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Lewis County Man Wants Ethics Panel to Reconsider Complaint

The Gilmer Free Press

The WV Record Reports:


A Lewis County businessman says a state ethics panel did not take seriously his complaint against two Tucker County judicial officers.

In a letter dated Oct.ober11, 2012, Jerry L. Burkhammer asked the state Judicial Investigation Commission to reconsider its decision to dismiss his complaint against Magistrate Carol Irons and Judge Philip B. Jordan, Jr. In his letter, Burkhammer, 71 and a Weston salvage dealer, said the grounds on which JIC, the arm of the state Supreme Court that investigates judicial misconduct, used to dismiss it is proof that “the Commission didn’t even bother to read my complaint.”

Nearly two years ago Burkhammer filed his complaint against Irons and Jordan alleging they failed to recuse themselves from hearing criminal charges that were brought against him in 2007 for violation of a court order and attempt to commit conspiracy. Their prior actions and statements, Burkhammer said, created a conflict of interest.

In his complaint, Burkhammer alleged Irons’ conflict was created when she, while in her term as sheriff, served as a bailiff during some of the abuse and neglect hearings involving his daughter, Lindsay Brooke. Following an allegation leveled by Lindsay’s mother, Sheryl L. Conner-Kines, in 2002 that Burkhammer molested Lindsay, Jordan determined Burkhammer was an unfit parent and terminated his parental rights.

Eventually, Jordan ordered Burkhammer to have no contact with Lindsay and not enter Tucker County until she turns 18 years old in 2014.

Also, Burkhammer said in his complaint that sometime after her election as magistrate, and prior to his arrest, he confided to Irons how he felt he was being unfairly treated by the Tucker County judicial system. This included Jordan referring to him as pedophile during one of the abuse and neglect hearings despite his lack of a conviction or arrest on any related charges.

In his complaint, Burkhammer said neither Irons, when his case came to trial in July 2008, nor Jordan, when he appealed his conviction on the violation charge a few weeks later to circuit court, had any business presiding over his case. A motion his court-appointed attorney Dwight Hall made for Jordan to recuse himself from hearing the appeal was denied, Burkhammer said.

At trial, Burkhammer was acquitted on the conspiracy charge.

A collateral complaint Burkhammer filed with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the arm of the Court that investigates attorney misconduct, against Chad Cissel, the attorney appointed to file his appeal to the Court, remains open.

On March 14, 2011, JIC dismissed Burkhammer’s complaint after it could find “no substantiated evidence” that either Irons or Jordan violated the Code of Judicial Conduct. In concluding the letter, Hancock Circuit Judge Ronald Wilson, JIC’s chairman, said that Burkhammer’s allegations “deal with legal matters or rulings made a judicial officer” which do “not rise to the level of an ethics violation.”

However, Wilson said “[t]here may be avenues for appeal available to the litigants in such situations.”

Irons’ and Jordan’s rulings, Burkhammer says in his letter, are not the issue. Instead, it was the fact they made them in spite of having the appearance of a conflict of interest.

As further evidence that JIC did not read his complaint, Burkhammer says it used virtually the same language in it as it did in the one dismissing a prior complaint he filed against Jordan in 2008 for calling him a pedophile. That included the final line informing him about “avenues for appeal.”

The Court denied Burkhammer’s appeal in February 2009, three weeks after he was released from a six-month jail sentence.

As of presstime, JIC had yet to respond to Burkhammer’s letter.

~~  Lawrence Smith - WV Record  ~~

Priest Pleads Not Guilty to West Virginia Abuse Charge

The Gilmer Free Press

A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded not guilty to taking a 10-year-old boy to West Virginia in 1991 so he could sexually abuse him.

The Rev. Robert Poandl, of the Cincinnati-based Glenmary Home Missioners, was released on his own recognizance following his not guilty plea Monday in federal court in Cincinnati, Ohio.

An indictment last week accused Poandl of taking the boy on August 03, 1991.

The religious order says the indictment is related to a June 2009 accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor in Spencer, WV.

In 2010, a West Virginia judge dismissed charges that accused Poandl of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy while they visited a church there in 1991.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report - 11.13.12

The Gilmer Free Press

Chief Judge Jack Alsop opened his November 2012 term of Court on Thursday, November 08, 2012 by instructing the Grand Jurors.

