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Stoney Creek man gets 10 years on assault charge

Leonard Rosco Winters

Leonard Rosco Winters

A Stoney Creek man originally charged with false imprisonment and aggravated rape in connection with a December 2012 incident has been sentenced to 10 years on a charge of aggravated assault.
Leonard Rosco Winters, 68, of Elizabethton, entered an “Alford Plea,” also known as a best interest plea, on June 23 as part of a plea agreement with the state. In an Alford Plea the defendant does not admit guilt, but admits the prosecution could likely prove the charge.
Winters entered the plea on the charge of aggravated assault, and as part of the plea agreement the charges of false imprisonment and aggravated rape were dropped. As a condition of the plea agreement, Winters waived his right to seek alternative sentencing, such as probation, for his conviction and was sentenced to serve 10 years. He has been classified as a “Multiple” offender and therefore must serve a minimum of 35 percent of his sentence before he would become eligible for parole.
The charges against Winters stem from an incident in December 2012 after a woman reported to the Carter County Sheriff’s Department that Winters had held her against her will in his home and had raped and assaulted her.
A jury trial had been scheduled for Winters on June 18 where he would stand trial on all three charges against him, but the trial was canceled the afternoon before it was set to take place due to the plea agreement being reached.
Winters has been incarcerated at the Carter County Detention Center since his arrest on Dec. 26, 2012.