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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Williamson man sentenced to federal prison for escaping halfway house

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Williamson man was sentenced to a year in prison for escape, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Damien Bagut, 37, previously pleaded guilty to escaping from a halfway house where he was serving a sentence for distribution of cocaine.

Bagut admitted that he was transferred to Dismas Charities in St. Albans to complete the remainder of his sentence in a residential halfway house. On November 28, 2015, Bagut left the halfway house with permission to attend his work shift. He failed to report to his job, however, and did not return to the halfway house. He was apprehended by law enforcement in Williamson on January 14, 2016, and he was incarcerated for the remainder of his sentence.

The United States Marshals Service conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Gabriele Wohl is in charge of the prosecution. United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston imposed the sentence.

This is the third case this year for escaping from a halfway house prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office. The permissions granted to residents of halfway houses are designed to make transitions from federal prison back into society successful. These cases are part of an effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to deter those serving the remainder of their prison sentences in halfway houses from unlawfully abandoning this transition period before their sentences are complete.

Updated October 13, 2016