At 9:50 AM the grand jury retired to their jury room to deliberate upon their indictments.

At 12:10 PM they broke for lunch and after returning to the jury room at 12:47 PM, they returned 14 indictments at 2:25 PM as follows:


•  State of West Virginia vs. Catherine McGhee

She is indicted for 2 counts, Conspiracy to commit an offense against the state and Delivery of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school.

She was represented by Daniel Grindo of Gassaway.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Randall Eric Lambey

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

A summons was issued to be served upon Lambey by the Clay County Sheriff.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jarod C. Scott

He was indicted for 2 counts of burglary and petit larceny.

He is represented by Daniel Armstrong of Gassaway.


•  State of West Virginia vs. John Robert Carder

He was indicted for 5 counts as follows:

1) Attempt to commit sexual assault in the 3rd degree,

2) Sexual assault in the 3rd degree,

3 & 4) Sexual assault in the 2nd degree, and

5) Sexual abuse in the 1st degree.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Gerald A. Adkins II

He was indicted for 11 counts as follows: 5 counts of Forgery, 5 counts of uttering and 1 count of grand larceny.

He is also represented by Daniel Armstrong.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Larry Dale Bush

He was indicted for 6 counts as follows: Malicious assault, 3 counts of Wanton endangerment involving a firearm, conspiracy to commit an offense against the state and aggravated DUI.

He is represented by Ira Haught of Harrisville.

A summons was issued to Ritchie County for service on Larry Bush.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Donald Lee Norman

He was indicted for 8 counts as follows: Sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust to a child (4 counts) and 4 counts of third degree sexual abuse.

Norman is represented by Loren Howley of Grantsville.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Elsie Tingler

She was indicted for 2 counts of conspiracy and Manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver a schedule I controlled substance.

She is represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jeremy Knicely

He was indicted for 1 count of Third offense DUI.

A summons was issued to the Sheriff of Braxton County for him to-appear-for arraignment.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Carrie Sumpter

She was indicted for 24 counts of acquiring a controlled substance by subterfuge.

She is represented by David Karickhoff.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Stacey Lea Bright

She was indicted for 3 counts of Financial Exploitation of an elderly person and 3 counts of embezzlement.

She is represented by Daniel Grindo.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Robert Lee Hacker

He was indicted for 63 counts as follows: 4 counts of 2nd degree sexual assault, 7 counts of 1st degree sexual abuse, 50 counts of Sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in position of trust, 1 count of providing alcohol to a minor and 1 count of harassing phone calls.

He is represented by Daniel Armstrong of Gassaway.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Joshua Whitley

He was indicted for 3 counts of delivery of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school and 1 count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the state.

A summons was issued to him at an Ohio Address.


ARRAIGNMENTS WERE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 AT 1:00 PM


Two civil cases were heard on November 08, 2012:

•  BB&T Financial FSB vs. Debbie Yeager

The case was completed and the case of Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital was continued so the plaintiff could get service on defendant, Larry Keith Greenlief.


On November 09, 2012, six fugitives from justice were heard and all 6 waived extradition back to their respective states, all being represented by local attorney, Shelly DeMarino.

•  Charles Mobley waived to return to Maryland.

•  Jose Santiago-Dominquez waived to return to Texas.

•  Dominique Jordan waived to return to Indiana.

•  Dana Moore waived to return to Pennsylvania.

•  Charlie Vargas waived to return to Ohio.

•  Randolph Horton waived to return to Maryland.

Authorities in those states have until 4:00 PM Wednesday, November 21, 2012 to pick these fugitives up or Central Regional Jail will release them.


Sheriff elect Larry Gerwig called 3 times the names of the following 22 persons:

•  Brandon M. Leady
•  William Davis McHenry
•  Erin Jason DeWall
•  Matthew Snyder
•  Jaimey Gaines
•  Daniel Riffle
•  Jack E. Crawford
•  Thomas Rusley
•  Bernard Johnson
•  Robert Baskin
•  Christina Gayle Coombs
•  Sandra Frick
•  Edward Charles Thompson Jr.
•  Darrell J. Ford
•  Travis M. Buford
•  Justice Graham
•  Angela Sane
•  Kevin Neil Garrett
•  Justin Derek Antoine
•  Justin Miller
•  Gary Terreal Shivers
•  Joseph Michael Stankiewitch

Who failed to appear and the Clerk was directed to reissue warrants/capias’ for those individuals.


