Victims: Plea Deal For Ice Cream Shop Owner Falls Through

A plea deal with the one-time owner of an ice cream store apparently fell through this morning in Onslow County court.

Ernest Van Cooney is facing indecent liberties with a minor, sexual battery and several charges of assault on a female. Nearly all of the victims worked at his ice cream shop near Richlands.

The victims were in court this morning, but say they were told by the prosecutor that Van Cooney backed out of the plea because he didn't want to be placed on a GPS tracker for sex offenders.

An assistant district attorney tells WITN News that Van Cooney will stand trial on April 6th.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by ghost of the past Location: ohio on Mar 27, 2009 at 06:52 PM
    I know this name hope you stay in your area .
  • by see him before Location: Kentucky on Mar 27, 2009 at 06:41 PM
    Use to live in Kentucky . Ran across this article very odd
  • by Grandma Location: penn on Mar 27, 2009 at 06:39 PM
    I know this case real well. I know people who lived it. I may come for the trial. It will be a long drive but, worth the trip to hopefully see cuff be put on this man.
  • by Witn? Location: Richands on Mar 27, 2009 at 06:37 PM
    Will you be covering this trial ? Are you aloud to tape it?
  • by trust Location: jax on Mar 27, 2009 at 06:35 PM
    Girls have faith and trust. God's will is to be seen.
  • by Not surprised Location: Justice, America on Mar 24, 2009 at 05:48 AM
    A plea can also mean you are guilty and know if you go to trial you will go to jail for a long time. Wonder WHY he didn't want that GPS tracker? If he was innocent and it kept him out of jail, then not wanting it makes NO sense. In my opinion not taking that plea makes him look totally guilty. Praying for jail time and justice for all his victims.
  • by the look Location: richlands on Mar 24, 2009 at 05:16 AM
    This man looks cockey . I think he just made a huge mistake . I am very good at reading people and so will the jury be. Shame on you van cooney giving up a chance by the DA's and the Families to plea to lesser charges.God is in Control and you will pay here or there
  • by plea on Mar 23, 2009 at 02:44 PM
    Whatever it couldn't be that Allison or why is he going forward now?The news stated he has 33 charges fight that .
  • by Allison on Mar 23, 2009 at 02:38 PM
    A plea deal doesn't always mean they are guilty. Sometimes they don't have the money to fight the charge, so they take the plea deal to get a lesser charge.
  • by plea on Mar 23, 2009 at 01:44 PM
    A plea means this man was saying he did this wow so everyone who said these girls were not telling the truth in the other posts were wrong . I love how the court system works for the accused the the accuser. I bet the families were sad and upset that he changed his mind how sad.
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