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Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

  • Amber Woodford (30) of Glenville, WV divorced Travis Woodford (40) also of Glenville,WV

  • One modification was granted.

  • One modification was continued due to respondent not receiving paperwork.

  • One domestic violence was granted.

  • One petition to terminate a domestic violence petition was denied.

  • Two other matters were scheduled but no orders were received in them.

Gilmer County Magistrate Court Report

The Free Press WV
Magistrate Court of Gilmer County, West Virginia
Defendant Offense Disposition
Starcher, Jason Wayne Sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian to a child (6) Transferred to Circuit Court
Starcher, Jason Wayne Sexual abuse 3rd Transferred to Circuit Court
Starcher, Jason Wayne Contributing to delinquency or neglect of a child (1) Transferred to Circuit Court
Starcher, Jason Wayne Contributing to delinquency or neglect of a child (19) Dismissed
Starcher, Jason Wayne Contributing to delinquency or neglect of a child (4) Guilty Plea
Langford, Steven Ray Domestic Battery - Unlawful or intentional physical contact or harm to family or household Dismissed
Gates, Emily K. Battery on a government employee and/or medical personnel Dismissed - Deferred Sentence
Davis, Melody Domestic Battery - Unlawful or intentional physical contact or harm to family or household Dismissed
Shaffer, Geoffery Allen Domestic Battery - Unlawful or intentional physical contact or harm to family or household Dismissed
Hall, Solana L. Domestic Battery - Unlawful or intentional physical contact or harm to family or household No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Nichols, Brian Andrew Driving under the influence No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Lake, Timothy Allen Domestic Battery - Unlawful or intentional physical contact or harm to family or household Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Lake, Timothy Allen Domestic Battery - Unlawful or intentional physical contact or harm to family or household No Contest per Plea Agreement
Hess, Amy Lynn Driving while license suspended or revoked Dismissed
Hess, Amy Lynn Driving under the influence w/ an alcohol concentration in blood < .15 Guilty Plea
Furr, Timothy Alan Knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription Dismissed
Furr, Timothy Alan Knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription Guilty Plea Agreement
Rose, William Shane Falsely reporting an emergency incident - initiate or circulate No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Mckeown, Autumn M. Knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription Guilty Plea
Cottrill, Steven Joe Driving while license revoked - DUI Guilty - Plea Agreement
Cottrill, Steven Joe Operating without certificate of inspection or failure to produce certificate Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Peters, John M. Animals running at large Dismissed
Harrison, Kimberly Dawn Speeding Guilty Plea
Adkins, Michael Domestic Battery - Unlawful or intentional physical contact or harm to family or household Guilty - Plea Agreement
Adkins, Michael Domestic Battery - Unlawful or intentional physical contact or harm to family or household Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Juvenile 0 Underage Consumption Proceedings Deferred
Hively, Cody Drivers must be licensed; motorcycle licenses, state id Guilty Plea
Bond, Ted Kent Failure to Yield Right of Way No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Gordon, Levi M. Possession of Marijuana < .15 Proceedings Deferred
Gordon, Levi M. Provide alcohol to minor Dismissed - Plea Agreement
Walsh, Mikayla Loran Cell phone Guilty Plea
Juvenile 1 Possession of Marijuana < .15 Proceedings Deferred
Juvenile 1 Underage Consumption Dismissed
Juvenile 2 Possession of Marijuana < .15 Proceedings Deferred
Juvenile 2 Underage Consumption Dismissed
Juvenile 3 Possession of Marijuana < .15 Proceedings Deferred
Juvenile 3 Underage Consumption Dismissed
Juvenile 4 Underage Consumption Guilty Plea
Lambert, Danny Ray Driving while license suspended or revoked No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Lambert, Danny Ray Failure to change residency Dismissed - Plea Agreement
McCord, Terra Nichole Driving too fast for roadway conditions No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Hirschfield, Robert James Driving while license suspended or revoked Proceedings Deferred
Hirschfield, Robert James No insurance Dismissed
Emerson, Justin Lee Failure to maintain control Guilty Plea
Hitt, Amber Dawn Operating without certificate of inspection or failure to produce certificate Dismissed
Webb, Randi Contempt-Willful resistance by officer of the court/juror/witness/party/other to judicial Dismissed - With Prejudice
Webb, Justin Contempt-Willful resistance by officer of the court/juror/witness/party/other to judicial Dismissed - With Prejudice
Greenlief, Amanda Linn No proof of insurance Dismissed - Proof of Insurance
Beaubran Jr., Max Guy Operating without certificate of inspection or failure to produce certificate No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Beaubran Jr., Max Guy No insurance Dismissed
Wilson, Casey Sabrina Domestic Battery - Unlawful or intentional physical contact or harm to family or household Guilty Plea
Fraley, Thomas Elbert Expired Operators Guilty Plea
Huffman, Bryan James Failure to Use Due Care No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Phares, Alex Anderson Driving while license suspended or revoked No Contest Plea/Nolo Contendre
Ward, Jeremy Scott Trespass in structure or conveyance Guilty Plea
Ward, Jeremy Scott Petit Larceny Guilty Plea
Miller-Colon, Steffen Driving while license revoked - DUI Guilty Plea

