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Man accused of running over wife released to rehab

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Charleston man accused of running his wife over with a pickup truck will spend at least one month and a half at an in-patient treatment center for a behavioral condition.

Kanawha County Judge Tod Kaufman on Wednesday granted a request to remove Estill Forrest "Trip" Jones III from South Central Regional Jail and place him in the Pinecrest rehabilitation center in Huntington. The judge suspended for 45 days a hearing to determine whether Jones violated the terms of his probation.

Last month, authorities charged Jones with malicious wounding for rolling over his wife, Sarah Rubincan<co >, with a Ford F-250 pickup truck, breaking her pelvis, lower back, and snapping her femur in two. Jones' lawyers say he is bi-polar and addicted to drugs.

Jones, 30, was already on probation for charging nearly $10,000 on an elderly Alzheimer's patient's credit card. He originally faced 40 felony fraud counts for the theft, but prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges to misdemeanor petit larceny despite pleas from the woman's family that Jones should serve prison time.

Kaufman sentenced Jones to two years of probation.

Kanawha County assistant prosecutor Dan Holstein said at the time that the state agreed to reduce the charges because Jones was employed, did not have a criminal record, and was and willing and able to repay the family.

On Nov. 17, Jones and Rubincan were having an argument in the driveway of their home on Hampton Road when Jones got behind the wheel of his truck, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

Rubincan, attempting to keep her husband from leaving, stood in front of the vehicle with her hands on the hood. Jones moved the car forward, forcing Rubincan to run backwards and out of the way, the complaint states.

Once he was out of the driveway, Jones stopped the car, allowing Rubincan to grab onto the driver's side mirror of the truck and hoist herself onto the running boards. Jones put the car back into drive and continued down Hampton road, his wife still clinging to the side, the complaint states.

At one point, Jones sped up and turned quickly onto Sweetbrier Road. Rubincan lost her grip when Jones rolled up the driver's side window. The truck's back tire rolled over her when she hit the ground, the complaint states.

Rubincan has pins and rods in her lower back and right knee and "has a long road to recovery," according to the complaint.

On Wednesday, Kanawha County assistant prosecutor Adam Campbell objected to placing Jones in the rehab facility. Pinecrest is not a secure facility and there is nothing to prevent Jones from leaving, Campbell said.

Jones' lawyer, Tim Carrico, said that his client does not have a criminal record other than the fraud conviction for which he is serving a stint on probation. Carrico also said that the evidence in the Rubincan case indicates that Jones' wife simply fell off the truck.

"This is not a felony case," Carrico said.

Kaufman rescheduled the probation violation hearing for Jan. 25.

Reach Zac Taylor at Zachary.Taylor@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.


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