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Although sentencing for former Staunton River High School teacher and football coach Richard Isaac Witt was postponed Tuesday, he left Bedford County Circuit Court en route to the Blue Ridge Regional Jail.
Witt, who pleaded guilty late last year to 10 misdemeanor counts of having sexual contact with a minor, was scheduled for sentencing this week. But when Witt came to court, his attorney, Wayne Inge, asked for a delay. Inge told Judge James Updike that he didn’t receive the sex offender evaluation on Witt until Feb. 25, less than five days before the sentencing hearing. This did not give him sufficient time to prepare a defense, he said.
According to Inge, Witt was unable to answer questions for the evaluation until after proceedings against him in Roanoke County were completed. One of the girls, with whom Witt had sex in Bedford County, is a William Byrd High School student and Witt faced separate charges in Roanoke County involving her. Inge said that Witt could not answer questions on the evaluation, until the case was settled, due to the risk of self-incrimination.
Inge said that the case in Roanoke was settled with a plea agreement. Witt agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The commonwealth’s attorney’s office there agreed to not prosecute six charges, three each of taking indecent liberties with a minor while in a custodial status and crimes against nature. Under the agreement, the prosecutor preserves the right to prosecute the other charges at a later time.
Judge Updike revoked Witt’s bond at Tuesday’s hearing. Inge said that his client knew that he would have to do jail time and agreed with the decision to have him start serving it now.
“The only question [concerning Witt’s jail time] up in the air is how long,” Inge said.
Judge Updike set April 12 as the new date for Witt’s sentencing hearing.