Crime

Lemont man sentenced in stalking case after lengthy hearing

David Adewumi enters the Centre County Courthouse, in Bellefonte on June 26 for his trial on charges that he falsely reported being sexually assaulted by corrections officers at Centre County Correctional Facility.
David Adewumi enters the Centre County Courthouse, in Bellefonte on June 26 for his trial on charges that he falsely reported being sexually assaulted by corrections officers at Centre County Correctional Facility. CDT file photo

David Adewumi hoped to withdraw a no contest plea Tuesday and force a trial over stalking and harassment charges he incurred last year.

More than three hours later, Adewumi left the courtroom en route to state prison, sentenced to two to 10 years there, plus a year of probation.

“I hope that that’s enough,” said Judge Bradley P. Lunsford, who heard the proceedings.

Adewumi, 26, of Lemont, was first charged with stalking and harassing a State College Area High School student with whom he had a relationship in 2013.

He repeatedly violated restraining orders, reportedly sending texts and emails to the student, even showing up at the high school. He also sent texts her family.

He pleaded no contest to the charges last month and was to be sentenced last week but filed the motion to withdraw the plea shortly before the sentencing.

Adewumi, representing himself but with attorney Justin Miller at his side as standby counsel, said that he was innocent after all.

Assistant District Attorney Nathan Boob asked Lunsford to deny the motion and said Adewumi was “gaming” the system by withdrawing the plea at the last minute and trying to avoid accountability for his actions.

Adewumi had made a habit of this behavior, Boob said, pointing to the restraining orders and a bail violation.

Witnesses, including the mother of the girl Adewumi stalked, also took the stand to display how a trial could have adverse effects, such as putting the family through further trauma.

Adewumi peppered Lunsford with objections, most of which were overruled, and occasionally interrupted Boob.

Late in the proceeding, Adewumi motioned for recusal, alleging that Lunsford was prejudiced against him because prior criminal activity came up in court. The motion was denied.

District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller was seated at the back of the courtroom but ended up on the witness stand to go on record about an action she witnessed.

At one point, Adewumi looked behind him. Parks Miller sprang to her feet, walked to Boob and whispered in his ear. Boob told the court that Parks Miller had witnessed Adewumi smiling and winking while the girl’s mother was on the witness stand.

Adewumi denied the allegation. Parks Miller and Lunsford were not amused.

“Please understand that I have contempt powers,” Lunsford said.

After two and a half hours, Lunsford denied the motion, saying that it was clear that Adewumi was making a mockery of the court and was most likely trying to further harass and intimidate the person he had stalked and the family by forcing a trial.

He imposed the sentence about an hour later.

The afternoon session was the second time Adewumi made an appearance in Centre County Court on Thursday. In the morning, he appeared from jail via videoconference in the courtroom of Judge Jonathan Grine to request a reduced sentence from other charges he convicted of while incarcerated at Centre County Correctional Facility.

Adewumi was first charged with institutional vandalism for damaging his cell and for making false reports about corrections officers at the prison.

Adewumi said the officers had sexually assaulted him, and that case went to trial in June. Adewumi maintained his innocence until video evidence proved otherwise. He pleaded guilty during the trial.

Grine said the court would rule on the reduced sentence on the previous charges in the near future. With a one- to five-year sentence from the previous charges, the total jail time Adewumi could serve is three to 15 years, Boob said.

Lunsford also ordered that Adewumi receive a mental health evaluation.

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