An Elkins man entered a guilty plea Thursday to brandishing a weapon in the Highland Park area.
Donald Manard Kerns, 52, of Rt. 2 Box 308-A, entered the plea during a hearing in Randolph County Magistrate Court. He had been charged with one felony count of wanton endangerment after being arrested June 5.
According to the criminal complaint, police received a call about an armed man threatening people outside a residence at 305 Boundary Ave. in Highland Park.
Deputy D.L. VanMeter of the Randolph County Sheriff's Department, who prepared the complaint, said Elkins Police Department officers had Kerns in custody when he arrived on scene. A Smith & Wesson model SW40OVE .40-caliber pistol was recovered from Kerns' pants, according to the complaint.
The weapon was loaded with 14 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition "with one in the chamber," police said. Kerns' blood alcohol content was .187 when he was booked and processed at the Elkins Police Department, according to the complaint.
On Thursday, Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker said the plea agreement was to the charge of brandishing, a lesser included offense of the wanton endangerment charge.
Parker said Kerns had no prior criminal history, and noted that the state would have difficulty proving all the elements of the wanton endangerment offense.
Attorney Phil Isner, representing Kerns, negotiated the plea agreement with Parker.
In accepting the plea agreement, Riggleman sentenced Kerns to one year in the Tygarts Valley Regional Jail, which was suspended in lieu of two years' probation.
As part of his probation, Kerns must check in daily with the North Central Community Corrections program; have no firearms; have no direct or indirect contact with any of the alleged victims; and submit to random drug and alcohol testing.
Kerns will have to fulfill one year of daily check-ins; if he is successful in meeting that obligation, his second year of probation will be unsupervised.
Kerns was also fined $250 plus court costs.