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First person sentenced under WV law to deter metal theft

Herald-Dispatch photo by Courtney Hessler William “Bill” Smith, 80, left, leaves court after learning he will not be sent to jail for engaging in a criminal enterprise. Smith was sentenced to two years’ probation after a three-year jail sentence was suspended.
Herald-Dispatch photo by Courtney Hessler
William “Bill” Smith, 80, left, leaves court after learning he will not be sent to jail for engaging in a criminal enterprise. Smith was sentenced to two years’ probation after a three-year jail sentence was suspended.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — An unapologetic William “Bill” Smith avoided prison time Monday as he became the first person in the state sentenced under a relatively new law aimed at curbing metal theft.

Smith will remain under supervision and will have to pay $212,500 in fines and restitution for a crime that the judge and prosecutors said helped fuel drug addiction in the region.

Smith, 80, of South Point, was sentenced to two years’ probation and $12,500 in fines after Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell suspended a three-year jail sentence. He must also pay $200,000 in restitution, $75,000 of which was paid Monday. Farrell cited Smith’s health and age…

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