Accomack Circuit Court Indictments

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By Nancy Drury Duncan – 

A felony embezzlement charge against Dontrell Marquis Strand, 33, of Painter, was reduced to a misdemeanor conviction when Strand came to court with an envelope containing $10,155 in cash, fulfilling the terms of a plea agreement. Strand was in court in July 2021 charged with embezzlement from K & J Trucking in Nelsonia, where he worked as a driver. 

Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan said Strand used his company-issued credit card to obtain cash advances between April and July of 2019. The card was to be used for fuel and any mechanical issues that arose with the truck, according to the business’ co-owner Jacqueline Strand, no relation to the defendant. 

According to the terms of the agreement, adjudication of the case would be withheld until February 2022. Strand had this time to repay the money. If fully paid, he would be convicted of a misdemeanor. 

Morgan said he entered into the agreement because Strand “had no previous criminal history whatsoever” and because other drivers used the company card for cash advances and no action was taken against them. Morgan said also he wanted to help the trucking company recover by getting the restitution to them as soon as possible. 

Strand’s attorney, Kenneth Singleton, handed over the envelope; the clerk of court counted the money and confirmed it was all there. “He took the matter very seriously,” said Singleton of his client. “He worked hard to get this money together.” 

Singleton said Strand continues to work as a truck driver “and has started a small business as well.” He asked that Strand receive a suspended sentence, noting his lack of any prior criminal record. 

“You were in a position of trust,” said Judge W. Revell Lewis III. “You stole over $10,000 from your employer. The court feels some jail time is warranted.” 

He sentenced Strand to 12 months and suspended all but 20 days. “You may serve that time on weekends,” he said. 

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Robert Edward Giddings, 34, of Hallwood, entered into a plea agreement with the commonwealth. In exchange for his plea of guilty, his original charge of distribution of cocaine was reduced to possession of cocaine. A second count was not prosecuted. A sentence of three years with all but 30 days suspended was included in the agreement. 

Giddings was a target of an Eastern Shore Drug Task Force controlled buy with a confidential informant, said Commonwealth’s Attorney Morgan. He said he entered into the agreement because of a problem with the informant. “The commonwealth no longer wishes to use him, and has resolved the matter in Giddings’ favor,” he said. A presentence investigation report was ordered and sentencing is set for June 9. 

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At an arraignment, Russell C. Robbins Jr., 40, of Princess Anne, Md., entered pleas of not guilty to aggravated sexual battery, sodomy, attempted rape, indecent liberties, and child endangerment. The charges stem from incidents that occurred from Jan. 1, 2016, to Jan. 1, 2018. The victim in the case was under the age of 13 when the incidents leading to the charges began. 

Robbins requested a jury trial. His trial is set for Sept. 27 and 28. He is represented by Virginia Beach attorney Brian Thoman.

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