From: Jan Drew on

Robbery convict seeks lesser punishment

HUNTINGTON -- Eric Tardy is a 21-year-old convicted armed robber who is now
asking for a second chance because he suffers from a disorder, court
documents show.

The former Huntington High football standout pleaded guilty last year to
holding up Julian's Market on July 26. Tardy was arrested a day later and
then received a 20-year prison sentence in November.

But according to court documents filed in the case, Tardy's attorney
believes that a particularly serious component of attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder caused his client to use firearms to hold the cashier
at bay.

Defense attorney R. Lee Booten declined comment following a hearing Friday,
but his motion to reconsider pleads with the judge to place Tardy in a home
for youthful offenders.

Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson could make a ruling in the case June 11. He
has ordered prosecutors to discuss the situation with the victims.

Booten said Tardy's family is relying on its faith in God, and hoping for
the best.

If Ferguson grants the defense request, Tardy would be sent to the state's
center for youthful offenders in Greenbrier County. There he would
participate in a rehabilitation program lasting from six months to two years
and then serve five years probation.

Ferguson denied that request in November, saying "this crime is too serious
for forestry camp."

"First-degree robbery is one of the most serious crimes that you can commit
in West Virginia," he said Nov. 6.

In the defense motion, Booten said he didn't know about Tardy's attention
disorder until after the November sentencing hearing.

Booten wrote that it was Tardy's mother who found an article suggesting her
son suffers from conduct disorder, which is a component of ADHD.

The mother's belief was later confirmed by forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Bobby
Miller, according to the defense motion.

"A better understanding of the defendant's ADHD condition has greatly helped
the Tardy family in understanding why their son committed such a serious
crime, and hopefully will answer the court's question, 'Why did he rob the

Booten's motion also disputed any suggestion that his client was the main
offender in the three-person robbery.

The defense attorney said it was Tardy who "held the cashier at bay," but
Booten blames co-defendant Anthony Dooley for being "the mastermind of this
robbery conspiracy."

Dooley's attorney, Marsha Dalton, was not available for comment Friday

"(Tardy) is not attempting to convince the court that he was a minor
participant in this crime, or that his actions were not of a serious or
violent nature," Booten wrote.

Instead, the defense attorney wrote that he believes that Ferguson's
sentence was largely based upon the judge's belief that Tardy was the main

Tardy's co-defendants -- Anthony M. Dooley, 20, of Huntington and Brian
Scott Ellis Jr., 17, of Huntington -- were indicted in February in
connection with the robbery. They are awaiting trial.