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Kanawha man convicted of incest requests shorter sentence

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The public defender for a Kanawha man convicted of incest has filed a motion asking the judge to reduce his prison sentence.

On Monday, Circuit Judge Charlie King sentenced Charles A. Shamblin, 60, to five to 15 years in prison followed by 50 years of extended court supervision after his release.

Shamblin admitted he fathered his own three grandchildren. The charges came after his daughter told state police about sexual abuse that began when she was 7 years old.  According to court records, Shamblin began sexually assaulting her when she was 12.

She gave birth to her first child in 1990. She was 13 years old. Two more children were born after that.

But court-appointed defense attorney Richard Holicker said in his petition that he did some research and believes Shamblin's sentence isn't legal. He filed a motion for an amended sentence Wednesday.

Holicker said state law was changed to enhance penalties for incest, effective in 1991. But the first incident of incest probably occurred in 1989, prior to the law that established a possible sentence of five to 15 years.

The state also in 2003 amended its laws regarding extended court supervision for those convicted of sexual crimes. The law was further tweaked three times and the 50-year provision went into effect in March 2011.

Holicker said no such law allowing courts to order post-prison supervision was in effect at the time Shamblin's crimes occurred. He said the law cannot be applied to those offenses.

He is asking King to alter Shamblin's sentence to five to 10 years and vacate the extended supervision order entirely.

Shamblin has been incarcerated since his arrest and received credit for those 514 days already spent in jail. The victim testified that she fears him if he is released from prison.

Holicker requested probation for Shamblin instead of prison, saying he suffers from dementia. He said he was homeless, but asked that he be sent to a shelter and allowed to participate in a mental health program.

The judge denied that request, saying the public good required Shamblin to go to prison.

Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at or 304-348-4832.


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