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Dunbar man gets up to 25 years in assault, burglary

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Dunbar man will spend up to 25 years in prison for assaulting a handicapped man during a drug dispute and, on a separate occasion, burglarizing a woman's home.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom sentenced Cody Ray Taylor to 3 to 25 years in prison Wednesday, bucking a prosecutor's recommendation that the 23-year-old should be placed in a youth facility to deal with a drug addiction.

Taylor pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and assault during the commission of a felony for two separate instances involving disputes over prescription pills.

On Nov. 8, Taylor and Ralph Gillenwater, who according to court filings is paralyzed from the waist down, were arguing over drugs in a back room of Taylor's home on 18th Street in Dunbar. The two men were attempting to trade marijuana and pills, but couldn't agree on the worth of the two items, Kanawha County assistant prosecutor Fred Giggenbach said.

At one point, Taylor slugged Gillenwater in the jaw. Taylor's grandmother walked into the room later and ordered the two men out of the house when she discovered that they were dealing drugs.

Taylor was originally charged with kidnapping and robbery charges after Dunbar Police reported that he pushed the unwilling Gillenwater down the street to his grandmother's home, carried him inside, beat him and took his pills.

Taylor's grandmother later corroborated her grandson's account of the story, Giggenbach said, and prosecutors agreed to offer a plea deal to reduced charges.

On a separate occasion last year, Taylor pushed through the door of Misty Shaffer's home on 17th Street, and took her purse into a bathroom, hoping to find pills. Shaffer caught him rifling through the handbag and called the police.

Gillenwater and Shaffer did not attend Wednesday's sentencing.

Giggenbach recommended that the judge sentence Taylor to a term in the Anthony Correctional Center. But Bloom said that Taylor already had a lengthy criminal record and that he did not learn from previous drug treatment programs.

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


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