A Bedford County man convicted of child abuse lost an appeal to serve his sentence on probation.
Justin Alexander Deweese had been sentenced to a three-year sentence of confinement and appealed, saying that he should receive a totally suspended sentence to be served on probation.
Deweese had been convicted of tying the hands of a three-year-old child behind his back, using a dog leash, and forcing the child to stand with his nose in a corner for an unknown amount of time.
When police found the child, they untied the tightly bound knots and noticed marks on the child's hands caused by the leash.
Before sentencing, Deweese admitted to his probation officer that he had smoked marijuana the day before the pre-sentence interview meeting.
His probation officer said that it would show up positive on a drug test, but Deweese stated that would depend on how much water he consumed. He had been on bond after the guilty plea and before the sentencing hearing.
Deweese was already on probation for drug offenses when the child abuse was committed, and since his "mindset was to beat the criminal justice system by drinking enough water to prevent a positive result from a drug test," he was not considered a candidate for probation or any other form of alternative sentence.
Appellate Judge Thomas Woodall found no error in the judgment of Circuit Court Judge Lee Russell and upheld the ruling.