Tue07292014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

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Year and Half sentence dealt for theft of church items

Daequan Donte Waddy’s 20th birthday was held in King George Circuit Court last Thursday before Judge J. Martin Bass.  
Unfortunately, there was no cake or presents; the only thing dealt out to Waddy was a prison sentence for the November theft of items taken from Grace Presbyterian Church, located at 13114 Kildee Farm Road.

The stolen items included mostly audio, video and computer equipment totaling $2,200, according to King George court records. Waddy, who had previously pled guilty to the crime, drew a 10-year term for the theft with all but a year and a half suspended.

His lawyer, Fredericksburg attorney Vernon Keeve, Jr., advocated on behalf of his young client to the fact that Waddy struggled through life because he’d been adopted and desperately needed “a structured environment” to function successfully as he had

suffered from lifelong attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  

Keeve said that Waddy would be an ideal “candidate for Virginia CARES,” a guided counseling program associated with Virginia’s Department of Corrections that helps convicted felons overcome emotional and psychological challenges to successfully transition back into society.

Keeve put Waddy’s foster mother, Shirley, on the stand to bolster his argument about how his emotional and ADHD problems had contributed to his attitude concerning school and home life.  She told the court that he was provided every need, including transportation, sustenance, support and consistent love but said, “Daequan had trouble focusing” on things such as school lessons and helping out around the home.

Three years ago she and her husband sent their adopted son at their expense to an Arizona “boot camp” facility where he had, according to her, “done well” and had graduated from the facility’s high school with an honorable class standing. Waddy’s 81-year-old adopted father also had to go back to work recently in part to help pay for their son’s legal and other troubles.
Also testifying for RKeeve in support of Waddy was his former teacher and a former mentor who coached him in King George Parks and Recreation’s basketball program.

Keeve noted also that Waddy had been told to leave his house by his parents on the day of the crime and pointed out that his ouster was a contributing factor in sparking Waddy to break into the church.

“This is a young man who was looking for someone to love him that day,” Keeve said in his summation.  “He had been rejected by his birth mother...he was struggling with rejection, confusion and a lack of understanding.”

But in his cross summation, Commonwealth’s attorney Matt Britton countered that Waddy had been surrounded by love from his adopted parents and that he continually victimized them and his other supporters by “his recalcitrance, his animus, and his attitude.”

“Just because he has ADHD that shouldn’t make him a thief,” Britton said. “There are plenty of people who have ADHD that don’t become one.”

Britton also noted for the court that Waddy was admonished not to go anywhere near the church property again (it is located near his home) but that he was caught on two occasions on it.  Additionally, he said that Waddy had been arrested for petty larceny (shoplifting) after the original crime, which ultimately led to his bond revocation.

“He was brought up in a loving family who taught him respect about a church...instead he went and stole from one.”

 

Doug Davant

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