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Wednesday, November 16, 2016 Family Court Judge Larry Whited:


•  Denied 2 domestic violence petitions.


•  Continued one to allow respondent to hire an attorney.

Later respondent was arrested due to violating the protective order.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Monday, November 28, 2016 Judge Richard A. Facemire presided over his motion day in Gilmer County.


•  Four juvenile matters were heard.


•  One juvenile matter was reset.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Robert Potter

He was before the Court asking for release from home confinement and community service.

Judge Facemire left him on 5 years probation but lowered his home confinement to 2 years and ordered him to clean the 2nd floor of the Court House 3 days a week from 9 AM to 3 PM to satisfy his community service requirement.

He was represented by Eric Wildman of Fairmont.


•  One expungement was heard and denied.



On Tuesday, November 15, 2015 both Judges held Court in the Court House Annex building due to lack of heat in the regular Court House.


First, Chief Judge Jack Alsop arraigned several individuals indicted the week before by Prosecuting Attorney Gerald B. Hough.


•  Dale Lee Carr was arraigned on both of his indictments (16-F-22 and 16-F-26).

Judge Alsop set a $50,000.00 bond to cover both cases.

Not guilty pleas were entered by him and a pretrial will be heard in the case involving drugs at 10:30 AM on February 03, 2017 and the pretrial in the case involving sexual charges will also be held on February 03, 2017 at 11:00 AM.

Both trials are set for February 22, 2017.

Carr is represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.


•  Mr. Karickhoff also represents James Anthony Christman who also entered pleas of not guilty to the indictment previously returned against him.

His pretrial is February 03, 2017 at 11:00 AM and his trial is set for February 15, 2017.

He remains in jail in lieu of $25,000.00 bond.


•  One juvenile matter was heard.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kevin Curry

He was before the Court for a motion to dismiss and said motion was granted and his case was dismissed without prejudice to the State of West Virginia.

Jeff Davis of Clay was his attorney and he was returned to prison to complete a prior sentence.


•  Due to the Central Regional Jail failing to transport one individual, Judge Alsop adjourned his Court and allowed Judge Facemire to conduct a juvenile matter he had scheduled also.

After a great deal of time had been spent taking testimony in the case before Judge Facemire he adjourned his case until 1:15 PM and allowed Judge Alsop to finish his docket.


•  Judge Alsop then arraigned Ralph McCourt Jr. with his attorney, Brian Bailey, participating by telephone due to being in Court in another county.

McCourt also entered not guilty pleas and his pretrial is February 03, 2017 at 10:30 and his trial is February 22, 2017.


•  After Central Regional Jail produced Joshua David Bohn for arraignment he also entered pleas of not guilty and his pretrial will be February 03, 2017 at 11:30 AM and his trial is February 09, 2017.

