Appeals court upholds Wise County man’s sentence for stabbing

Ricky Lynn Hamilton
Ricky Lynn Hamilton

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Court of Appeals has upheld the sentence of a Wise County man who was convicted of stabbing two college students in 2016.

Ricky Lynn Hamilton, 60, of Wise, walked to a neighboring home in the early-morning hours of Nov. 13, 2016, to complain about someone driving across his land. Prosecutors say he then drew a knife and cut two men without provocation.

Both men sustained serious injuries but survived.

Hamilton entered an Alford plea in 2018, which means he maintained his innocence, but admitted that the government had enough evidence to obtain a conviction. An Alford plea functions has a guilty plea, and Hamilton was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

He appealed his sentence, arguing that the court should not have allowed the victims to testify during his sentencing hearing.

The Court of Appeals rejected that argument.

“This was a senseless, unprovoked, unexplainable, and unthinkable act of violence and a vicious attack on two innocent young men,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp said. “I am so thankful for the hard work of my prosecution team, especially Mr. Lammers, for diligently continuing to pursue justice in this case. It is because of their dedication and brilliant legal analysis before the Court of Appeals that we can ensure that the victims in this case continue to receive healing, closure and justice.”

Hamilton remains imprisoned in the Pocahontas State Correctional Center.

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