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Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Gilmer Free Press

On Wednesday, July 22, 2015 Judge Jack Alsop held 8 more arraignments for the July, 2015 term of Court:


1) State of West Virginia vs. Damon Rice

He failed to appear and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest with bond being set at $25,000.00.

His attorney is Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


2) State of West Virginia vs. Teresa Riggs

She entered not guilty pleas and her pretrial is Friday, September 18, 2015 at 11:30 AM with her trial being Wednesday, October 07, 2015.


3) State of West Virginia vs. Barbara Hess

She entered not guilty pleas and her pretrial is 2:00 PM on Friday, September 18, 2015 with her trial being Wednesday, October 14, 2015.

She is represented by Kevin Hughart of Sissonville and will be released after posting a $10,000.00 bond.


4) State of West Virginia vs. David Finley

He enter not guilty pleas and his pretrial is 2:30 PM Friday, September 18, 2015 with his trial being Wednesday, October 14, 2015.

Finley will be released after posting a $10,000.00 bond.


5) State of West Virginia vs. Joshua Clark

He entered pleas of not guilty and his pretrial is 1 PM Friday, September 18, 2015 with his trial on Wednesday, October 07, 2015.

He is represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.


6) State of West Virginia vs. Shannon George

She entered not guilty pleas represented by Clinton Bischoff.

Her pretrial is 10:45 AM Friday, September 18, 2015 and trial Thursday, October 01, 2015.


7) State of West Virginia vs. Robert George Jr.

He also entered not guilty pleas and was represented by Brian Bailey of Buckhannon.

His pretrial is 3 PM Friday, September 18, 2015 and trial Wednesday, October 14, 2015.


8) State of West Virginia vs. Ronald Gilmore

He was represented by Christopher Moffatt of Charleston and entered not guilty pleas.

His pretrial is Friday, September 18, 2015 at 1:30 PM with his trial Thursday, October 08, 2015.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Gilmer Free Press

On Monday, July 20, 2015 Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire heard cases in Gilmer County Circuit Court.

Four fugitives from justice waived extradition as follows:

1) Timothy McNair waived to return to the state of Virginia,

2) Donavon Benjamin waived to return to the state of Ohio,

3) Bennie Blackwell waived to return to the state of Ohio, and

4) Michael Walthall wavied to return to the state of Virginia.

All 4 fugitives were represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


Also Judge Facemire heard 7 juvenile cases and granted Stephanie Smarr the right to be released from her GPS in her criminal case.

Smarr was represented by Mr. Bischoff.


Later in the day Magistrate Skinner reported to Karen Elkin, Circuit Clerk that none of the 3 magistrate trials scheduled this week would need a jury.

Thereafter Ms. Elkin put a tape on for the jury recording system directing all petit/magistrate jurors to call back in September regarding future Circuit Court trials and released all of them from calling and/or serving this week.

Lewis County Grand Jury Indictments - July 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

The Lewis County grand jury handed up the list of indictments for the July 2015 term:


•  Dimitri Larsen, 46, of Weston, who was indicted on 72 counts of sexual abuse - 36 counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and 36 counts of sexual abuse by a parent. The incidents allegedly occurred from 1997 to 1999.


•  Eric Haines was indicted on one charge of animal cruelty. Haines is accused of shooting his own dog in the head.


•  Peggy Nicholson, 53, was indicted for malicious wounding and assault. Nicholson forced a man to have sex with her in October 2014. Nicholson assaulted the man with a three-pound weight and threatened him with a knife.


•  Luke Allen Wilson, 37, of Walkersville, was indicted for insurance fraud, third degree arson and destruction of property after he allegedly tried to set his car on fire after a vehicle accident.


•  William Lee Baker, Jr., 37, of Fairmont, was indicted for burglary and conspiracy.


•  Justin K. Bleigh, 30, of Weston, was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.


•  Paul Aaron Bolton, 36, of Buckhannon, was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance.


•  Billie Renea Burnside, 20, of Salem, was indicted for burglary and conspiracy.


•  Amber Marie Butcher, 25, of Weston, was indicted for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, one count of third-offense of driving on a suspended license, one count of possession of a controlled substance and one count of battery.