His attorney is Jeff Davis.


•  Lastly in the case of Ross Lee Miller he was before the Court for a status hearing and due to him being out of prison his habeas corpus was dismissed.

He was represented byTimothy Gentilozzi of Clarksburg.

Will Trump Administration Ditch Climate-Change Regs?

The Free Press WV

What will the Trump Administration do with Obama air-pollution limits designed to slow climate change? The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the federal government has to cut greenhouse gasses, including CO2 from existing power plants, but the feds’ Clean Power Plan has been stalled by court challenges about the specifics.

James Van Nostrand, a law professor and the director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development at West Virginia University said the new administration will have a number of ways to withdraw, loosen or delay the plan.

“Even if it stays in place, the EPA would just choose not enforce it,“ he said. “And a lot of the U.S. commitments under the Paris agreement are really hinged on emissions reductions that we were going to achieve under the Clean Power Plan.“

The coal industry has attacked the EPA’s Clean Power Plan as part of what it calls a “war on coal.“

Donald Trump famously tweeted that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China, although he later said that was a joke.

Walton Shepherd, a staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council said while Trump makes up his mind about the issue, climate change is speeding up. But he also noted, so is clean energy, which he called the cure for carbon pollution.

“That’s not waiting, either,“ he said. “Wind and solar are the fastest-growing supply of electricity in the country, and there are now more people employed in solar energy than in the oil and gas or coal-mining industries.“

Shepherd pointed out that clean air rules to address climate change are deeply embedded in the law, and very popular across the country. He said that’s why George W. Bush could stall but not completely stop regulations to address climate change.

“That administration also tried very hard to dismantle clean-air protections,“ he added. “And quite simply, they abandoned their efforts in the face of public opposition.“

The first clues about how the new administration will approach climate change may come when Trump announces who will head the EPA. Some have suggested he may even attempt to dismantle the agency, although that would be a radical step.

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Thursday, November 10, 2016 Chief Judge Jack Alsop called the criminal docket and 21 capias’ were renewed for criminals who failed to appear.


Two fugitives from justice waived to return to their states:

•  Eric Coffee waived to return to Maryland.

•  Charles Smith waived to return to Wisconsin

Both defendants were represented by Kevin Hughart of Sissonville and authorities in those states have until 4 PM November 22, 2016 to pick the fugitives up or Central Regional Jail will release them.


•  The trial of State of West Virginia vs. Adam Couch was continued pending an evaluation report being received from Clayman & Associates.

A status hearing is now set for December 12, 2016 at 11:00 AM.

Couch is represented by co-counsel Kevin Hughart and Brian Bailey of Buckhannon.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kevin Curry

He was before the Court and the Court on its own motion set a hearing on the motion to dismiss filed by prosecutor for Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Dennis McKay

He was set for a hearing but it was rescheduled due to him not being transported.

His case will now be heard on November 14, 2016.


On November 14, 2016 Chief Judge Alsop held Court in the annex building in Magistrate Court due to their being NO HEAT in the main Court House.

Later he dispensed with the new petit/magistrate jurors having to report on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 as summonsed by the Circuit Clerk. Karen Elkin’s office later contacted all the jurors who had provided telephone numbers and they will receive a letter telling them when to report for indoctrination, as well as upcoming trial dates for the November term which runs through the end of February 2017.


•  NO PETIT JURORS WILL REPORT ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH.


The 2 special prosecutors appeared and arraignments were held in the cases they presented to the grand jury and secured indictments.


Shannon Johnson was special prosecutor in the following cases:


1) William Lewis Reynolds entered not guilty pleas to all the counts of his indictment and he will have a pretrial hearing at 9:00 AM on February 03, 2017 and his trial is set for the third case February 15th.

Brian Bailey of Buckhannon represents Mr. Reynolds.


2) Patty Jane Reynolds also entered not guilty pleas in her indictment.

