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Court News

Bureau of Prisons at Gilmer Inmate Pleads Guilty to Assault

The Free Press WV

Robert Fleming, age 30, currently incarcerated at Federal Correctional Institution Gilmer, pled guilty today to assaulting a correctional officer, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

In June 2014, Fleming intentionally assaulted a correctional officer with the intent to inflict bodily harm. Fleming pled guilty today to one count of “Assaulting, Resisting, and Impeding Certain Officers or Employees.” He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Warner prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Federal Bureau of Prisons Special Investigations Services Unit investigated.

U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley presided.

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Wednesday, September 21, 2016 several Gilmer County Family Court cases were heard by Judge Larry Whited.


•  A temporary order was entered in a divorce case.


•  One divorce was granted wherein Ashley Maxwell (32) of Cox’s Mills, WV divorced Jason Maxwell (33) of Glenville, WV.


•  One divorce was dismissed.


•  One domestic violence petition was denied and dismissed.


•  One allocation petition was reset for October 19th.


•  Two domestic violence petitions were granted.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Friday, September 16, 2016 Chief Judge Jack Alsop held Court in Gilmer County.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Stefano Pecci

He had his case dismissed without prejudice after being in Central Regional Jail since February.

He was represented by Christopher Moffatt of Charleston.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Charles Collins

He had pretrial motions heard in it and his trial remains on the docket for Wednesday, October 12, 2016.

He is represented by Joseph Spano of Charleston.


•  State of West Virginia vs. William Hardman

He was before the Court for sentencing and Judge Alsop suspended his sentence and placed him in Anthony Correctional Center for 6 months to 2 years after which he will be sentenced.

Clinton Bischoff of Summersville is Hardman’s attorney.

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

Family Court Judge Larry Whited heard cases in Family Court in Gilmer County on Wednesday, September 14, 2016.

Two divorces were granted as follows:


•  Max Groves Jr. (51) of Glenville, WV divorced Travis Groves (45) of Sutton, WV


•  Billie Jo Ferguson (45) of Glenville, WV divorced Jason Ferguson (40) of Big Springs, WV


•  Another divorce was heard but no final order was entered.


•  One domestic violence case was continued.

G-OpEd™: Ready For West Virginia’s Day in Court

The Free Press WV

In a few short days, on Tuesday, September 27, my office will take the lead before a panel of nine judges and make our best case against President Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan.”

The Power Plan is an unlawful federal rule that forces states to stop using the most affordable, reliable form of energy — coal.

After years of preparation by my office — including an unprecedented victory at the U.S. Supreme Court that halted the Power Plan — West Virginia’s legal arguments will finally be heard by one of our nation’s most important federal courts.

This is a crucial moment in the battle against the Obama-Clinton war on coal families. My office is ready to fight.

Over the past year, I have led a large, bipartisan coalition of states — a majority of all states — to sue EPA over the legality of its job-killing Power Plan. West Virginia and its coalition was the first to file the lawsuit, which is why the case bears the name West Virginia v. EPA.

Unlike other so-called leaders, I was not content to surrender to Washington, D.C., just because the fight would be difficult and might upset President Obama and his liberal allies. As long as I am Attorney General, West Virginia will not sit on the sidelines in these battles — we will help lead them.

Our coalition is large and strong with labor unions, consumer groups, businesses, utilities, coal companies and a bipartisan coalition of 29 states and state agencies on our side.

We are united for the proposition that the President lacks the power to pick winners and losers in the energy market and that he cannot bypass the states’ traditional role to manage energy resources.

Our fight against the Power Plan matters to every West Virginian because it will negatively impact so many people. This rule simply devastates coal, coal miners, coal retirees and their families and puts at risk thousands of good paying jobs and affordable energy for our state.

Not only that, but local communities and counties that rely on coal — including the tax revenue that coal generates for schools and roads — are harmed. Places like Boone County, among many others, were forced to slash their school funding because of the collapse of tax revenue from coal jobs. Moreover, local businesses that rely on coal jobs — from equipment supply and repair to the local grocery store — are all hurt by the radical Obama-Clinton EPA agenda.