•  Daniel Lee Canter, 30, of Buckhannon, was indicted for two counts of driving while on a suspended license revoked for DUI, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm, and possession with intent to deliver.


•  Christopher C. Cox, 29, of Wallace, was indicted for grand larceny and conspiracy.


•  Vernon Eugene Groves, 34, of Ireland, was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy.


•  Brandi Nicole Leggett, of Ireland, was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy.


•  Fred Allen Gum, 62, was indicted for driving under the influence, fleeing while driving under the influence, obstructing, battery, operation of a vehicle without a certificate and improper use of registration.


•  Daisy Mae Hall, 34, of Weston, was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy.


•  David Joseph Hall, of Weston, was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver.


•  Cody Wade Hefner, 23, of Jane Lew, was indicted for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver.


•  Samantha Renee Henline, 20, of Weston, was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy.


•  Whitney Tess Higgbotham, 29, of Buckhannon was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy.


•  Russell Scott John, 31, of Weston, was indicted for fleeing, property damage and second-offense driving while on a revoked license for DUI.


•  Michael Joshua Ketterman, of Flemington, was indicted for two counts of false pretense.


•  William Thomas Knight II, 36, of Weston, was indicted for two counts of sex registry violations, his second offense.


•  Robin Dawn Lamb, 59, of Weston, was indicted for 42 counts of fraudulent activity.


•  Jason Elsworth Lane, 38, of Crawford, was indicted for 24 counts of fraudulent activity.


•  Justin Lee Marks, 29, of Weston, was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance, conspiracy to deliver and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.


•  Shawn Franklin Mayo, 30, of Weston, was indicted for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy.


•  Frederick Michael Miracle, 25, of Greenwood, was indicted for grand larceny and conspiracy.


•  Justin Thomas Moots, 34, of Buckhannon, was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy.


•  Harold James Murphy, 63, was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy.


•  Theodore Leroy O’Connell III, 27, of Clarksburg, was indicted for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance.


•  Christopher A. Reed was indicted on two counts of failure to pay child support.


•  Joseph Michael Anguilli, of Clarksburg, was indicted for felony shoplifting.


•  John Wayne Reed Jr., 28, of Buckhannon was indicted for three counts of soliciting a minor online.


•  Jamie Diane Riffle, 38, of Volga was indicted for embezzlement.


•  Tammy E. Rohrbough, was indicted for 39 counts of forgery.


•  Ronda Dale Romel, 36, of Weston, was indicted for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, conspiracy and petit larceny.


•  Ida Jessica Rose, 37, of Weston, delivery of a controlled substance, possession, battery and obstruction.


•  Jennifer Renea Rose, of Clarksburg, was indicted for the delivery of a controlled substance.


•  Reymundo Santos, 43, of Munfordville, Ky., was indicted for third-offense DUI.


•  Gary Allen Sprouse, 26, Weston, was indicted for driving while on a revoked license for DUI and destruction of property.


•  Jason Adam Starcher, of Walkersville, was indicted for four counts of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to deliver.


•  Ruth Ann Stewart, 44, of Weston, was indicted for possession with intent to deliver.


•  Kirtiss Stanley Swearingen, of Gassaway, was indicted for three counts of soliciting a minor online.


•  Brett Adam Swecker, 34, of Beverly, was indicted for two counts of delivery.


•  Skyler James Taylor, of Weston, was indicted for one count of intent to deliver and two counts of delivery of a controlled substance.


•  Catherine Marie Thoms, 50, of Weston, was indicted for one count of delivery, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession with intent to deliver.


•  Nancy Lynn Webb, 26, of Jane Lew, was indicted for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy.


•  Rebecca Ann Westfall, 29, of Buckhannon, was indicted for eight counts of fraudulent activity.


•  Chance Doug Wickline, 19, of Weston, was indicted for three counts of delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy.


•  Jamie Lee Wright, 21, or Weston, was indicted for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Gilmer Free Press

On Thursday, July 09, 2015 Judge Alsop had docket call in the case of


•  State of West Virginia vs. Dwight Bullough

Discussion regarding a pre-trial diversion was heard and the matter is set for Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

Bullough is represented by Daniel Grindo of Gassaway.


•  Three inmates from Mount Olive appeared by video for their hearings.

