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Braxton County Prosecutor Steps Down Amid Misconduct Allegations

The Free Press WV

Braxton County’s prosecutor abruptly resigned this week amid allegations of misconduct. The decision to step down by Kelly Hamon McLaughlin came as a shock to the county commission earlier this week.

“We knew nothing,” said Braxton County Commission President Ronald Facemire. “We were told nothing.”

The commission received McLaughlin’s letter of resignation Wednesday effective immediately and in an emergency meeting named Assistant Prosecutor William McCourt the acting prosecutor for 30 days.

McLaughlin faced charges of misconduct and conflict of interest which were filed last October by the state Office of Disciplinary Council. According to court documents the incident started in 2013 when an elderly relative of McLaughlin was accused of the sexual abuse his neighbor, an 11-year old girl. Although the incident was reported to the Braxton County Sheriff’s Department, the matter was never brought to court.

Despite her relation to the accused, McLaughlin did not recuse herself nor did she request a special prosecutor for the case. However, those documents further claimed she told investigators a special prosecutor had been assigned. Eventually the charges against the elderly family member were dismissed.

The incident was also tied to the resignation of a Braxton County deputy who was accused several months later of breaking into the Braxton County Sheriff’s Department in February 2014. The documents revealed McLaughlin allowed the deputy to resign his position in lieu of prosecution.

During a hearing before the Disciplinary Council on Thursday, McLaughlin admitted to all of the original allegations with the exception of one which accused her of dishonesty.

The panel reached an agreement with McLaughlin. The agreement stipulated she immediately resign, not run for prosecutor again, and not practice law for the next three years.

“The point of the counsel is to protect the public” said Rachael Fletcher Cipoletti, Chief Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel, “Her immediate resignation is big step in protecting the public.”

The agreement and recommendation has been submitted to the West Virginia Supreme Court which will be the final arbiter on whether that agreement is accepted.

Gilmer County Couple Says Mortuary Buried Body On Their Property

The Free Press WV

A couple is suing Ellyson Mortuary after they claim it buried a body on their property without their permission.

Terry Ellyson was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On March 12, 2016, the defendants entered onto the property of James L. James and Mona L. James to bury a deceased human body, according to a complaint filed last month in Gilmer Circuit Court.

The Jameses claim the defendants did not have authorization or permission to enter onto their property and bury the deceased human body on the James’ property.

The plaintiffs have demanded that the defendants remove the deceased human body and to restore the plaintiffs’ property to the condition it was in immediately prior to how it was before the defendants’ entered onto the property, according to the suit.

The Jameses claim the defendants have failed and refused to comply and the deceased human body remains buried on their property.

The defendants’ failure to seek and obtain permission or authorization from the plaintiffs for their foregoing actions was deliberate, intentional or grossly negligent, according to the suit.

The Jameses are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by F. John Oshoway.

Gilmer Circuit Court case number: 17-C-6


03.15.2017
NewsCourt NewsWest VirginiaRegionGilmer CountyGlenville(4) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Why are they burying folks on people’s private property? Are there more details? Was there just the one body or are there more? What does the family of the deceased say about this?

By Curious  on  03.16.2017

Seriously?!  This does not raise any speculation amongst the community?  Please look at other things going on in your area besides school!

By NameAtRequest  on  03.19.2017

Sounds like there is a family cemetery on the James’ property and the deceased might have had a will clause to be buried there, but the James’said no way and the mortuary was just following the deceased family’s direction and never asked the James’. Just my opinion. I am sure there is more to this story.

By Bob  on  03.20.2017

“BOB” probably has it right.

Maybe the deceased’s spirit will haunt the James family?

There are 3 or 4 county names who are always filing lawsuits.

By history repeats  on  03.20.2017

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Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Tuesday, March 07, 2017 two fugitives from justice waived extradition to return to their states.

•  Lucas Justice waived to return to OH.

•  Marco Morgan waived to return to VA.

They were both represented by Kevin Hughart and authorities in their states have until 4 PM on March 16, 2017 to pick the inmates up or they will be released from Central Regional Jail.


•  Two juvenile matters were heard.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Charles Collins

The case was set for hearing but his attorney was in trial in Kanawha County and did not appear.




•  On Thursday, March 09,2017 the Collins matter was before the Court again with the same result, Joseph Spano his attorney did not appear.

Judge Facemire directed the prosecutor to arrange a conference call with Spano for 11:45 AM on Monday, March 13, 2017 to get this matter taken care of.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Dale Lee Carr

He was before the Court for status and his pretrial was set for March 27, 2017 at 11:00 AM and his trial is now set for April 04, 2017.

Eric Wildman now represents Carr.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Joshua Bohn

Hewas set for a plea on March 27, 2017 at 10:45 AM.

Jeff Davis is his attorney.


