UC basketball players sentenced for role in mugging
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two former University of Charleston basketball players and another man were sentenced Wednesday to a medium-security youth offender facility for their roles in an April mugging.
Timothy Schmachtenberger, 22, of Canton, Ohio, along with two former U.C. basketball players, Terrell Lipkins, 22, of Canton, Ohio, and Robbie Dreher, 22, of Greenville, S.C., appeared Wednesday before Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom.
The three men were sentenced to the Anthony Correctional Center, a youth offender facility for people between the ages of 18-25. The goal of the facility is to educate and rehabilitate offenders. People typically complete the program within nine months to two years.
If they successfully complete the program, the three men could receive up to five years probation upon release from the center.
Charges go back to April 21 when Patrick Morrison and Andrew Rude were attacked and robbed on Virginia Street, as they were walking to their cars. Prosecutors said a fourth person, Quincy Washington, 22, of Florence, S.C., punched Rude and Dreher pushed him down.
Schmachtenberger and Lipkins went through Morrison's pockets to get his wallet and Lipkins later used a credit card taken from the victim, prosecutors said.
Lipkins pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery, credit card fraud and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.
Dreher was charged with unlawful assault and Schmachtenberger was charged with first-degree robbery.
Washington was sentenced Tuesday to a two to 10 year prison sentence on two counts of malicious wounding.
Prosecutors said in a separate incident, Washington struck MTV producer Oliver Bryce Gipson and threw him through a window. Gipson, who was in town finishing production on the reality TV show Buckwild, sustained serious injuries to his face.
In Wednesday's hearing, Lipkins attorney Tom Price told the court his client didn't have a criminal history.
Asking the court for an alternative sentence, Price said Lipkins had a bright future ahead of him.
"Terrell is someone who has a bright future. He's not a criminal who wakes up every morning thinking, 'How can I further my criminal career?' April 21 was a bad night."
Assistant Kanawha County Prosecutor Fred Giggenbach said he doesn't think Lipkins is a hardened criminal.
"This was a crime of opportunity," he said. "The most violent was Quincy Washington, who was sentenced yesterday."
Dreher and Schmachtenberger also apologized for their conduct and asked the court for alternative sentences.
"My intention was never to hurt anyone," Dreher said. "I shouldn't have been out that night."
Giggenbach said he was concerned because Dreher was on probation at the time but noted it was for a misdemeanor charge.
Giggenbach also expressed concern in Schmachtenberger's case, saying he didn't accept full responsibility.
"He stuck to his story that the wallet was on the ground and he thought it was his buddy's wallet," Giggenbach said. "That's not true."
Bloom agreed with the recommendations to sentence the three men to the Anthony Center.
"I will tell you, they don't play games at Anthony," Bloom said. "They will throw you out at the drop of a hat."
After the hearing, Rude said he agreed with the court's sentence.
"It sounded like the program they needed. It's much better than prison for these guys, especially after listening to their accomplishments," he said. "They screwed up. They were hanging around the wrong people."
Rude explained he sustained injuries including two broken bones in his hand, a broken nose and blood on his brain following the mugging. He said he's feeling better but his hand still isn't completely healed.
"I'll recover eventually but these guys will suffer the rest of their lives," he said. Contact writer Andrea Lannom at Andrea.Lannom@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148. Follow her at www.twitter.com/AndreaLannom.