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Man gets home confinement after pleading guilty to hit-and-run

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Charleston man will spend a year on home confinement after intentionally striking another man with his car during a fight.

Raymond Lee Ross, 30, of Rutledge Road pleaded guilty to unlawful assault on Oakley Bennett in August 2011.

Witnesses told police at the time that the driver of a Chevrolet Cavalier hit Bennett in Miliken, off Greenbrier Street, and then fled the scene. Ross was arrested several days later.

In court Monday, he told Kanawha Circuit Judge Charles King that Bennett was in a group of men who surrounded his car and tried to force him out.

"They tried to extract me from my car with baseball bats and sticks and in the process I ran over Oakley Bennett," he said. "At the time, I could not think of another way to get out of this."

Assistant Prosecutor Rob Schulenberg told the judge that Ross had been beaten with a ball bat by the victim in another incident a month before the hit and run. No charges were filed, however.

He said that history of violence between the two men was a factor in offering Ross a plea deal.

"With a jury it would be a toss-up," Schulenberg said. "This comes out as a fair plea for the state and the defendant."

Ross has been free on a $25,000 bond.

Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cherylc@dailymail.com or 304-348-4832


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