The case of Charles Emerson has been set for an evidentiary hearing on Monday, August 10, 2015 at 1:00 PM.

He is represented by Bryan Hinkle of Buckhannon.


•  The case of Rosendo Contreras will also have an evidentiary hearing on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

He is represented by Kevin Hughart of Sissonville.


•  The case of Kenneth McCord will have an evidentiary hearing on Thursday, September 03, 2015 at 1:00 PM.

He is represented by Bernard Mauser of Sutton.


•  Karen Burns has been paroled and will not need further hearing in her case.


Mary Starcher appeared by video from Lakin Correctional Center and her attorney did not appear, but copies of her police report will be mailed to her by the Circuit Clerk and if further information is needed Mr. Bischoff will request it.


•  One juvenile was heard and reset for Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 9:00 AM.


•  A bench trial was held in the magistrate appeal case involving William Shock of Shock’s Well Service vs. Deloris Florence

The Judge took the matter under advisement and will render a written opinion in the future.


•  The criminal docket was called and capias’ were continued in 22 criminal matters.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Christina Marks

She had her home confinement and probation revoked and she was sentenced to 60 days in Central Regional Jail with credit for time served.

Then she was readmitted to 1 year home confinement and 5 years probation.

She was represented by Bryan Hinkle of Buckhannon.




On Friday, July 10, 2015 Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire heard 3 juvenile matters in Gilmer County.




Judge Jack Alsop held arraignment and heard criminal matters in Gilmer County on Tuesday, July 14, 2015.


State of West Virginia vs. Dwight Bullough

He accepted a 2 year pre trial diversion and will be under the terms and conditions of probation.

He was represented by Daniel Grindo of Gassaway.


Arraignments were held in the following cases:


1) State of West Virginia vs. Damon Rice

He was arraigned and filled out a financial affidavit for court appointed attorney.

Clinton Bischoff of Summersville was appointed to represent him.

He was allowed to post a $10,000.00 personal recognizance bond that is good until 4 PM July 15, 2015 and then he must post a $10,000.00 bond good and sufficient surety to be approved by the Circuit Clerk.

His arraignment was continued until 9:00 AM on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.


2) State of West Virginia vs. Teresa Riggs

She was arraigned and was appointed Timothy Gentliozzi of Clarksburg to represent her.

She also had the same bond requirements and her arraignment will also be 9:00 AM Wednesday, July 22, 2015.


3) State of West Virginia vs. Barbara Hess

She was arraigned and Kevin Hughart of Sissonville was appointed to represent her.

Her bond conditions were the same until she flunked her urine screen and was sent to Central Regional Jail until her arraignment on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM.


4) State of West Virginia vs. David Finley

He was arraigned and Brian Bailey of Horner was appointed to represent him.

After flunking his drug screen he was sent to Central Regional Jail pending further arraignment on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

His bond was set for $10,000.00 pr until 07.15.15 at 4:00 PM.


5) State of West Virginia vs. Joshua Wells Clark

He was arraigned and after completing an affidavit for court appointed attorney he was appointed David Karickhoff of Sutton to represent him.

He posted a $10,000.00 pr bond and had until 4:00 PM Wednesday to post $10,000.00 bond with good and sufficient surety.

His arraignment was also continued to 9:00 AM Wednesday, July 22, 2015.


6) State of West Virginia vs. Shannon George

She also completed a financial affidavit and was appointed Clinton Bischoff to represent her at the continuation of her arraignment on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

Her bond arrangement were the same as all the previous indictees.


7) State of West Virginia vs. Robert Lee George Jr.

He was also before the Court for arraignment with like results.

Brian Bailey of Buckhannon was appointed to represent him at further arraignment on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM and he flunked his urine screen and was sent to Central Regional Jail.


8) State of West Virginia vs. Laura Cottrill

She was arraigned and entered not guilty pleas to all counts of her indictment.

Timothy Gentliozzi also represents her and bond was reduced to $25,000.00.

Her pretrial is 9:00 AM on Friday, September 18, 2015 with trial set for Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 9:00 AM.


9) State of West Virginia vs. Gary Paul Ferrell

He entered not guilty pleas and is represented by Clinton Bischoff.

His pretrial is 9:30 AM Friday, September 18, 2015 with him being the second trial set for Tuesday, September 29, 2015.