Her pretrial is also set for 9:00 AM on February 03, 2017 and she is scheduled to be the first trial on February 15th.

She is represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


3) State of West Virginia vs. Eric Brent Williams

He entered not guilty pleas to all 14 counts of his indictment.

He is represented by Thomas Kupec of Clarksburg and his pretrial is set for 10:00 AM February 03, 2016 and his trial is set for February 16th.


•  Kurt Hall of Lewis County was special prosecutor in the case of State of West Virginia vs. Jason Wayne Starcher.

Starcher entered not guilty pleas to all 6 counts of his indictment and he is represented by Timothy Gentilozzi of Clarksburg who appeared by telephone.

His pretrial will be 9:30 AM on February 03, 2016 and he is second trial on February 15th.


•  Eight juvenile matters were heard.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Dennis McKay

He was ordered to undergo a mental examination by Charleston Forensic Psychologists and an order will be entered scheduling that examination. McKay is represented by Teresa Monk of Walton.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Eric Winston Langford

He was also ordered to undergo a mental examination and he is represented by Christopher Moffatt of Charleston.


•  In the case of John Puffenbarger vs. David Ballard, Warden it was determined that Bailey had already filed the habeas on his behalf, thus the state has to respond within 20 days and an evidentiary hearing was scheduled for January 06, 2017 at 2:00 PM.


•  A name change petition was continued by the Court and he appointed Kevin Hughart as guardian ad litem to represent the best interest of the child.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Charles Collins

He was before the Court on a motion filed by the state for a DNA sample.

Collins voluntarily agreed to provide it and the state has to set a date and time for the submission.

Collins is represented by Joseph Spano.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Joshua Clark

He was before the Court for reconsideration but due to him being scheduled for a parole hearing in early December the Judge decided it was up to the parole board to make the decision.


•  One matter was before the Court for release of funds held by the General Receiver and upon submission of being Executrix over the estate of her father Judge Alsop ordered the funds be released to her.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Brittney Nickeson

She was before the Court after successfully completing the program at Anthony Correctional Center for Youthful Offenders with no violations of any kind.

She was admitted to 4 years probation with 80 hours per year of community service.

Her attorney was Clinton Bischoff.


•  Michael Kendall was before the Court for expungement of his record, which request was denied by Judge Alsop.




On Wednesday, November 09, 2016 Chief Judge Jack Alsop came to Gilmer County for his regular November term of Court.


Wednesday was grand jury day and at 9:17 the jury was seated and Judge Alsop instructed them and Daniel Minney was named foreperson and Daniel Page was named Deputy Foreperson.

At 9:47 AM they went to their jury room and 2 special prosecutors, namely Shannon Johnson of Calhoun County and Kurt Hall of Lewis County presented cases and at 11:22 AM the grand jurors returned to open Court and returned 4 indictments as follows:


•  State of West Virginia vs. William Lewis Reynolds

He was indicted for one count of child abuse causing bodily injury, 1 count of child neglect causing bodily injury, 1 count of conspiracy to commit child abuse resulting in bodily injury and 1 count of conspiracy to commit child neglect causing bodily injury.

Reynolds is represented by Brian Bailey of Buckhannon and will be arraigned at 9:00 AM Monday, November 14, 2016.

Special prosecuting attorney Shannon Johnson is handling this case.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Patty Jane Reynolds

She was indicted for the same 4 counts as her husband, William and is represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville and her arraignment will also be on Monday.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Eric Brent Williams

He was indicted for 7 counts of obtaining under false pretenses and 7 counts of fraudulent schemes.

His attorney is Thomas Kupec of Clarksburg and will be arraigned Monday as well.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jason Wayne Starcher

He was indicted for 5 counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in position of trust and 1 count of sexual abuse in the third degree.

Kurt Hall of Lewis County is the special prosecuting attorney handling this case.

This arraignment will be Monday, November 14th also.