•  One juvenile matter was heard.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Tuesday, March 07, 2017 Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire began his March, 2017 term of Court in Gilmer County.

First he indoctrinated the grand jurors and after taking the oath administered by the Circuit Clerk, they went to their room to deliberate upon their presentments.

They returned to the Court room at 1:30 PM and returned 12 indictments and 2 no bills were also returned.


•  Indicted were Charles Blair Balliet III of Millstone, WV for 1 count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver a Schedule II controlled substance and 1 count of conspiracy.

His attorney is Christopher Moffatt and he is free on $4,000.00 bond posted by B&B Bonding, and is on house arrest at his father’s home.


•  Also indicted for the same 2 charges was Geoffrey Allen Shaffer of Glenville, WV.

He is represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton and he is free on $3,000.00 bond posted by B&B Bonding.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Charles Edward Pritt of Troy, WV

He was indicted for 1 count of child neglect resulting in death and 1 count of child neglect creating risk of injury.

He is represented by Clinton Bischoff and remains in jail unable to post bond.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Coy Pritt, Jr. of Troy, WV

He was indicted for 1 count of child neglect resulting in death and 1 count of child neglect creating risk of injury.

Pritt but he is free on $50,000. Bond posted by B&B Bonding.

He is represented by Teresa Monk.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Tiffany Danielle Parmer (Mayo)

She was indicted for the same 2 charges as the Pritt’s.

She is represented by Timothy Gentliozzi and remains in jail unable to post bond.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Earl Milton Bailey

He was indicted for 1 count of murder and 1 count of wanton endangerment involving a firearm.

He is represented by Jeff Davis and has no bond set at this time.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jessica Denise Nicholson

She was indicted for 1 count of conspiracy and is represented by Brian Bailey and Perry Bonding posted $5000.00 bond for her.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Matthew Scott Sandy

He was indicted for 1 count of escape and 1 count of destruction of property.

He is represented by Teresa Monk and remains in jail unable to post $150,000.00 cash bond.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Richard Esaias Williams Jr.

He Was indicted for 1 count of armed robbery, 1 count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver a schedule I controlled substance.

His attorney is Kevin Hughart and he remains in jail unable to post $75,000.00 bond.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Timothy Joseph Maxwell-Lanham

He was indicted to 20 counts of incest and remains in jail unable to post $100,000.00 cash only bond and is represented by Bryan Hinkle.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Danny Minigh

He was indicted for 1 count of sexual assault in the second degree and 1 count of sexual abuse in the first degree.

He remains in jail unable to post $30,000.00 bond and is represented by Brian Bailey.


•  State of West Virginia vs. David Wendell Curry

He was indicted for 1 count of failure to meet an obligation to provide support to a minor.


Arraignments will be held at 9:00 AM on Monday, March 27, 2017.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire held Court in Glenville on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.


Two fugitives waived extradition to return to their respective states.

•  Samuel Dozier waived to return to MD.

•  Jason Freeman waived to return to the state of Ohio.

Authorities in their states have until 4 PM March 01, 2017 to pick them up or Central Regional Jail will release them.

Both men were represented by Tim Gentilozzi.


•  One juvenile matter was heard.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Ronald Adkins Jr.

He failed to appear for the revocation of probation hearing scheduled at 9:30 AM and it was reported that he was being transferred to a hospital in Charleston.

Judge Facemire questioned his girlfriend and informed her that he would continue the matter to February 28, 2017 at 1:30 PM and directed the Clerk to issue a summons to be served upon Adkins to appear.

His attorney is Kevin Hughart of Sissonville.


•  One divorce appeal was heard and counsel were directed to file Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law and then Judge Facemire will make a ruling. Mark Kelley was plaintiff’s attorney and defense attorney was Mark Swartz.



On Wednesday, February 22, 2017 the jury trial was cancelled.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Eric Williams

He was before the Court wherein he entered a plea to count 12 of the indictment returned against him for fraudulent schemes wherein he took money from Rick and Desari Garrett for a contract job that was never done.

All other counts of the indictment were dismissed in the plea agreement and he will make restitution to the other victims.

He will be sentenced April 10, 2017 at 9:20 AM after Mike Haley prepares a presentence report in the matter.

Special prosecuting attorney Shannon Johnson of Calhoun County represented the State of West Virginia and Thomas Kupec represented Williams.


•  Also scheduled to be heard today was the preliminary revocation of probation involving John Phillips who is being held at South Central Regional Jail and they failed to transport him.

Judge Alsop reset the matter for Friday, February 24, 2017 at 9:00 AM.

He is represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.


The November 2016 term of petit jury is now over.

March term begins on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 with grand jurors to report when indictments will be presented.



On Monday, February 27, 2017 Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire presided over his regular monthly motion day in Glenville.

He called the docket for the March, 2017 term and directed issuance of capias’ in the cases from previous terms wherein defendants have never appeared.


