Man sentenced for assault on officer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2005

A man with a criminal record stemming back to 1968 containing 19 felonies was sentenced to five years in jail Wednesday for attempting to run down a police officer in April 2004.

The family of George Archer, who has a 1990 conviction for assault and battery, pleaded with Circuit Court Judge Westbrook Parker for leniency, pointing out Archer’s mental retardation. Archer’s sister Ethel Blunt read a statement referring to a doctor’s finding in the 1970s that Archer had the mental capacity of an 11-year-old.

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&uot;We ask you to sentence him to a mental facility so that he can get the help he needs,&uot; she said. &uot;We acknowledge that the actions he committed have offended the community, and we are deeply sorry.&uot;

On April 25 of last year, a tow truck driver saw several people in the Suffolk Used Auto Parts junkyard, allegedly stealing car parts. Police were called, and one reported that the people had run inside the nearby Nub Jones assisted living facility, according to police reports.

Officer C.R. Butler took a post roughly 600 feet from the building, then noticed a Plymouth coming toward him. Butler allegedly raised his hands and shouted for it to stop, but was forced to leap out of the way to avoid it. The automobile was stopped by police, and Archer was found to be the only occupant.

In May, he entered an Alford plea to assault on a law enforcement officer, admitting that it was in his best interests to plead guilty while not admitting guilt.

&uot;We hope that this court can see the other George Archer,&uot; Blunt said. &uot;We hope that they can see the George Archer that is polite to everyone, that continues to open doors for women like he should.&uot;

She noted that, while on probation for previous offenses, Archer had started attending church, doing odd jobs for neighbors and stopped drinking.

Prosecutor Jeff James didn’t agree with the plea.

&uot;I’ve seen (Archer) several times in my 11 years in the Commonwealth Attorney’s office,&uot; James said, &uot;and I just wonder why he keeps getting in trouble.&uot;

Parker referred to Archer’s record, which includes 45 convictions and 19 arrests for being drunk in public.

&uot;(Archer) has been in trouble for a long, long time,&uot; he said. &uot;What bothers me is that this is the second time he has been (in trouble) for an assault on an officer.&uot;

Archer, who did not speak during the hearing, was sentenced to five years for the assault, with three suspended. A two-year probation sentence for habitual offending was revoked, as was a one-year sentence stemming from a 1990 escape conviction.