Residents who work and live far from coal country are not exempt. As power plants are forced to use more expensive forms of energy like wind or solar, higher costs are passed onto the consumers by increasing electricity bills. Working families and retirees can least afford the higher electricity bills that result from EPA’s Power Plan and other job-killing federal regulations.

This is why I fight.

And that’s why we are ready to fight for West Virginia when we get our day in court. Because when the chips are down, West Virginians are always ready to stand up and defend what’s right. We will always do everything in our power to defeat this out of control EPA.

~~  Patrick Morrisey serves as attorney general for West Virginia ~~

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Monday, September 12, 2016 Chief Judge Jack Alsop heard several matters in Gilmer County.


•  Seven juvenile proceedings were heard.


•  One adoption was granted.


•  The sentencing of William Hardman II was continued until 9:00 AM on Friday, September 16, 2016.


•  Also another hearing was scheduled for October 11, 2016 at 10:10 AM in the matter of State of West Virginia vs. Christopher Puffenbarger who was represented by Chris Moffatt of Charleston.


•  One hearing was heard and granted involving a trust account.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jeremy Ward

He was before the Court for bond reduction and Judge Alsop reduced it to $25,000.00.

Ward is represented by Timothy Gentilozzi of Clarksburg.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Dale Carr

He was before the Court asking for bond reduction in his case.

It was also reduced to $25,000.00.

David Karickhoff of Sutton represented Mr. Carr.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Amy Self

She was before the Court asking for a stay,

Judge Alsop indicated he will not rule on the matter until the WV Supreme Court has ruled on the writ of prohibition filed by the prosecuting attorney.

Gilmer County Magistrate Court Report - August 2016

The Free Press WV
Magistrate Court of Gilmer County, West Virginia
Defendant Offense Disposition
Hardman, Dione Assault on Officer No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Wine, Christy Ann Obstructing Officer Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Wine, Christy Ann Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Prescription (2) Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Harvey, Jack Ryan Child Neglect Creating Risk of Injury (2) No Contest per Plea Agreement
Richards, Kate Child Neglect Creating Risk of Injury (2) No Contest per Plea Agreement
Bohn, Joshua David Entry of Building Other Than Dwelling; Entry of Railroad, Traction, or Motorcar, Steamboat Transferred to Circuit Court
Bohn, Joshua David Conspiracy; Construction of Section; Penalties Transferred to Circuit Court
Pritt, Charles Edward Altering or Changing a Manufacturer’s Serial Number, Vehicles, offenses (2) Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Pritt, Charles Edward Principal in the Second Degree and Accessory Before and After the Fact (2) Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Reynolds, Patty Jane Child Abuse Resulting in Injury; Criminal Penalties (Injury) (5) Transferred to Circuit Court
Anfenson, Jacob James Condition Discharge for First Offense of Possession Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Malcomb, Brittany Lea Domestic Battery-Unlawful or Intentional Physical Contact or Harm to Family or Household Guilty Plea
Yancey, Justin Xavier Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Prescription No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Yancey, Justin Xavier No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Yancey, Justin Xavier No Operator’s Carried No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Harvey, Jack Ryan Contributing to Delinquency or Neglect of a Child No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Harvey, Jack Ryan Contributing to Delinquency or Neglect of a Child Dismissed
Richards, Kate Contributing to Delinquency or Neglect of a Child No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Richards, Kate Contributing to Delinquency or Neglect of a Child Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Ramsey, James Anthony Domestic Battery-Unlawful or Intentional Physical Contact or Harm to Family or Household Dismissed
French, Clinton Edward Driving While License Suspended or Revoked Proceedings Deferred
Pritt, Jason Mandell No Vehicle Insurance Guilty Verdict
Langford, Eric Winston Domestic Battery-Unlawful or Intentional Physical Contact or Harm to Family or Household Dismissed
Tyler, Melvin A Intoxication or Drinking in Public Places No Contest per Plea Agreement
Tyler, Melvin A Disorderly Conduct; Penalty No Contest per Plea Agreement
Tyler, Melvin A Battery Upon Another by Making Physical Contact with Force Capable of Causing Pain or Injuries Dismissed - Plea Agreement
McCune, Melissa Lou Driving While License Suspended or Revoked Dismissed
McCune, Melissa Lou Vehicle Entering Highway from Private Road or Driveway Dismissed
Coll, Rachel Maureen Certificate of Insurance Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Coll, Rachel Maureen Operation of Vehicle without Evidence of Registration Guilty Plea Agreement
Coll, Rachel Maureen Obstructing Officer Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Coll, Rachel Maureen Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Prescription Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Bush, Ronald Lee Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Prescription Guilty Plea
Adkins, Carol Sue Burning Refuse Guilty Plea
Frederick Sr., Joseph Lee Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Prescription Guilty Plea
Frederick Sr., Joseph Lee Littering from Vehicle Guilty Plea
Hacker, Whitney Ranee Left of Center No Contest per Plea Agreement
Scott, James P Left of Center Proceedings Deferred
Scott, James P No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Conrad, Wesley James Operation of Vehicle without Evidence of Registration Guilty Plea
Morgan, Angela C. Driving While License Suspended or Revoked Guilty Plea Agreement
Morgan, Angela C. Officer Cited 17B-2-9 Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Pritt, Charles Edward Injury or Tampering with Special Mobile Equipment (2) No Contest per Plea Agreement
Hull, William Andrew Speeding No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
McHenry, Seth Dare No Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
McHenry, Seth Dare Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Prescription Guilty Plea
Fields, Shannon Lee Cell Phone No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Lopez, Eric Mathew Speeding No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Clowser, Kristin Driving While License Suspended or Revoked No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Junkins, Rebecca Lou No Seatbelt Guilty Plea
Junkins, Rebecca Lou No Insurance Dismissed
Noggle, Roberta Faye Operation of Vehicles with Safety Belts Guilty Plea
Noggle, Roberta Faye No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Peloro, John Salvatore Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Prescription Proceedings Deferred
Belknap, Colden Ray No Proof of Insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Durhan, Kayla Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Prescription Proceedings Deferred
Calhoun, Ralph Alexander Knowingly or Intentionally Possessing a Controlled Substance without Prescription Guilty Plea
Harris, Michael Preston Speeding Guilty Plea
Dennison, Carrie A. Making, Issuing Worthless Checks No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Bender, Richard L. Making, Issuing Worthless Checks Guilty Plea
Watson, David W. Making, Issuing Worthless Checks No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Watson, David W. Making, Issuing Worthless Checks No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre

