A former Virginia beauty queen was sentenced by a West Virginia judge Wednesday to two years in prison for assaulting the family of her romantic rival last February.
Tracy Lippard, 23, of Newport News, will remain free on bond while her attorney appeals the sentence, which was far harsher than both the defense and prosecution had predicted. In addition to the prison time, Judge Charles M. Lobban gave Lippard two years of probation and ordered her to pay fines of $3,500.
At her trial in November, Lippard admitted bringing a pistol, a butcher knife and lighter fluid to the Lewisburg, W.Va., home of Rodney and Carlynn Weikle, whose daughter was pregnant by Lippard’s boyfriend. A jury convicted Lippard of seven misdemeanor counts, including two counts of second-degree attempted murder, but cleared her of two felony charges.
“She had no prior conviction. No one was hurt. I think there’s at least some basis for appealing” the judge’s sentence, defense attorney Paul S. Detch said. “She was enrolled in college starting (Jan.) 9th. He’s making her drop out. … It’s a continuation of a tragedy.”
To the Weikle family, however, Lobban’s sentence was a vindication.
“At least it feels like someone understood and was listening,” said Melissa Weikle Scott, 25, who became pregnant by Todd Scott 18 months ago, shortly after he began dating Lippard, and has since married him.
Lippard crowned her successor as Miss Williamsburg on Feb. 26. The next morning she drove 250 miles to the Weikles’ brick ranch house, posed as a stranded motorist and struck Rodney Weikle on the head with a hammer when he turned his back.
Weikle, a former Secret Service agent who now teaches high school math, wrestled Lippard to the ground. The 9mm pistol and the butcher knife were hidden in her clothing.
After Lippard was acquitted on felony charges, both Detch and the Greenbrier County prosecutor predicted she would get at most a few months in prison. In fact, Lobban gave her the maximum 6-1/2 years, but suspended some time and ordered some served concurrently.
Melissa Scott scorned Detch’s concern that Lippard was planning to re-enroll at Christopher Newport University, where she studied political science in 1993.
“All that is irrelevant,” Scott said in a telephone interview. “She did something wrong. So why shouldn’t she have to be punished?”
Also Wednesday, Rodney Weikle sued Lippard, seeking punitive and compensatory damages for his injury and the stress on his family. No amount was specified.