HUNTINGTON - Luck has run out for an Ona man who avoided a prison sentence after being convicted of incest in a case involving an 11-year-old girl's forced abortion.
Michael Joe Adkins, 36, of Ona, was previously sentenced in November 2017 to five years' probation and 50 years of supervised release after Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell suspended a five- to 15-year prison sentence.
On Monday, Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell ruled Adkins' alternative sentencing should be revoked and the original sentence of five to 15 years in prison put into place after Adkins was kicked out of a sex offender counseling program due to allegations of domestic violence.
Adkins had entered in 2015 a Kennedy plea to incest, which allows a conviction without admitting guilt or explaining his role in the crime. The sexual assault Adkins has been convicted of dates back as far as 2010, when his victim was 11 years old. The assault came to light after Adkins impregnated the girl and she was later forced to have an abortion.
The petition to revoke Adkins' probation, filed in April, came after probation officer Chris May said Adkins admitted to striking his girlfriend on at least one occasion. Other reasons for the petition for revocation included Adkins being kicked out of a sex offender counseling program, driving without a license on multiple occasions and not paying court fees.
Adkins was jailed after May confronted him with the allegations and Adkins denied the actions. After Adkins was jailed for five days, he later admitted to May the allegations were true.
Adkins' attorney, Connor Robertson, said the interrogation into the alleged domestic violence was a violation of his client's rights because he was not read his Miranda rights. He also argued that Adkins being imprisoned was entrapment, as his client was told he would not get in trouble if he told the truth about the situation and would be released from jail no matter what. Because he remained jailed, he did not get the benefit of his bargain, Robertson said.
"He had no choice but to tell (the probation officer) what he wanted to hear, because the end result was he was promised to be let out of jail," he said, later adding "Specifically, his admission taken at Western Regional Jail in custody that he struck his girlfriend should not come into evidence, and if it doesn't come in then there's no basis for the violation."
Assistant Prosecutor Kellie Neal, with assistant prosecutor Peggy Brown assisting, said May had always intended to let Adkins' out of jail like promised, but the possibility of that changed once Adkins was kicked out of his therapy group due to the abuse allegations.
Farrell disagreed with Robertson, stating Adkins knew what he did was wrong.
"I'm 180 degrees opposite. He got the benefit of his bargain. He got probation," he said. "He knew the terms and conditions of that bargain. He was not to violate any law of any kind and he chose, for whatever reason, to do that by committing a domestic violence battery upon his girlfriend on at least one occasion, possibly two."
Prior to Monday's sentencing, Adkins' case had been in limbo for months as his attorney attempted to remove Farrell as judge for what he called was an improper statement made at Adkins' sentencing.
At his prior sentencing, Farrell said he hoped Adkins' violated his home confinement in the future so he could be sent to jail. West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman ruled later Farrell should remain on the case.
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