Gilmer Shooting Suspect Faces Murder Charges

The Free Press WV

The Gilmer County man accused of shooting his neighbor now faces murder charges following the death of the victim, Don Singleton, on Friday.

The Gilmer County Prosecutor’s Office and State Police finalized the upgraded charges against Earl Milton Bailey, age 64, of Cedarville, WV, Tuesday afternoon, according to Sgt. R.P. Smith with the Glenville detachment of West Virginia State Police.

Police arrested Bailey on Monday, September 05 following a Labor Day shooting incident in the Gilmer County town of Cedarville.

Police say Bailey went to a neighbor’s residence and fired shots at two people.

One person escaped on foot, but the gunfire hit Singleton in the head.

Following the shooting, Healthnet flew Singleton to Charleston Area Medical Center.

Singleton passed away Friday.

Police originally charged Bailey with attempted murder and wanton endangerment.

Bailey is in Central Regional Jail.

Florida Couple Pleads Guilty to Defrauding the Government On Braxton County, WV, Bridge Project

The Free Press WV

A Florida couple has admitted falsifying pay records for workers on a federal bridge painting contract in Braxton County, WV, more than four years ago.

Nomiki Vavlas, 50, and Michael Vavlas, 52, of Tarpon Springs, pleaded guilty to committing fraud against the United States, U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II said.

The Valvlas’s own and operate VHP Enterprises Inc., a company that specializes in painting and sandblasting. They were awarded a federal contract for the Braxton County, WV, bridge project, for August 2011 through September 2012.

The project was subject to the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires employers to pay a minimum hourly wage rate to all employees. The couple did not pay the full wage rate for overtime hours worked by project employees and falsified payroll reports that were submitted to the West Virginia Division of Highways by mail.