•  A magistrate appeal of State of West Virginia vs. Elvis Sprouse was heard and upheld by the Judge, after testimony was heard in the matter.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Shane Posey

He was before the Court and his trial is now set for Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 9:00 AM.

A pre-trial will be heard Friday, January 18, 2012 at 9:00 AM.

Posey is represented by Daniel Grindo.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Charles Emerson

This was the 1st trial on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.

He is represented by Kevin Duffy of Clay.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Tonya Ramsey

She entered a plea to obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation.

She was represented by Christina Flanigan of Buckhannon.

She will be sentenced Monday, January 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jimmie Glen Stewart

He will have an evidentiary hearing on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM.

His trial is Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM.

He is represented by Steve Nanners of Buckhannon.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Garry Dobbins

He was before the Court for revocation of his probation.

Dobbins admitted the allegations in the petition and Judge Alsop revoked his probation and ordered he be sent to Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders.

Dobbins was represented by Christina Flanigan of Buckhannon.


•  Three juvenile hearings were heard and 2 were reset for Monday, January 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM and 10:15 AM respectively.


•  On Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:00 AM Judge Alsop held 5 juvenile cases with hearings being reset for Monday, February 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM, 9:25 AM, 9:35 AM; and two reset for Monday, December 10, 2012 at 9:15 AM and 9:30 AM.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Henry Jenkins

He was before the court for reconsideration of sentence heretofore handed down.

Judge Alsop he received a very favorable plea agreement and denied the motion to reconsider.

Jenkins was represented by Christina Flanigan.

On Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM arraignments were held on those persons indicted November 08, 2012.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Catherine McGhee

She pled not guilty and her pretrial will be Friday, January 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM and trial for Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:00 AM.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Randall Eric Lambey

He failed to appear and a bench warrant was issued with bond being set at $15,000.00.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jarod Scott

He failed to appear but his arraignment was reset for Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM and also Gerald Alan Adkins II will be arraigned at that time.


•  State of West Virginia vs. John Carder

He appeared without an attorney and asked for a court appointed attorney.

He posted a $25,000.00 personal recognizance bond until 4:00 PM Friday, November 16, 2012 when he must post a $25,000.00 surety bond.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Larry Bush

He appeared and his pretrial is set for 11:00 AM Friday, January 18, 2013 with his trial on Tuesday, February 05, 2013.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Donald Norman had his trial continued to the next term of Court.

He appeared with Shelly DeMarino due to the illness of his attorney, Loren Howley.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Elsie Marie Tingler

She appeared and her pretrial is set for 11:30 AM Friday, January 18, 2013 with her trial to be on Tuesday, February 12, 2013.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jeremy Knicely

He failed to appear and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest with bond being set at $25,000.00.
Later the Circuit Clerk contacted his attorney, because she had neglected to notify him of the time of arraignment and asked if he could also appear on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:45 AM for arraignment.

He is represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Carrie Beth Sumpter

She had her trial continued to the next term of Court, as did Stacey Bright.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Robert Hacker

He appeared and his pretrial is set for 9:00 AM Friday, February 08, 2013 and his trial Wednesday, February 20, 2013.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Joshua Whitley

He did not appear and had a bench warrant issued with bond being set at $25,000.00.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Rodney Glen Singleton

He asked to hire his own attorney and his arraignment was continued to Monday, December 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM.

Kanawha County Court Case to Appear on TruTV

The Gilmer Free Press

A Kanawha County case is being featured on the television program “In Session,” which airs on the TruTV cable channel.

The case involves Charleston man Ethan Chic-Colbert, who was alleged to have caused the death of an 11-year-old boy who ran into traffic to seek help while Colbert was beating his mom.

Colbert, age 22, was sentenced August 15, 2012 to between six and 30 years in prison after being convicted in July of domestic battery, child neglect resulting in death and three counts of gross child neglect creating a serious risk of bodily harm or death.

The incident occurred on Interstate 77.

Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Duke Bloom presided over the trial.

