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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Judge Finds Probable Cause for Augusta County Deputy to Stand Trial for Malicious Wounding and Assault

Written by: Sam Orlando

Charges Against Sgt Mikolay Certified to Grand Jury in Bad Day for Augusta Sheriff

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA – The judicial proceedings against Deputy William Mikolay took a significant turn in the Albemarle County General District Court today, as charges for felony malicious wounding and assault were advanced to a grand jury. This development follows a detailed evidentiary presentation that shed light on the grave nature of the accusations against Mikolay, amidst a backdrop of alleged systemic issues within the Augusta County Sheriff's Office.

Careful Says Deputy - "They Have Body Cams Here"

During the hearing, prosecutors presented stark evidence, including distressing photographs depicting the victim's severe injuries, and recounted testimony suggesting deputies were cautious of Albemarle County's body camera evidence during the assault. One deputy was reportedly heard saying to the other "Be Careful", and reminding the other Augusta deputy that the Albemarle deputies would be wearing body cams.

This assertion, coupled with allegations that Mikolay utilized his police-issued flashlight in the beating, paints a chilling picture of the events that transpired that night.

Inconsistent Statements in Augusta Deputy's Testimony

The hearing also unearthed inconsistencies in the testimonies of Augusta County Mark Stutes, further complicated by the visible courtroom presence of senior sheriff's office officials, including Sheriff Donald Smith. Prosecutors intimated that Deputy Stutes's testimony might have been influenced by these high-ranking officials, casting a shadow over the integrity of law enforcement testimonies.

Deputy Mark Stutes, outside after Mikolay's preliminary hearing.

Sheriff Donald Smith Attended Hearing, Stared Down Witnesses

Interestingly, Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith was in attendance, with a cadre of officers from his department. The Sheriff was flanked in Court by his mother to the right and his civil attorney, Rosalie Fessier, to his left. When the hearing began, the Sheriff moved to the front of the Courtroom and stared at each witness, taking a seat marked for "Attorneys Only". Breaking Through News planned to ask the Sheriff why he brought his mom with him to a court date for a deputy accused of malicious wounding, but the Sheriff snuck out a "no public access" side door while reporters camped out in front of the Court.

Troubling Pattern in the Augusta County Sheriff's Office

This case is not isolated but follows a troubling pattern of behavior within the sheriff's office. A background article by Breaking Through News highlighted the arrest and subsequent court appearances of Sgt. Mikolay, revealing a history of alleged misconduct and preferential treatment. Notably, Mikolay's was originally held without bond on these charges, but a special accommodation was made to set a bond for him so he could go home for Thanksgiving. While the Mikolay hearing was underway, another Augusta County Deputy, CJ Taylor, faced a criminal trial in Staunton General District Court. Taylor was convicted of two counts of assault.

Chase Out of Jurisdiction Ends in Violent Assault and Malicious Wounding

The testimony in the Mikolay case detailed a high-speed chase that culminated in the violent assault of Adam Ryan Martin and Tina Marie Lang, raising critical questions about the sheriff's office's handling of the incident. Sheriff Smith's vocal support for Mikolay, despite the serious nature of the charges and his opposition to body cameras, underscores concerns regarding transparency and accountability within the force.

As Two Augusta County Deputies Face Justice, What's Next for the Community?

As the charges against Mikolay move toward trial, the community and observers are keenly watching, seeking justice and accountability in a case that has become emblematic of broader issues within the Augusta County Sheriff's Office. With the grand jury's review pending, the proceedings against Mikolay and the conduct of the sheriff's office remain under intense scrutiny, highlighting the urgent need for systemic reform and the restoration of public trust in law enforcement.

If convicted of the charges against him, Mikolay could spend more than two decades in State Prison.

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