They each face up to five years in prison with a fine of up to $250,000. 

The Department of Labor Office of Inspector General and the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations handled the investigation.

Gilmer County Man Faces Attempted Murder Charges in Monday Shooting

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia State Police arrested a Gilmer County man Monday night on charges of attempted murder and wanton endangerment following a shooting incident at a home in rural Gilmer County.

Sgt. R.P. Smith with the Glenville detachment of the WVSP said Earl Milton Bailey, age 64, went to the home of his neighbor, Don Singleton, and shot him in the head with a pistol.

Sgt. Smith said another person was in the home at the time, but was able to escape unharmed.

Healthnet flew Singleton to Charleston Area Medical Center and is listed in critical condition.

Sgt. Smith added that the charges could be upgraded if Mr. Singleton’s condition deteriorates.

Police believe the shooting was the result of a dispute over dogs.

Sgt. Smith said Bailey accused Singleton of poisoning one of his dogs.

Bailey is in Central Regional Jail.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Tuesday, August 23, 2016 a criminal trial was held in Gilmer County Circuit Court.

•  State of West Virginia vs. Keith Arbogast

The trial began on Tuesday and ended on Wednesday with a GUILTY verdict on all 6 counts.

The jury was sworn at 10:30 AM and the state and defense made their opening statements after the Court instructed the jury.

At 10:45 AM the prosecutor called its first witness and at 11:43 AM the Court excused the jury for lunch while it took up other matters on the docket.

At 1:00 PM the prosecutor continued calling witnesses (8 in total) and at 2:10 PM the state rested its case.

After motions were made by defense counsel, Daniel Grindo of Gassaway, and a brief recess the defendant began calling witnesses at 2:38 PM and at approximately 3:00 PM due to the unavailability of a defense witness, the Court excused the jury to return to the Court room at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 to continue the trial.

On Wednesday Mr. Grindo called his last witness and rested his case at 9:48 AM.

Then the Court read the charge to the jury and at 10:17 AM the state and defense made their closing argument.

The jury went to their room at 10:41 AM to deliberate upon their verdict and after returning to the Court room twice to ask questions the jury returned to the Court Room at 11:56 AM and found him guilty of all 6 counts of the indictment.

Sentencing will be 10:00 AM on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 and the probation officer is to prepare a presentence investigation.


•  On Tuesday, Judge Alsop also granted 2 guardianship petitions and heard a juvenile matter.


•  On Wednesday, another juvenile matter was also heard by the Court.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Monday, August 22, 2016 Judge Richard A. Facemire held motion day in Glenville.

He heard 4 fugitives from justice cases, with all 4 waiving to return to their states:

•  Joseph Eli waived to return to Virginia

•  Wilfredo Cheverro-Abrego (who had an interpreter) waived to return to Maryland

•  Michael Huff waived to return to Ohio

•  Robert Morris waived to return to Mississippi.

Authorities in their states have until 4 PM on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 to pick them up or Central Regional Jail will release them.

All 4 defendants were represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


•  Six juvenile matters were heard.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Austin Biro

He was before the Court for revocation of his probation and admitted to the same.

Judge Facemire sentenced him to 120 days in Central Regional Jail with DOC to bear the costs, and then he will be readmitted to probation and must reside with his grandmother and have a 9:30 PM curfew.

He was represented by Bryan Hinkle of Buckhannon.


•  One adoption was granted.


•  One guardian petition and one expungement petition were dismissed for failure to appear.


•  One expungement was granted.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Angel Hart

She was also before the Court for revocation of her probation and asked for a full blown adjudicatory hearing which was set for Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 9:00 AM and she was admitted to home confinement in the meantime.

She was represented by Steve Nanners of Buckhannon.

Also the prosecuting attorney has until Friday, August 26, 2016 to file an amended petition with additional charges.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Charles Balliett

He was before the Court for reduction of bond, however the Judge modified his bond to either be $4,000.00 good and sufficient surety to be approved by the Clerk or to be on home confinement.

Later in the day his family retained B&B Bonding to post his bond.

He was represented by Christopher Moffatt of Charleston.

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