Man jailed for robbing Whittaker sues state over sentence

By Chris Dickerson | Nov 30, 2005

Jack Whittaker

WINFIELD – A Putnam County man who pleaded guilty to charges related to a 2004 robbery of a vehicle owned by Powerball winner Jack Whittaker is suing the West Virginia Division of Corrections over his sentencing.

Brian C. Hillabold, a Scott Depot resident now housed at the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville, pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny and four counts of breaking and entering. He was sentenced in February 2005 to five-to-50 years for the crimes.

In the suit filed in Putnam Circuit Court, Hillabold says the judge who sentenced him didn’t use proper discretion because co-defendant David M. Fewell received a three-to-30 year sentence for the same crimes. Hillabold calls his sentence cruel and unusual.

In the suit, Hillabold supports his claim by saying he was a first-time adult offender who has strong family support. He also points out his youthful age – he was 20 at the time of his sentencing in February – and the nonviolent nature of the crimes.

Hillabold, Fewell and Vernon R. Jackson all pleaded guilty to breaking into Whittaker’s Lincoln Navigator and taking $100,000 in cash. The vehicle was parked outside Whittaker’s home in Scott Depot at the time.

Hillabold and Fewell also were charged in robberies at two schools and three churches in Putnam County.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 05-C-461

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