The show will air from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

~~  John O’Brien -  WV Record ~~

Magistrate Robert W. Minigh Retirement Reception - 11.14.12 - Today

The Gilmer Free Press

GILMER COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT

CORDIALLY INVITES YOU TO ATTEND A

RETIREMENT RECEPTION

IN HONOR OF

ROBERT W. MINIGH

“CELEBRATING 36 YEARS SERVICE”

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2012

1:00-3:00 PM

COURTHOUSE ANNEX

GLENVILLE, WV

Magistrate Robert W. Minigh Retirement Reception - 11.14.12

The Gilmer Free Press

GILMER COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT

CORDIALLY INVITES YOU TO ATTEND A

RETIREMENT RECEPTION

IN HONOR OF

ROBERT W. MINIGH

“CELEBRATING 36 YEARS SERVICE”

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2012

1:00-3:00 PM

COURTHOUSE ANNEX

GLENVILLE, WV

Judge Orders Randolph County to Continue Homebound Instruction for Girl Who Refused Vaccines

The Gilmer Free Press

A judge says the Randolph County Board of Education must continue providing homebound instruction to a high school senior who refused to get state-mandated vaccinations.

Circuit Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong issued the ruling last Thursday.

Olivia Hudok and father Phil sued the school board in September, seeking a religious exemption that would let Olivia resume classes at the Pickens School.

The school is the state’s smallest public institution with just 37 students.

Olivia is one of only three seniors.

Wilfong had previously ordered the district to provide instruction while another lawsuit over immunizations played out in Kanawha County.

On October 17, 2012, the Kanawha County Circuit Court upheld the state Department of Health and Human Resources’ rule that all seventh- through 12th-graders get Tdap and MCV4 booster vaccinations.

G-otcha™: Former Political Candidate Claims Self-Defense

The Gilmer Free Press

Criminal arraignment is scheduled for later this month for former statewide political candidate Hiram Lewis following a grand jury indictment handed up this week in Clay County.

Lewis was indicted on charges of malicious wounding, domestic assault and wanton endangerment involving a firearm.

Lewis, a McDowell County native who ran unsuccessfully for state Attorney General and U.S. Senate, claimed self-defense after shooting Stephen Bogart.

He claimed he was living in the house at Procious.

Bogart says it was his house and Lewis was just staying there.

Lewis is scheduled to be arraigned November 14, 2012 in Clay County Circuit Court.

Lewis County Man Sues WVDOC Over Car Accident

The Gilmer Free Press

A Lewis County man is suing the West Virginia Division of Corrections after he was injured in a car accident.

Hailey Mayfield, in her individual capacity and as administratrix for the Estate of John David Mayfield, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On November 01, 2010, Edgar L. Bleigh Sr. was operating a 1996 Mack Tri-Axel Dump Truck loaded with gravel on U.S. 50 near West Union when John Mayfield, who was driving a 2007 Dodge Caravan passenger van owned by WVDOC, ignored a stop sign and flashing caution traffic signal and caused his vehicle to collide with Bleigh’s, according to a complaint filed Oct. 31 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Bleigh claims John Mayfield was acting in the scope of his employment as a correctional officer for WVDOC at the time of the collision.

As a result of the collision between the two vehicles, Bleigh’s truck overturned and spilled gravel over U.S. 50 and a fire ensued, according to the suit.

Bleigh claims he was trapped in his truck and tried to kick out a window to escape, but was unsuccessful. However, a bystander broke the window with a rock and Bleigh was able to escape the fire.

Due to the collision, Bleigh suffered serious personal and emotional injuries which are permanent in nature and he incurred medical expenses and loss of income, according to the suit.

Bleigh is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by David C. Glover.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis H. Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-2185

~~  Kyla Asbury - The WV Record  ~~

Ritchie Judicial Candidate Previously Cited For Conflicts Of Interest

The Gilmer Free Press

The WV Record Reports:


Prior to the current ethical violations leveled against him, records show several times in his nearly 30-year career, a Ritchie County attorney, and candidate for circuit judge, was warned about conflicts of interest in cases he handled.

In April, the Lawyer Disciplinary Board, the prosecutorial arm of the state Supreme Court, filed a six-count statement of charges against Ira M. Haught. The statement, which acts like an indictment for disciplinary purposes, accuses Haught, a sole practitioner in Harrisville, of, among other things, deceiving investigators as to whose interest he was representing in a property transfer in Doddridge County.

A review of Haught’s disciplinary file show that at least five times the Board cautioned Haught about the conflicts of interest in his cases. Two of those came very early in his practice, and centered on legal matters involving his father.

In fact, the first one resulted in formal disciplinary action, and a warning that has gone unheeded.


