A reluctant west Cumberland County man who feels he was just as much a victim as the brother he shot three years ago entered a plea to a reduced charge and will be serve probation under judicial diversion.
Donald “Donnie” Glenn Whittenburg, 69, was charged with felony aggravated assault in the shooting of his brother, Jimmy Whittenburg, on Sept. 17, 2017, on family property where both had a home.
The incident stemmed from a long-standing feud over family dealings that boiled over in a field on the family farm located near Pleasant Hill.
According to the sentencing agreement, Donnie Whittenburg pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless endangerment and was placed on supervised probation for one year as part of judicial diversion.
The agreement calls for the defendant to have no contact with the victim but does give him access to his home on the family property.
The plea is being set aside for that one year, and if all conditions of probation are met and no more trouble is reported, Donnie Whittenburg will be able to petition the court to have the charge permanently removed from his record.
There is a civil case pending relating to the incident, according to statements made in court last week.
Assistant District Attorney Philip Hatch told Judge Gary McKenzie the plea was the result of extensive conversations between himself, defense attorney Howard Upchurch and the two brothers.
Jimmy Whittenburg told the court in earlier hearings that he did not want his brother to go to prison but wanted the brother to be left alone.
After the plea hearing, Donnie Whittenburg said his brother continues to harass him. Jimmy Whittenburg was at the Justice Center but remained in the parking lot while the sentencing agreement was entered.