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Meadows receives five more years

A man who is serving a 15-year sentence for raping a 17-year-old girl in 2007 had another year tacked onto the sentence Friday for conspiring to intimidate the victim into not testifying in the rape case.
Finding Jeffrey (or Jeffrie) Lamont Meadows guilty of the charge, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Robert Turk cited the fact the victim’s description of the intimidation incidents matched with taped telephone conversations between the defendant and a man he had to contact the victim as the basis of his conviction.
The judge imposed a five-year-sentence. However, all but one year was suspended. That year will run consecutive to the 15-year active sentence Meadows is serving for rape, thus giving him a total of 16 years to serve.
Meadows was accused of conspiring with the brother of his co-defendant, Ernesto Garcia, to intimidate the victim into telling police she misidentified her attackers and put the blame on someone else. The incidents occurred just weeks before she was to testify against Meadows and Garcia in a preliminary hearing.
Garcia pleaded guilty to his rape charge and is yet to be sentenced. He is not charged in the intimidation case.
Meadows’ intimidation charges stemed from several taped telephone conversations he had with Favian Garcia from jail after being arrested.
Court records show three counts of witness intimidation against Favian Garcia were dismissed in February.
During the intimidation trial, the rape victim, whose name is being withheld due to her age and the nature of the earlier case, said Favian twice approached her on Pulaski streets with groups of three to five people, saying she should tell police some other "random people" raped her, not Meadows and Ernesto Garcia.
The girl said she was alone both times and took the 20- to 30-minute encounters as threats.
"I took it to mean they’d kick my butt if I didn’t drop the charges," she said of one encounter. The other encounter was at nighttime. On that occasion, she said she believed they would "beat me up" if she testified.
The girl described Favian Garcia’s voice as "intimidating" and "gangsterish."
Asked by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Bobby Lilly why she chose to testify despite the threats, the girl responded, "so they could be put behind bars and it (rape) not happen to anyone else."
She said she considered not testifying because the defendants’ families "made me afraid."
On cross-examination by defense attorney David Rhodes, the girl admitted not remembering "exactly" what Favian Garcia had said to her during the encounters or on what dates they occurred. She also acknowledged the man never indicated what he would do to her if she didn’t have Meadows and Ernesto Garcia cleared of their charges.
However, the girl told Judge Turk she didn’t take the man’s comments as a "request," but rather as a "threat."
Friday, Lilly called the intimidation a “non-guidelines offense” because there haven’t been enough of the offenses committed in Virginia to reach a statistical average for sentences for the offense.
“The facts of this case are so unique I’d be shocked if you found more than a handful of cases like it across the state,” Lilly told the judge.
In reaching a sentence, Lilly said he thinks the court should consider the seriousness of the underlying offense – rape. He pointed out Meadows was facing two life sentences plus 10 years at the time “he decided to intimidate this witness.
“I’m asking the court to impose a sentence serious enough to insure we don’t have an open season on crime victims in Pulaski County,” the prosecutor added. “If they known they’ll just get a slap on the wrist if they threaten a witness, what’s to stop them.”
Lilly asked the court to consider at least 10 years, with three to five years active time to serve. He noted there were several aggravating factors in the case – the age of the victim and the fact the victim had already been subjected to a violent sexual assault.
Rhodes pointed out Meadows is a “young man” who already has served almost a year in prison. He noted Meadows will be “middle age by the time” the rape sentence is completed.
Rhodes said that while the court ruled that there were threats of bodily harm to the victim, “there were no specific violent acts” instructed or suggested by Meadows. “She wasn’t shot at, kicked or beat up.”
The defense attorney said a five-year sentence would be “overly burdensome” for his client.
“I ask you to consider that thankfully the victim wasn’t hurt,” Rhodes told Judge Turk. “Fifteen years is a lengthy sentence for a young man like this.”
Lilly said that while it is true the victim wasn’t directly harmed by the intimidation methods, “she already had been raped. He sent the brother of his co-defendant – the other person who raped her that night, the brother of the man who held her down while (Meadows) raped her. It’s an additional aggravating factor. Not only did he send the brother (to intimidate her), but even today he stands here before the court without remorse or regret.”
During the intimidation trial, Major William Jackson with New River Valley Regional Jail played five tape-recorded conversations he identified as being between Meadows and Favian Garcia.
In one tape Meadows tells Garcia "you know how to take care of this kind of situation." When Garcia asks what Meadows wants him to do, Meadows responds, "use your imagination." He goes on to say, "what do you do with thieves? You serve them."
In other conversations, Meadows comments that he knows he’s not going to be in jail long. He also tells his girlfriend to tell Garcia to "get on the ball" and comments to Garcia, "this needs to end at preliminary and that’s where it’s gonna end." Garcia later tells Meadows about the encounters, saying that he "flipped out on her" three times and told her "you’re gonna drop (charges against) both of them by the court date."
Judge Turk delayed a decision in the matter to consider case law pertaining to the charges.