Three between 2001 and 2007

Most recently, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Court’s investigative arm, opened a complaint against Haught on September 06, 2007 at the request of Keith White, a St. Marys attorney. According to the complaint, Haught represented Allen R. Lacaria and Megan Smith in a real estate purchase contract that involved Earl and Lurri Craddock.

Apparently, Earl Craddock spoke with Haught about the contract before retaining White. Though he said a review of his appointment book and time records disputed that, Haught withdrew as Lacaria’s and Smith’s attorney after the matter came up in the course of the contract discussions.

In closing the complaint on January 31, 2008, Chief Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel Rachael L. Fletcher Cipoletti expressed concern about Haught “lack[ing] an appropriate and sufficient mechanism for conducting checks for conflicts of interest in his office.” Provided he could give proof within the next 30 days he instituted a way to check conflicts of interest, Cipoletti said ODC would not refer his case to the Board.

Two months prior to the complaint in the Lacaria-Smith-Craddock real estate case, William E. Edwards alleged Haught created a conflict of interest in taking his ex-wife, Janet, as a client in their divorce despite first speaking with him. According to his complaint, William first spoke with Haught about representing him in the divorce the previous January, but didn’t have enough money to retain him.

After he obtained the necessary funds, Haught told William to return, and he would file his divorce. Before he could do that, William says Janet retained Haught.

Despite having no notes or recollection of ever speaking with William, Haught, in response to the complaint, filed a motion to withdraw as Janet’s attorney. In closing the complaint on August 22, 2008, Cipoletti reminded Haught “of his obligation to perform appropriate conflict check procedures when accepting new clients” and warned him “that failure to do so in the future may result in appropriate disciplinary action.”

More than six years earlier, John W. Martin of Waverly accused Haught of failing to timely disclose a potential conflict of interest in defending him in a property damage lawsuit filed in 2000 by Drilco Oil Products in Wood Circuit Court. When Drilco refused to cap a well on property he purchased, Martin removed the well’s pumping unit, and placed a barricade around the well.

After Judge George Hill ruled in Drilco’s favor following a one-day bench trial on October 25, 2001, Martin the following December filed his complaint against Haught. In it, he alleged Haught neglected the case, failed to return phone calls and omitted telling him he received royalty payments from a leasehold interest Drilco had in Gilmer County.

In response to Martin’s complaint, Haught admitted to receiving the royalty payments from Drilco’s Gilmer County interest. However, he added that he completely explained that to Martin prior to the trial, and it did not effect his representation of him.

Though it did determine Haught receiving royalties from Drilco while fighting against the company in court a conflict of interest, the Board’s investigative panel said it was “limited in nature” and Martin was not harmed by it. However, in closing the complaint on March 27, 2003, Allan N. Karlin, the panel’s chairman, warned Haught about potential conflicts, and encouraged him to obtain waivers in writing to avoid misunderstandings.


Two Involving Dad

A decade earlier, Haught, while serving as the county prosecutor, apologized for his behavior in a case involving his father, Warren.

According to the complaint, Haught on August 29, 1991, moved to dismiss a speeding ticket against Warren in Ritchie Magistrate Court. When the magistrate’s assistant refused to accept his motion without specifying the reason why, Haught wrote on the form “because I want to.”

Later, he said then-Judge Sam White said he would not appoint special prosecutors to cases in magistrate court, and the magistrates informed him if a prosecutor failed to appear for a hearing on misdemeanor a case, they would not hesitate to dismiss it. Along with his apology, Haught assured the Board should a potential conflict arise, he would disqualify himself from the case, and seek the appointment of a special prosecutor.

Two years after he was admitted to the Bar, Jeannette E. Kincaid of Wheeling filed a complaint against Haught accusing him of helping his brother, Barry, to prepare “deeds and other transfers to defraud her and her creditor rights against the brother’s property.” According to the complaint, Kincaid obtained a judgment against Barry on June 17, 1983.

In response to Kincaid’s complaint, Haught admitted he made the transfers, but at the request of Warren. The transfers, he said, were conducted to “‘clean up some loose ends remaining from the [business] merger,’ of the family businesses.”

According to the complaint, a subsequent lawsuit was filed by one of the banks that held the note to some of the property. Because of an apparent conflict he had by representing Warren while serving as a bank trustee, Haught was named as a co-defendant.