•  Four juvenile matters were heard.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Steven Gibson

He was before the Court for a preliminary hearing regarding revocation of his probation.

Whereupon Gibson made admissions and was sentenced to serve 60 days in Central Regional Jail (with credit for time already served) and then he will be readmitted to probation.

Bryan Hinkle of Buckhannon represented Gibson.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Khristopher Speas

He was before the Court with his attorney, Tyler Mason, asking for additional credit for time served on his sentence.

After argument of counsel, Judge Facemire directed he receive the additional credit and the commitment order will be amended.



Om Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Chief Judge Facemire heard 2 juvenile cases were heard.


•  One fugitive from justice waived to return to the state of Ohio.

Deon Ray was represented by Clinton Bischoff and authorities have until 4 PM on March 09, 2017 to pick him up or Central Regional Jail will release him.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Ronald Adkins Jr.

He was before the Court for revocation of probation.

He made admissions and was sentenced to 60 days in Central Regional Jail, followed by 60 days on home confinement in Clay County and then he will be readmitted to probation until February 22, 2019.

Kevin Hughart of Sissonville was his attorney.


•  A scheduling conference/conference call was held with Shannon Johnson, special prosecutor and Brian Bailey participating. Bailey represents William Reynolds and Clinton Bischoff was present in the Court room representing his client, Patty Reynolds.

Pretrials will be conducted in their cases on March 27, 2017 at 10:30 AM and April 04, 2017 is when their trial is scheduled.



On Thursday, March 02, 2017 Judge Jack Alsop heard a civil case in Gilmer County.

GILMER ATHLETIC DIRECTOR BATTERY CHARGES SETTLED WITH PRE-TRIAL DIVERSION

The Free Press WV

Battery charges filed in January against Gilmer County Athletic Director Shawn Leo Cole will be dismissed based on a 90 Day Pre-Trial Diversion, which calls for Cole to have no contact with the alleged victim and payment of court costs.

The disposition was reached in Gilmer Magistrate Alton Skinner’s court and signed by Cole’s attorney Judith McCullough and Gilmer Prosecutor Gerry Hough.

Cole had been charged with the alleged battery of a student basketball player, based on a complaint filed by his mother.

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Wednesday, February 15, 2017 Family Court Judge Steven Jones heard cases in Glenville.

Three divorces were granted:


•  Marsha Lynn Wine (38) of Cox’s Mills, WV divorced Christopher Wine (40) of Copen, WV.


•  Terri Ann Pettry (44) of Buckhannon, WV divorced Casey Pettry (32) of Vienna, WV.


•  Barry Rollyson (56) of Glenville, WV divorced Marti Rollyson (44) of Murfreesboro, TN.


•  Two DV petitions were continued.


•  One divorce had no order entered it in at this time.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Wednesday, February 15, 2017 Judge Jack Alsop presided over a jury trial in Gilmer County Circuit Court.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jason Starcher

He was found not guilty of 6 felony counts by the jury after they deliberated for approximately 30 minutes.

Timothy Gentilozzi of Clarksburg was his attorney and special prosecutor James Clevenger from Lewis County tried the case for the state.


•  Jurors returned on Thursday, February 16, 2017 for another jury trial.

 
•  Also Fugitive From Justice Cordale A. Williams waived to return to the state of Ohio.

He was represented by Jeff Davis of Clay and authorities in Ohio have until 4 PM February 27, 2017 to pick Williams up or Central Regional Jail will release him.


•  Joshua David Bohn appeared and his trial was continued to the March, 2017 term.



•  On Thursday, February 16, 2017 James Christman was tried by jury and found not guilty of all charges and was released from Central Regional Jail.

He was represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Monday, February 13, 2017 Judge Jack Alsop spent the day in Gilmer County hearing cases.


•  Seven juvenile matters were heard.


•  One fugitive from justice was reset to Wednesday, February 15, 2017 prior to the jury trials beginning.

No transport order was signed for Central Regional Jail to transport the defendant.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Joshua Bohn

He was supposed to appear at 9:00 AM for a hearing, but the Court was made aware that he was presently incarcerated elsewhere and reset that matter for Wednesday also.


•  One adoption was heard.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Charles Collins

This case was continued to the March, 2017 term.

His attorney is Joseph Spano.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Richard Williams Jr.

He was before the Court for modification of bond, which was denied.

His attorney was David Karickhoff.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Christopher DeBarr

He was supposed to be in Court for revocation of probation, however his whereabouts are unknown and a bench warrant was issued with no bond set.

His attorney is Christopher Moffatt of Charleston.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Dale Carr

His drug case remains dismissed.

His other criminal case was continued to the March term as well.

David Karickhoff also represents him.


Judge Alsop will begin a jury trial on February 15, 2017.

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Wednesday, February 08, 2017 Family Court Judge Steve Jones held Family Court in the Court House Annex.