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Meadows receives five more years

A man who is serving a 15-year sentence for raping a 17-year-old girl in 2007 had another year tacked onto the sentence Friday for conspiring to intimidate the victim into not testifying in the rape case.
Finding Jeffrey (or Jeffrie) Lamont Meadows guilty of the charge, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Robert Turk cited the fact the victim’s description of the intimidation incidents matched with taped telephone conversations between the defendant and a man he had to contact the victim as the basis of his conviction.
The judge imposed a five-year-sentence. However, all but one year was suspended. That year will run consecutive to the 15-year active sentence Meadows is serving for rape, thus giving him a total of 16 years to serve.
Meadows was accused of conspiring with the brother of his co-defendant, Ernesto Garcia, to intimidate the victim into telling police she misidentified her attackers and put the blame on someone else. The incidents occurred just weeks before she was to testify against Meadows and Garcia in a preliminary hearing.
Garcia pleaded guilty to his rape charge and is yet to be sentenced. He is not charged in the intimidation case.
Meadows’ intimidation charges stemed from several taped telephone conversations he had with Favian Garcia from jail after being arrested.
Court records show three counts of witness intimidation against Favian Garcia were dismissed in February.
During the intimidation trial, the rape victim, whose name is being withheld due to her age and the nature of the earlier case, said Favian twice approached her on Pulaski streets with groups of three to five people, saying she should tell police some other "random people" raped her, not Meadows and Ernesto Garcia.
The girl said she was alone both times and took the 20- to 30-minute encounters as threats.
"I took it to mean they’d kick my butt if I didn’t drop the charges," she said of one encounter. The other encounter was at nighttime. On that occasion, she said she believed they would "beat me up" if she testified.
The girl described Favian Garcia’s voice as "intimidating" and "gangsterish."
Asked by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Bobby Lilly why she chose to testify despite the threats, the girl responded, "so they could be put behind bars and it (rape) not happen to anyone else."
She said she considered not testifying because the defendants’ families "made me afraid."
On cross-examination by defense attorney David Rhodes, the girl admitted not remembering "exactly" what Favian Garcia had said to her during the encounters or on what dates they occurred. She also acknowledged the man never indicated what he would do to her if she didn’t have Meadows and Ernesto Garcia cleared of their charges.
However, the girl told Judge Turk she didn’t take the man’s comments as a "request," but rather as a "threat."
Friday, Lilly called the intimidation a “non-guidelines offense” because there haven’t been enough of the offenses committed in Virginia to reach a statistical average for sentences for the offense.
“The facts of this case are so unique I’d be shocked if you found more than a handful of cases like it across the state,” Lilly told the judge.
In reaching a sentence, Lilly said he thinks the court should consider the seriousness of the underlying offense – rape. He pointed out Meadows was facing two life sentences plus 10 years at the time “he decided to intimidate this witness.
“I’m asking the court to impose a sentence serious enough to insure we don’t have an open season on crime victims in Pulaski County,” the prosecutor added. “If they known they’ll just get a slap on the wrist if they threaten a witness, what’s to stop them.”
Lilly asked the court to consider at least 10 years, with three to five years active time to serve. He noted there were several aggravating factors in the case – the age of the victim and the fact the victim had already been subjected to a violent sexual assault.
Rhodes pointed out Meadows is a “young man” who already has served almost a year in prison. He noted Meadows will be “middle age by the time” the rape sentence is completed.
Rhodes said that while the court ruled that there were threats of bodily harm to the victim, “there were no specific violent acts” instructed or suggested by Meadows. “She wasn’t shot at, kicked or beat up.”
The defense attorney said a five-year sentence would be “overly burdensome” for his client.
“I ask you to consider that thankfully the victim wasn’t hurt,” Rhodes told Judge Turk. “Fifteen years is a lengthy sentence for a young man like this.”
Lilly said that while it is true the victim wasn’t directly harmed by the intimidation methods, “she already had been raped. He sent the brother of his co-defendant – the other person who raped her that night, the brother of the man who held her down while (Meadows) raped her. It’s an additional aggravating factor. Not only did he send the brother (to intimidate her), but even today he stands here before the court without remorse or regret.”
During the intimidation trial, Major William Jackson with New River Valley Regional Jail played five tape-recorded conversations he identified as being between Meadows and Favian Garcia.
In one tape Meadows tells Garcia "you know how to take care of this kind of situation." When Garcia asks what Meadows wants him to do, Meadows responds, "use your imagination." He goes on to say, "what do you do with thieves? You serve them."
In other conversations, Meadows comments that he knows he’s not going to be in jail long. He also tells his girlfriend to tell Garcia to "get on the ball" and comments to Garcia, "this needs to end at preliminary and that’s where it’s gonna end." Garcia later tells Meadows about the encounters, saying that he "flipped out on her" three times and told her "you’re gonna drop (charges against) both of them by the court date."
Judge Turk delayed a decision in the matter to consider case law pertaining to the charges.

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