Later prosecuting attorney Gerald B. Hough presented 5 more indictments as follows:


•  State of West Virginia vs. Dale Lee Carr

He was indicted for one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver a schedule I controlled substance ( heroin) and 1 count of conspiracy.

Carr is represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton and his arraignment will be Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Ralph Jennings McCourt Jr.

He was also indicted for one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver a schedule I controlled substance (heroin) and 1 count of conspiracy.

His attorney is Brian Bailey of Buckhannon.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Joshua David Bohn

He was indicted for one count of entry of a building other than a dwelling and one count of conspiracy.

He is represented by Jeff Davis of Clay.


•  State of West Virginia vs. James Anthony Christman

He was indicted for one count of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory and one count of conspiracy.

He is also represented by David Karickhoff.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Dale Lee Carr

He was also indicted for 7 counts of sexual assault in the second degree, 7 counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust to a child.


All of Prosecutor Hough’s indictees will appear at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 for arraignment.



Judge Richard A. Facemire denied an expungement he had previously taken under advisement.

Dale Carr’s bond was reduced.

Gilmer County Family Court Report

The Free Press WV

Family Court Judge Larry Whited held Court in Gilmer County.

•  One domestic violence petition was reset for November 16, 2016.

•  One contempt was heard continued.

•  One divorce was continued until January 11, 2017.

•  One modification was continued to January 11, 2016.

•  Two temporary hearings were heard.


Two divorces were granted as follows:

•  Kenneth Broome (53) of Linn, WV divorced Pamela C. Broome (49) of Weston, WV.

•  Elizabeth Shaffer (26) of Normantown, WV divorced Melvin Shaffer (32) of Normantown, WV.


•  One domestic violence petition was granted.

•  2 domestic violence petitions were denied.

•  Two modifications had temporary orders entered in them with final orders to come at a later date.

•  One modification was continued due to death in the family.

•  2 domestic violence cases were continued.

•  One divorce was continued.

•  One allocation petition was granted.


•  One divorce was granted between Autumn McKeown (26) of Glenville, WV divorced William Dennison (34).

Mom of Missing Girl Killed Her with Blow to Head

The Free Press WV

Toddler Aliayah Lunsford was killed five years ago by a “blunt force strike to the head with a handheld object,“ law enforcement has alleged in the criminal complaint against her mother, Lena Lunsford.

During a news conference Friday morning, Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy said the whereabouts of Aliayah’s body remain unknown.

“Today is a somber, yet successful day for the investigators standing in front of you, along with the many others concerned with the disappearance of an innocent 3-year-old child,“ Gissy said. “It comes with great sadness that I report that Aliayah Lunsford ... is deceased. ... I realize there are several questions left unanswered.

“However, I’m sure the one question that is weighing on everyone’s mind is, ‘Have we located Aliayah? The investigation has led us to believe that the one person who possesses knowledge of Aliayah’s whereabouts is now in custody,“ Gissy said.

He declined to offer further details.

The Free Press WV

Lena Lunsford, 34, of St. Petersburg, Florida, was returned to West Virginia Friday morning after waiving extradition. She’s charged with felony death of a child by parent by child abuse. She had an initial appearance before Special Magistrate John M. Coffman and was jailed on a $250,000 cash bond.

Coffman has scheduled a probable cause hearing at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 10 in Lewis County Magistrate Court for Lunsford, also known as Lena Conaway and Lena Marie Lunsford-Conaway.

Circuit Judge Jake Reger has appointed Clay attorney Barabara A. Harmon Schamberger to represent Lunsford. Schamberger, who’s been practicing law almost 20 years, declined to comment, saying it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to do so in “a case pending before the court.“

The strike to Aliayah’s head was made knowingly and intentionally on Sept. 24, 2011, Lewis Sheriff’s Deputy E.E. Carpenter has alleged in the criminal complaint, and it occurred inside the rental property in Bendale at which the Lunsfords were living.

“Present witnesses observed the aforementioned strike and thereafter stated the child victim fell to the ground from the injury sustained to her head,“ the complaint alleges.