•  One domestic violence petition was denied.


Two divorces were granted wherein:

•  Debra Doolittle (50) of Weston, WV divorced Orville Jack Doolittle (58) of Mt. Olive, WV.


•  Matthew D. Fisher (25) of Cedarville, WV divorced Tracey Fisher (24) of Paden City, WV.


•  One divorce was continued.


•  A guardian ad litem was appointed in a modification case and it was continued.


•  Another modification had no order entered in it yet due to attorneys being involved and they will prepare the order and submit it for signature to the FCJ.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

•  On Wednesday, February 08, 2017 Judge Jack Alsop heard a juvenile matter in Gilmer County.


•  After he recessed his hearing, Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire heard a juvenile by video conference from Braxton County.

Unfortunately the Circuit Court equipment was not working and all parties had to use the Magistrate Court Room to participate in the video conference.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

Judge Jack Alsop spent all day in Gilmer County on Friday, February 03, 2017.


Two fugitives from justice waived to return to their states.

•  Deshawn Hood waived extradition to return to the state of Virginia.

•  Gary Reyes waived to return to Ohio.

Authorities in those states have until February 15, 2017 at 4 PM to come to the Central Regional Jail and pick them up or they will be released.

Both men were represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


Nine pretrials were scheduled to be heard in criminal cases.


•  William Reynolds had his bond lowered to $30,000.00 and his case was continued to the March, 2017 term of Court before Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire.

He was represented by Brian Bailey of Buckhannon.

Shannon Johnson is special prosecutor in this case and failed to have defendant transported from Central Regional Jail for the hearing.

After the Judge ordered the Clerk to call the jail, the defendants who were not transported by special prosecutors arrived at 10:40 AM


•  Patty Reynolds was before the Court with her attorney Clinton Bischoff and she will remain on the bond heretofore posted and her trial is still scheduled for February 15th.

Special prosecutor Johnson has a conflict this day and must file a notice of scheduling conference to be worked out between the 2 Judges.


•  Jason Starcher is still set for trial February 15th.

His attorney is Timothy Gentilozzi from Clarksburg.


•  Dale Carr had his drug case dismissed with prejudice due to the affidavit of search warrant not having been filed.

Carr’s attorney was David Karickhoff of Sutton.

Later after the affidavit had been located still in Magistrate Court, Judge Alsop informed Prosecutor Hough that he could file a motion for reconsideration in the case.


•  Dale Carr’s second trial remains on the docket for February 22nd.


•  Eric Williams trial is still on for February 16th despite both sides asking for a continuance.

His attorney is Tom Kupec of Clarksburg.


•  Ralph McCourt Jr. Is set for trial on February 22nd also, but both attorneys have to file briefs prior to trial for the Judge to rule on.

His attorney is Brian Bailey of Buckhannon.


•  James Christman was represented by David Karickhoff and his motion to suppress and for reduction of bond were both denied.

His trial still remains on February 15th also.


•  Joshua Bohn failed to appear for his pertrial and contacted his attorney 10 minutes prior to hearing to inform him that he was in rehab.

Judge Alsop cancelled his trial for February 9th and the prosecuting attorney asked for a bench warrant for his arrest and Judge Alsop granted it and set bond at $25,000.00.

Bohn’s attorney is Jeff Davis of Clay.


•  State of West Virginia  vs. Steven Crislip

He was before the Court for a preliminary hearing on revocation of probation again.

Crislip waived the preliminary and made admissions and Judge Alsop ordered him to spend 120 days in jail with credit for the 8 days already served and then readmitted him to 3 years probation.

All jail time will be attributed to the DOC rather than the county.

His attorney was Bryan Hinkle of Buckhannon.


•  Four juvenile matters were taken up.


•  Lastly Judge Alsop sentenced Keith Arbogast upon his jury conviction to 6 charges, but ran them together for a total to be served of 10-25 years in the penitentiary.

He remains free on bond pending appeal to the Supreme Court.

His attorney was Daniel Grindo from Gassaway.

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

Gilmer County Family Court Judge Steve Jones heard cases in Family Court in Glenville today, February 01, 2017.


•  One divorce was granted with Bridget Freeby (58) of Sand Fork, WV divorcing Douglas Freeby(49) of Kunkletown, PA.


•  Guardian ad litems were appointed in 2 domestic violence cases and they were continued.


•  One domestic violence petition was terminated.


•  Temporary orders were entered in 2 divorce cases.


•  No order was entered in a case scheduled for contempt.

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Wednesday, January 25, 2017 Family Court Judge Steve Jones heard matters in Gilmer County Family Court.


•  One temporary hearing in a divorce case was heard.


•  One divorce was granted between Dione Raynelle Hardman(36) of Glenville, WV and Angel Michelle Wood (45) of Sanford, North Carolina.

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