BY: KYLE WOOSLEY
Samuel McFarland, 20, former criminal justice major at Eastern from Williamsburg, who was accused of setting fires in Eastern’s Commonwealth Hall, accepted a mediated plea agreement during his court hearing Dec. 13, 2012.
Originally, McFarland was accused of setting two bulletin boards on fire in Commonwealth Hall on Oct. 14, 2011.
McFarland pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree wanton endangerment and second-degree possession of a controlled substance.
The charges of first-degree arson and promoting contraband were dropped.
McFarland complied with the mediated plea agreement, avoiding the possibility of life in prison. As part of the mediated plea agreement, Jennifer Smith, assistant commonwealth attorney, suggested a 12-month sentence for drug possession and three years for the criminal chief and wanton endangerment charge.
Smith is currently in talks with Eastern officials about paying the university restitution for damages caused to Commonwealth during the incident.
According to the mediation agreement, McFarland must also have a mental health evaluation and go through alcohol and drug testing during a supervised five-year diversion.
However, if McFarland violates the terms of this agreement, he will service a three-year prison sentence.
McFarland is set to appear in court for a sentencing hearing Feb. 7.