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A Westmoreland County waterman will soon be released from jail after being sentenced on three felony convictions.
Clarence William "Juice" McKenney, 67, was sentenced to 15 years in prison with all but 14 months suspended in Westmoreland Circuit Court on Friday.
McKenney was convicted in July of felonious assault on a law enforcement officer, unauthorized use of a vehicle and felony eluding for an Aug. 17, 2011 incident where he waved a gun at a deputy sheriff and drove around in his patrol car.
He has been incarcerated at the Northern Neck Regional Jail since his arrest last year and is just days short of his 14-month sentence.
"I offer no excuses. It's my fault," said McKenney, who suffers from chronic pain due to cancer, heart disease and arthritis. "When you have cancer, it's like it changes your perception on everything. Unless you have it, you just don't know. You can't tell me what it's like."
McKenney's attorneys, Craig Cooley and James Breeden, admitted that alcohol and prescription drug abuse played a role in his actions that day, but noted that he completed a 16-week substance-abuse class while incarcerated.
Even Sen. Richard Stuart of Stafford County, a former Commonwealth's Attorney in Westmoreland, testified on McKenney's behalf.
"I was shocked because it was completely out of character for the Juice that I know and have known all my life," Stuart said.
He noted how McKenney took on the role of caretaker for both of his dying parents alone while also dealing with his own illness.
"He was in a lot of pain and it's obvious when you look at him," Stuart said. "A toxic cocktail [of prescription drugs and alcohol] had to be what was behind it."
Judge Joseph E. Spruill Jr. said he took McKenney's age, poor health, good reputation and six years of military service into consideration before handing down his sentence.
Westmoreland Commonwealth's Attorney Julia Sicholl argued that these charges called for a longer sentence.
"Up until this point he has done a lot of good in his life," she said. "But we're talking about a situation where Mr. McKenney held a loaded gun at an officer and threatened to kill him."