“Further information stated the defendant did NOT initially provide help/medical assistance to the child victim and additionally did not allow others present to provide medical assistance and/or contact medical personnel to assist the child victim, who was visibly suffering from trauma caused by the strike,“ Carpenter has alleged.

“Within hours of the strike, the child victim died,“ Carpenter has alleged.

“Thereafter, the defendant did knowingly and intentionally take steps to conceal the crime,“ Carpenter has alleged.

“These include, but are not limited to, originating a fictitious narrative regarding the death, destroying evidence, concealing the victim’s body and instructing witnesses to conceal the true circumstances of the victim’s death,“ Carpenter has alleged. “The defendant is the birth mother of the child victim and was under the care and custody of the defendant at the time of the incident,“ Carpenter has alleged. “The aforementioned information is supported by direct witness testimony, officer and corroborative witness testimony and physical/photographic evidence.“

During the press conference, the sheriff also praised the cooperation of the multiple law enforcement agencies that participated in the case.

Lewis deputies, the State Police and the FBI worked hand-in-hand on the investigation from its very beginning, Gissy said. Homeland Security Investigations, the Pinellas County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department and the Clearwater, Florida, Police Department supported the investigation and the arrest, Gissy said.

~~  Matt Harvey ~~

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Thursday, October 27, 2016 Judge Richard A. Facemire was in Gilmer County.


•  He heard 4 juvenile cases.




On Friday, October 28, 2016 Chief Judge Jack Alsop heard 2 pretrials in the cases of:


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jeremy Ward


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kevin Curry


•  One fugitive from justice from Virginia, Tonda Royal, waived to return to his state.

Authorities there have until 4 PM November 09, 2016 to pick him up at Central Regional Jail or he will be released.

Royal was represented by Timothy Gentilozzi of Clarksburg.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kevin Ward

His case was dismissed without prejudice upon motion of the prosecuting attorney due to the unavailability of the state’s witness. Mr. Gentilozzi also represented Ward.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kevin Curry

He had 3 motions filed and heard on behalf of the prosecuting attorney.

Upon hearing the third motion Judge Alsop continued the case to the next term with his pretrial to be heard November 10, 2016 and he will be set for trial November 16, 2016.

Curry was represented by Jeff Davis of Clay.

WV Supreme Court Says Drunk Driving Is Illegal, Even On Private Property

The Free Press WV

You may like to drink a few cold beers and ride around on your ATV on your property, but just know that according to state Supreme Court, you are still subject to the state’s drunk driving laws.

In a decision released last week, the high court ruled 4-1 that the state Division of Motor Vehicles has the authority to revoke driving privileges for motorists caught driving drunk on private property [emphasis added] as well as the public roads.

The case originated in Monroe County, where in 2012 Joshua Beckett wrecked while riding an ATV on a family-owned farm.  Beckett admitted he had been drinking and tests at the hospital allegedly showed his blood-alcohol content at 0.17, twice the legal limit.

A sheriff’s deputy charged Beckett with driving under the influence. A magistrate dismissed the charge, but while it was pending police notified the state Division of Motor Vehicles, which revoked Beckett’s license for 45 days.

Beckett appealed and a circuit judge ruled in his favor, saying that Beckett’s “actions did not occur on land open to public use.” The DMV then appealed that decision to the state Supreme Court.

The High Court found in favor of the DMV, citing the state’s drunk driving law which says the agency has authority over anyone operating a motor vehicle anywhere in the state. The code section further defines that as “anywhere within the physical boundaries of this State.”

Chief Justice Menis Ketchum, writing for the majority, said the law is unambiguous. “The Legislature chose to structure our DUI statues to regulate the condition of the driver, not the locale in which the driving is taking place.”

Ketchum cited similar laws in other states. “If a state law criminalizes the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, and the law contains no geographic constraint, then the courts will not read into the statute a requirement that the vehicle be operated exclusively on a public highway.”