In closing the complaint on November 04, 1988, the Board determined there was insufficient evidence to prove Haught committed fraud by transferring the property. However, because he committed a technical conflict of interest in helping his father do it while serving as the bank’s trustee, the Board admonished him for his actions, and warned him “to avoid future violations of ethical rules.”

A hearing on the statement was tentatively scheduled for October 31. However, it was continued on a motion by Haught so his new attorney could become familiar with the case.

Previously, Haught was represented by former Wood County Prosecutor Ginny A. Conley. Now, he is represented by Ancil Ramey, a former Court Clerk, now with Steptoe and Johnson.

In Tuesday’s general election, Haught, age 53, a Republican, is seeking to fill the unexpired term of Judge Robert Holland, who died two years ago. Former Pleasants County Prosecutor Tim Sweeney, age 55, who was appointed to fill the vacancy by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, is his Democratic opponent.

The Third Judicial Circuit includes Pleasants, Ritchie and Doddridge counties.

A hearing has been rescheduled for December 05 and 06 at ODC’s office in Kanawha City.

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals case number 12-0528

~~  Lawrence Smith - WV Record  ~~

G-otcha™: Four FCI-Gilmer Inmates Enter Pleas and Are Sentenced in Federal Court

The Gilmer Free Press

Four FCI-Gilmer inmates entered pleas of guilty and were sentenced on October 23, 2012, in United States District Court in Clarksburg before Judge Irene M. Keeley.


•  JAYSON JONES, age 26, entered a plea of guilty to Possession of a Prohibited Object on December 27, 2011, when the staff at FCI-Gilmer found four packages of marijuana hidden in mail sent to inmate JONES.

JONES was sentenced to 4 months imprisonment to be served consecutively with his current 135-month sentence.

This case was investigated by the Special Investigative Services Staff at FCI-Gilmer and the United States Postal Inspection Service.


•  HECTOR BLAS, age 23, entered a plea of guilty to Possession of a Prohibited Object on April 24, 2012, when he was found in possession of heroin.

BLAS was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment to be served consecutively with his current 240-month sentence.


•  GUSTAVO VASQUEZ-PRETO, age 48, entered a plea of guilty to Possession of a Prohibited Object on June 14, 2012, when he was found in possession of heroin.

VASQUEZ- PRETO was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment to be served consecutively with his current 54-month sentence.


•  JAMES NEALY, age 29, entered a plea of guilty to Possession of a Prohibited Object on May 20, 2012, when he was found in possession of marijuana.

NEALY was sentenced to 4 months imprisonment to be served consecutively with his current 222-month sentence.


These three cases were investigated by the Special Investigative Services Staff at FCI-Gilmer.

These four cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brandon S. Flower.

Gilmer County Family Court Report – 10.23.12

The Gilmer Free Press

One divorce granted as follows:

•  Lisa Kirkland (46) of Glenville, WV divorced 10/23/12 Lance Kirkland (44) of Normantown, WV on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report – 10.22.12

The Gilmer Free Press

Four fugitives from justice were before the Court on Judge Richard A. Facemire‘s motion day, Monday, October 22, 2012.


All 4 were represented by Daniel Armstrong of Gassaway, who was standing in for Daniel Grindo and each waived extradition back to their respective states.

•  Daniel McColgan waived to return to Pennsylvania.

•  Harold Doss waived to return to Kentucky.

•  Rufus Gunn waived to return to Michigan.

•  Michael Rickard waived to return to New York.

Authorities in those states have until 4:00 PM on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 to pick these defendants -up or they will be released from Central Regional Jail.


•  Stephanie Smarr was before the Court with her court appointed attorney, Christina Flanigan of Buckhannon.

Smarr completed the Anthony Center program so Judge Facemire placed her on 5-years’ probation and ordered her to enroll in and successfully complete NA and AA programs, as well as a substance abuse program.

She also must obtain full time employment and speak to at least 3 high school classes about addiction as part of her sentence.


•  Two juvenile cases were dismissed.

•  One juvenile was completed.

•  One was set for Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 9:00 AM.

•  Another was set for Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 9:00 AM.

•  Two more were set for Monday, January 28, 2013 at 9:00 AM.

•  Another was set for Monday, January 28, 2013 at 9:15 AM.

•  Another was heard without being set for further hearing.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Catherine McGhee

The case was denied probation or alternative sentencing and was sentenced to 1-5 in the penitentiary with credit for time served and she must pay court costs within 18 months of her release.

