CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fifteen years ago, when Raymond Richardson burned his girlfriend with cigarettes, doused her with gasoline and threatened to shoot her, the state Supreme Court said the sentence was too harsh. In an unusual move, justices had Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom reduce his sentence to 10 years.
On Friday, Bloom sentenced Richardson again, on a different set of charges. This time, the judge gave Richardson more than 100 years in prison.
"I've found you to be a very violent, dangerous man and I don't say that lightly," Bloom told Richardson.
Bloom handed down a 100-year sentence for first-degree robbery, two to 10 years for assault during the commission of a felony, and 1 to 15 years for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. The sentences will run one after the other.
Last month, it took jurors a little more than three hours to find Richardson, 35, of Charleston, guilty of those three charges.
When Bloom was directed to give Richardson a 10-year sentence in 2004, the judge wrote in his amended sentencing order that he had "grave misgivings" and worried that Richardson would become a repeat offender.
Richardson was released from prison five years later. Within six months of his release, he was accused of committing similar acts of domestic violence.
At the time the Supreme Court reduced Richardson's sentence, his mother, Robin Beatty, worked as a secretary in the chief counsel's office of the Supreme Court. She still does, according to the online state employee directory.
For Richardson's latest crimes, prosecutors had planned to ask that the judge sentence him using the state's three-strikes law, which can be used to give a life sentence to repeat offenders. However, that life sentence would've come with mercy, meaning Richardson would've been eligible for parole after serving 15 years.
Instead, prosecutors told the judge they wanted Richardson sentenced to 100 years. That would mean he wouldn't be eligible for parole until he served at least 25 years.
"This defendant doesn't deserve mercy," said assistant Kanawha County prosecutor James Bailey. "This defendant, over his entire life, has shown no mercy to the women he has beaten."
Bailey told the judge about similar cases where a judge had imposed a 100-year sentence that a higher court upheld.
"All West Virginia cases?" Bloom said. They were, the prosecutor said.
Bloom said he had done his own research. He also looked to previous sentences he had handed down in robbery cases. He pointed to one where he sentenced a teenager to spend 75 years in prison for a series of robberies.