10) State of West Virginia vs. Max Beaubrun Jr.

Had his arraignment reset for Monday, August 10, 2015 at 9:40 AM due to the illness of his attorney, Teresa Monk.


11) State of West Virginia vs. Brittney Nichole Nickeson

She entered not guilty pleas and was represented by Clinton Bischoff.

She is set for third trial Tuesday, September 29, 2015 with pretrial at 10:00 AM on Friday, September 18, 2015.


12) State of West Virginia vs. Ronald Michael Gilmore

A new attorney appointed due to him being incarcerated.

Christopher Moffatt of Charleston was appointed to represent him and he will have further arraignment Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM.


13)State of West Virginia vs. Jeremy Askew

He entered not guilty pleas represented by Bryan Hinkle of Buckhannon.

His pretrial is 10:30AM Friday,  September 18, 2015 with his trial set as the 4th trial on Tuesday, September 29, 2015.


14) State of West Virginia vs. Gary Ackley

He entered not guilty pleas to the 11 counts in his indictment.

His trial is Thursday, October 01, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

And his pretrial is Friday, September 18, 2015 at 11:00 AM.

He is represented by Kevin Hughart.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Gilmer Free Press

On Tuesday, July 07, 2015 the July term of Court opened with Judge Jack Alsop indoctrinating the grand jury and they returned 15 indictments as follows:


1) State of West Virginia vs. Damon W. Rice of 211 Bailey Street, Glenville, WV

He was indicted for 1 count of delivery of a controlled substance.


2) State of West Virginia vs. Teresa Ann Riggs of 3350 Lower Cedar Creek Road, Glenville, WV

She was indicted for 3 count of delivery of a controlled substance.


3) State of West Virginia vs. Barbara Michelle Hess of 511 Mineral Road, Glenville, WV

She was indicted for 3 counts of delivery of a controlled substance.


4) State of West Virginia vs. David Asa Finley of 793 Messenger Road, Glenville, WV

He was indicted for 1 count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver a Schedule I controlled substance.


5) State of West Virginia vs. Joshua Wells Clark of 144 Watercrest Drive, Glenville, WV

He was indicted for possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver a Schedule I controlled substance.


6) State of West Virginia vs. Shannon Lynn George of 13 South Lewis Street, Room 217, Glenville, WV

He was indicted for 1 count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver a Schedule I controlled substance, 1 count of conspiracy and 3 counts of possession of a controlled substance.


7) State of West Virginia vs. Robert Lee George Jr. of 13 South Lewis Street, Room 217, Glenville, WV

He was indicted for possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver a Schedule I controlled substance and 1 count of conspiracy.

The above 7 people do not have attorneys nor are under bond but should appear for arraignment at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 in Circuit Court.

8) State of West Virginia vs. Thomas Junior Shaw of 3850 Airport Road, Sutton, WV

He was indicted for 1 count of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory and 1 count of conspiracy.

He is represented by Kevin Hughart of Sissonville and his bond is set at $100,000.00.


9) State of West Virginia vs. Laura Ann Cottrill of Gilbert, WV

She was indicted for 1 count of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory, 1 count of conspiracy, 1 count of petit larceny and 1 count of trespass in structure.

She is represented by Timothy Gentilozzi of Clarksburg and her bond is set at $50,000.00.


10) State of West Virginia vs. Gary Paul Ferrell of 3989 Trace Fork Road, Tanner, WV

He was indicted for 1 count of failure to register upon release from incarceration and 1 count of failure to provide sex offender registration change of information.

He is represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


11) State of West Virginia vs. Max Guy Beaubrun Jr. of 601C Mineral Road, Glenville, WV

He was indicted for delivery of a controlled substance.

He is represented by Teresa Monk of Walton.


12) State of West Virginia vs. Brittney Nichole Nickeson of 18 East Main Street, Apt. F, Glenville, WV

She was indicted for 1 count of unlawful assault, 1 count of unlawful restraint, 2 counts of conspiracy and 1 count of assault.

She is represented by Clinton Bischoff and her bond is $30,000.00.


13) State of West Virginia vs. Ronald Michael Gilmore of HC 58 Box 102 Mill Creek, WV

He was indicted for Driving while license revoked for DUI third or subsequent offense.

