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Threats to Radford Deli Mart workers bring four-month jail term

Threats to Radford Deli Mart workers bring four-month jail term

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RADFORD — Threatening three workers at Radford’s West End Deli Mart in April brought a Henry County man a four-month jail term Thursday — a sentence he likely has completed with the time already served since his arrest, attorneys said

Hoover Ray Meeks, 67, of Fieldale, appeared by video from jail at his hearing in Radford General District Court, a mask pulled over his mouth as his face showed on a screen watched by a judge and attorneys — all of whom also had masks.

Meeks pleaded not guilty to three counts of assault and battery, and to one count of reckless driving, but agreed that there was sufficient evidence to convict him.

For the assault charges, Judge Erin DeHart imposed three 12-month jail sentences, to run concurrently, and said they would be suspended after Meeks served four months. On the driving charge, he was fined $250. Meeks also was ordered to pay court costs and to complete psychiatric treatment — and to not return to the Deli Mart or have contact with the people he threatened there.

Meeks’ attorney, Lindsay Phipps of the Public Defender’s Office in Pulaski, and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason Annis agreed that since jail prisoners usually get more than a day’s credit for a day served, Meeks probably has enough time in jail since his March 31 arrest to get credit for the four months.

In an email after the hearing, Annis wrote that it was not clear how Meeks ended up at the Deli Mart but that a customer reported he was lying on the floor in the bathroom. A male worker went to check on Meeks and told him that he needed to leave so others could use the bathroom, Annis wrote.

Meeks responded with threats and as workers pulled him out of the bathroom, he pulled a knife from his waistband, Annis wrote.

Meeks left the store and drove away, and soon was arrested by city police.

“He did make a statement to one of the officers that he went into the bathroom to pray ‘because he was gonna be a millionaire,’ ” Annis wrote. “He said he became upset when told to leave the bathroom and remembered stating he was going to ‘beat someone’s a--.’ ”

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