She was represented by Daniel Armstrong.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kevin Curry

He was before the Court for reconsideration of is sentence.

He was represented by Christina Flanigan of Buckhanno and Judge Facemire denied his reconsideration.


•  The magistrate case of State of West Virginia vs. Kenneth Greenlief

The case was dismissed.

Greenlief was represented by Daniel Armstrong.

WV Record: May Trial Scheduled for Doddridge EMS Suit

The Gilmer Free Press

The WV Record Reports:

A paramedic’s personal injury suit against a Doddridge County ambulance service is slated for trial late next spring.

Harrison Circuit Judge Thomas A. Bedell on July 09 set May 28, 2013, for trial to begin in the case of Joseph G. Sadie v. Doddridge County Emergency Squad, Inc. Also, Bedell scheduled, among other things, the previous Tuesday for a pre-trial conference.

In his complaint filed March 01, Sadie alleges he was injured last year when an ambulance driven by Jason Leasure collided with another vehicle in route to United Hospital in Clarksburg. The collision caused the ambulance to overturn resulting in not only Sadie’s injuries, but also the subsequent death of the patient.

According to the suit, Leasure responded to a 911 call on October 02, 2011 to transport William Wiseman to United. The suit does not specify Wiseman’s location in Doddridge County.

Believing he may need an advanced life support system which required the assistance of a paramedic, Leasure, an emergency medical technician, called the 911 center and requested any on-duty Doddridge County Ambulance Authority paramedic provide him the needed assistance. At a time not specified, Sadie met Leasure, and accompanied him to Clarksburg.

According to the suit, Sadie began treating Wiseman. After stabilizing him, Sadie “communicated his vital signs and other information to the trauma team at United Hospital.”

However, the ambulance failed to make it to United as at a time not specified Leasure collided with another vehicle at the intersection of U.S. 50 East and the Interstate 79 South off ramp. The resulting collision caused the ambulance to overturn and slide nearly 100 yards.

According to the suit, the collision also resulted in Wiseman’s death.

In his suit, Sadie accused Leasure, who is named as a co-defendant, of negligently operating the ambulance. Specifically, he accused Leasure of, among other things, “[s]peeding or operating the emergency vehicle at a speed in excess of the conditions then existing…[f]ailing to keep a proper lookout and [o]perating the emergency vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of others.”

Also, Sadie accused DCEMS of not only failing to properly train and educate Leasure on the proper operation of an ambulance, but also have the necessary equipment available to treat patients. As a result of his injuries, Sadie maintains he’s incurred, among other things, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, medical and health care bills and a diminished capacity to earn.

Just over a month later, DCEMS and Leasure filed their answer to Sadie’s suit. Though they admitted to most of the allegations including the ambulance overturning following a collision, DCEMS and Leasure denied it was in any way their fault. Instead, they place the blame on Benjamin Gear, the driver of the vehicle Leasure collided with, and named him as a third-party defendant.

In his answer filed April 16, Gear admitted only to being involved in collision, and a resident of Clarksburg. He denied any responsibility for Sadie’s injuries, and filed a cross claim against DCEMS and Leasure.

Sadie is represented by Wheeling attorney Donald J. Tennant Jr., DCEMS and Leasure by Melvin F. O’Brien and Keith R. Huntzinger with Dickie, McCamey and Chilcote’s Wheeling office and Gear by D. Andrew McMunn with Smith, McMunn and Glover in Clarksburg.

Harrison Circuit Court case number 12-C-101

~~  Lawrence Smith - WV Record  ~~

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report - 10.10.12

The Gilmer Free Press

On Tuesday, October 09, 2012 Chief Judge Alsop held his regular monthly motion day.


•  Four fugitives from justice waived extradition back to their states.

All 4 were represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.

Tony Patterson and Jimmy Dozier waived to return to the state of Tennessee, Kareem Thomas waived to return to Ohio and Daquawon Haten waived to return to Michigan.


•  Eight juvenile cases were heard, several were set for further review and 2 were dismissed.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Matthew Capelety

He was before the Court for reconsideration of sentence heretofore handed down by Judge Alsop.

He was represented by Christopher Moffatt of Charleston and Judge Alsop denied his motion stating he received a favorable plea bargain and other reasons for denying the same.

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