He is also represented by Teresa Monk and his bond is $15,000.00.


14) State of West Virginia vs. Jeremy Bruce Askew of 2922 Pearl Street, Anderson, Indiana

He was indicted for 1 count of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab, 1 count of conspiracy, 1 count of petit larceny and 1 count of trespass in structure.

He is represented by Bryan Hinkle of Buckhannon.


15) State of West Virginia vs. Gary Lee Ackley of 104 Johnson Street, Grantsville, WV

He was indicted for 11 counts, namely:

a) driving under the influence of alcohol–3rd offense

b) Fleeing with reckless disregard

c) Fleeing while driving under the influence

d) Driving while license revoked for DUI

e) hunting while under the influence of alcohol

f) loaded firearm in/on a vehicle

g) shooting across or in public road

h) hunting or pursuing wildlife on Sunday

i) Hunting during closed season

j) hunting deer with improper caliber ammunition

He is also represented by Kevin Hughart and bond was set.


Nine civil matters were also heard as follows:


1) Nobody appeared in the case of Credit Acceptance Corp vs. Roy D. Wiant Jr.

And there was no service in the matter.


2) In the case of Debra Swick vs. JW Ebert Corp and McDonald’s

A pretrial will be held Friday, January 22, 2016 at 1:00 PM and trial is set for Tuesday, February 09, 2015 at 9:00 AM.


3) In the matter involving Michael J. Wheeler vs. William F. Foster

A pretrial hearing was set for Friday, January 22, 2016 at 1:30 PM with trial being on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 9:00 AM.


4) GMH Gas Co. Inc. Et al vs. William Cottrill et al

Had a lengthy hearing with several participants on conference call.

A further hearing will be held in the matter on Friday, October 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM.


5) Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital vs. Elizabeth Mongold

Judge Alsop entered a default judgment order in the matter.


6) Travis Wells et al vs. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co.

Was rest for arguments on Monday, September 14, 2015 at 10:00 AM.


7) Van Ramsey II vs. Van Ramsey Sr.

Case is set for pretrial on Friday, March 04, 2016 at 2:30 PM and trial is set for Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 9:00 AM.


8) Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital vs. Roger Dale Fisher

Has no service in the case yet.


9) Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital vs. Rosa Lee Lee

Will have default judgment entered in the case after she admitted she owed the debt.




On Wednesday, July 08, 2015 Judge Alsop heard 3 juvenile matters.

He will return for hearings through 2:00 PM on Thursday.




On Friday, July 10, 2015 Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire will preside over cases.




Judge Alsop will return to Glenville on Monday, July 13, 2015 for his regular motion day.




Tuesday, July 14, 2015 will be arraignment day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 petit/magistrate jurors will report for indoctrination.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report

The Gilmer Free Press

On Thursday, June 18, 2015 Judge Jack Alsop heard 2 civil matters, cancelled one magistrate appeal and reset it for Thursday, July 09, 2015 at 1:15 PM due to the death of Florence’s mother-in-law.


•  One bench trial was resolved between Lori Short and William Stalnaker with an agreement being reached wherein Stalnaker was granted a 25 foot easement across Short’s property and must reasonably maintain the same as well as have it surveyed at his expense.

Both sides will jointly petition the Department Of Highways to abandon the road she is currently using as her right-of-way to the property.

Stalnaker will replace the gas line he removed from her property and give her free gas rights for 25 years or her lifetime, whichever is longer.

If either side desires to sell their property they must give the other party first refusal.

Stalnaker will also do a quit claim deed for the small strip of land between the 2 properties to make Short’s one parcel.




Monday, June 22, 2015 was a BUSY day in Gilmer County Circuit Court with Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire working until 12:30 PM before leaving to return to Braxton County.


•  One fugitive from justice, Ronald Nelson, voluntarily waived to return to Michigan.

Authorities have until 4 PM on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 to pick him up at Central Regional Jail or he will be released.

Nelson was represented by local attorney David Karickhoff.


•  Seven juvenile matters were heard.


Several criminal matters as follows:

•  Christina Marks was sentenced 1-5 years in the penitentiary after pleading to conspiracy earlier.

Her sentence was suspended and she was placed on1 years home confinement to be followed by 5 years probation.