Clearly driving while intoxicated creates a risk to the operator, as well as to innocent motorists who are sharing the highway, but Beckett was riding the ATV on private property. He wasn’t on the road, or even in a parking lot or a subdivision. The field where Beckett was riding was not open to the public.

Drunk driving is a serious public health concern, but was it really the intent of the legislature to extend enforcement onto an individual’s private property?  That rings of a government overreach.

The court may not have had much leeway in the matter given the language of the statute, although we look forward to Justice Brent Benjamin’s dissent.  Benjamin, who has a libertarian streak, must also question just how far such laws should extend.

Just know that as the law now stands, driving while intoxicated is against the law anywhere and everywhere in West Virginia, from government controlled roads all the way to the lower forty acres on your farm.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Monday, October 24, 2016 Judge Richard A. Facemire presided over his regular monthly motion day in Gilmer County.


•  One fugitive from justice, Roderick Stewart waived to return to the state of Kentucky and authorities have until 4 PM November 02, 2016 to pick him up or Central Regional Jail will release him.

Roderick Stewart was represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


•  Eight juvenile matters were heard, with 2 being dismissed.


•  Marcus Schofield was before the Court with his attorney, Melissa Roman of Buckhannon asking for his bound over cases to be dismissed for failure to present his case timely to a grand jury.

Judge Facemire dismissed the matters pending against Schofield after Prosecutor Hough related he could not prove the felony in the matter and was choosing to prosecute this matter in magistrate court as a misdemeanor.


•  An old case from 2015 was before the Court for forfeiture of $334.00 and with nobody appearing to object, the money was forfeited with 10% going to the prosecuting attorney and the remaining 90% going to the state police.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kristopher Speas

He was before the Court permitting an information to be filed against him instead of going to the grand jury for indictment.

Upon his plea of guilty to one count of possession with intent to deliver (meth) 6 bound over counts were dismissed against him.

Upon Judge Facemire accepting his guilty plea he referred it to the probation officer for a presentence investigation and set the matter for sentencing.

Then Speas asked that the presentence be dispensed with and asked to be sentenced immediately and thereupon Judge Facemire sentenced him to 1-5 years in the penitentiary with no fine imposed but Speas must pay court costs within 18 months of his release.

Tyler Mason of Sissonville represented the defendant.


•  One civil matter was set for a motion to compel but said motion was withdrawn prior to hearing.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Free Press WV

On Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Chief Judge Jack Alsop presided over his regular monthly motion day due to Monday being a holiday.


Two fugitives waived to return to their respective states, both being represented by Eric Hencil of Clarksburg.

•  Angelo Cruz waived to return to New York and

•  Lindsay Blackmon waived to return to Ohio.

Authorities in those states have until 4 PM October 20th to pick the defendants up or Central Regional Jail will release them.


•  Eight juvenile matters were heard and 2 were rescheduled after new attorneys were appointed in them.


•  The civil case of Brenda Lawson vs. Gilmer County PSD was before the Court for status.

Judge Alsop scheduled the matter for jury trial on January 30, 2017.

Plaintiff is represented by Mark Goldner and defendants are represented by Arden Cogar Jr. And James Stacy II.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Christopher Puffenbarger

He was before the Court and after he signed the sex offender information Judge Alsop informed him that he must register as a sex offender for life.

His attorney was Christopher Moffatt of Charleston.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Charles Collins

The trial set for trial on Wednesday, was continued until January 31, 2017 at 9:00 AM due to the late submission of evidence by our local state police to the crime lab in Charleston.

Collins’ attorney is Joseph Spano of Charleston.


•  State of West Virginia vs. James Christman

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

His attorney is David Karickhoff of Sutton.




On Wednesday, Judge Alsop heard more testimony in a juvenile case started on Tuesday.


•  Previously in a case that was heard in Braxton County, Judge Richard A. Facemire sentenced Angel Hart to the penitentiary for 1-5 years after her probation was revoked.

She was represented by Steve Nanners of Buckhannon.

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