullagh, Jr., 31, of Barboursville, pleaded guilty on April 26 to two amended misdemeanor charges of assault and battery and petit larceny. He originally faced charges for abduction by force, drug possession, malicious wounding by mob and robbery. With credit for time served, Mccullagh had fully satisfied his sentence prior to the plea agreement.
Davontae Marquis Smith, 26, of Manassas, faced charges of abduction by force, robbery, malicious wounding by mob and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. After the June 2018 incident, Smith also faced a misdemeanor parole violation and two felony failure to appear charges. Smith pleaded guilty to amended assault and battery and petit larceny charges. Per his plea agreement, the abduction and use of a firearm in commission of a felony charges were dropped. Smith was sentenced to nearly 11 months.
The Commonwealth previously cited “uncooperative and disappearing witnesses” as the reason for the plea deals.
Samuels is expected back in Greene County Circuit Court on July 16 at 9 a.m. where another judge will preside over the matter.