Sentences in Mineral, Grant counties could lead to 85 years behind bars
KEYSER, W.Va. â€” A Keyser man charged last year with 136 counts related to sexually based crimes against children has been sentenced to a possible total of 85 years after pleading guilty in both Grant and Mineral counties. Wilton Frederick Bland, 30, of Bayberry Place, was arrested March 23, 2007, at his grandparentsâ€™ residence in Petersburg after police received a complaint concerning a juvenile boy who said Bland had wanted him to appear nude on the Internet. Bland, who unsuccessfully ran as a Republican candidate for Mineral County Commission in 2006, was charged at the time with 73 counts of possession of child pornography, 45 counts of sexual assault in the first degree for allegedly having sex with a child under age 11, nine counts of use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor, seven counts of display of obscene matter to a minor and two counts of employing a minor to do sexually explicit conduct, according to the West Virginia State Police. On Friday, Bland entered a guilty plea in Grant County to one count of sexual assault in the first degree, for which Judge Phil Jordan sentenced him to 15 to 35 years, and 10 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, for which Jordan sentenced him to 1 to 5 years each. Monday, Bland pleaded guilty in Mineral County to two counts of displaying obscene matter to a minor, for which Judge Andrew Frye sentenced him to five years each, two counts of using obscene matter with the intent to seduce a minor, with a sentence of five years each, and 30 counts of possession of material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, for which he was sentenced to two years each. Mineral County Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Nelson said the Mineral County sentences are to be served consecutively, â€œfor a total of 80 years.â€ The Grant County sentences, which total a possible 85 years, are to be served at the same time. â€œHe wonâ€™t be eligible for parole until after 20 years for Mineral County, and 25 years for Grant County,â€ Nelson said. â€œJudge Jordan also ordered that, if and when he is released on parole, he be supervised for 30 years after his release,â€ he said. Bland will serve his time at the maximum-security Mount Olive Correctional Complex in Mount Olive and will be given credit for the time he already has served at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Augusta, where he has remained since he was arrested almost a year ago. Nelson said it was â€œhis understandingâ€ that the charges filed in Hardy County would not be pursued now that Bland pleaded guilty in the other two counties. According to investigating officers, the incidents occurred over a four-year period and involved at least four juvenile victims. The actual assaults, however, took place in Grant and Hardy counties. The pornographic materials discovered on his computer hard drive and floppy discs, however, were confiscated in Mineral County. Petersburg attorney John Ours represented Bland. Attribution: Liz Beavers at email@example.com.