She must get full time employment and do 150 hours community service per year.

She must enroll in a long term or out patient drug treatment facility and pay court costs within 18 months.

She was represented by Bryan Hinkle of Buckhannon.


•  Desirae Miller was sentenced to 6 months in Central Regional Jail and it was suspended and she was placed on 3 years probation.

She has a 9:30 PM curfew, must get full time employment or be enrolled as a full time student.

She must perform 75 hours of community service per year and pay $11.00 to Circuit Clerk every month as probation fee.

She must reside with her mother and enroll in outpatient substance abuse.

Hinkle also was her attorney.


•  Kyle Britner was sentenced 1-5 in the penitentiary with sentence being suspended and placed on 5 years probation.

He must perform 150 hours of community service per year and maintain full time employment or enroll in school.

He must also pay the $11.00 fee each month to the clerk and pay court costs within 18 months.

He may also try to enter the military and the Judge will consider releasing him from probation.

He was represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville.


•  Jeremy Harris appeared by video conference and was represented by Bischoff and the prosecutor’s office must recalculate his sentence.


•  Clayton McCune was represented by Hinkle and was sentenced to 1-5 years in the penitentiary for unlawful assault and 12 months in Central Regional ail for misdemeanor domestic battery with sentences to run consecutively.

However, his sentences were suspended and he was placed on 1 year home confinement with 5 years probation thereafter.

He must perform 150 hours community service and pay child support and be employed full time.

He must pay the $11.00 monthly to the Clerk and will have a 9:30 curfew and must enroll in substance abuse and domestic violence programs.


•  Joe Williams III was sentenced to 1-5 years in the penitentiary and probation and home confinement were denied.

He was given credit for time served and must pay court costs. He was represented by Karickhoff.


•  Jeremy Askew will have his case presented to the July 2015 grand jury.

He was represented by Bryan Hinkle.


•  Lisa Sutphin who was represented by Clinton Bischoff asked for reconsideration of her sentenced she received in February, which motion Judge Facemire denied.


•  Two name change petitions were granted.

Gilmer County Familt Court Report

The Gilmer Free Press

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015 Gilmer County Family Court Judge:


•  Dismissed one domestic violence petition.


•  In a divorce case the guardian ad litem, Michael Asbury Jr. Filed an answer on behalf of Andrew Taylor who is incarcerated.

U.S. SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS CITIZENS’ FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued the following statement today applauding this morning’s unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision which held that the First Amendment protects a church’s right to post a sign advertising its services.

“West Virginia and other states believe this is an important decision protecting freedom of speech and religion,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Now it is clear that the government does not have the authority to systematically favor messages based on what they say.”

In September, West Virginia led nine other states in an amicus, or friend of the court, brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling that upheld a sign ordinance passed by the town of Gilbert, Arizona. The ordinance placed size limitations on signs put up by churches and nonprofit groups, but did not impose similar restrictions on other signs, including political signs.  A local church, Good News Community Church, and its pastor, Clyde Reed, filed the lawsuit against the ordinance.

“Our Office is pleased the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the government cannot pick and choose which messages citizens may post on signs,” Morrisey said. “Citizens have the right to decide what messages they want to share, and the government cannot permit signs for only topics and speakers that the government likes.”

Gilbert’s ordinance restricted signs promoting the events, meetings or activities of nonprofit groups, including local churches, while it broadly permitted any political or ideological signs.  For example, political signs could be up to 32 square feet in size, displayed for many months and in unlimited number.  An ideological sign could be up to 20 square feet, and also displayed indefinitely and in unlimited number.  However, a church’s signs could only be six square feet and be displayed for no more than 14 hours with a limit of four per property.

“This case raised important doctrinal questions about the proper standards and level of scrutiny for laws that discriminate on the basis of the content of speech,” Morrisey said. “This is a strong decision that will help protect free speech in many contexts beyond sign ordinances.”

The amicus brief was signed by attorneys general from the states of West Virginia, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

For a copy of the brief click H E R E.

Supreme Court Allows Use of Child Abuse Evidence

The Gilmer Free Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Statements that children make to teachers about possible abuse can be used as evidence, even if the child does not testify in court, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday.

The ruling is expected to make it easier for prosecutors to convict people accused of domestic violence. The justices said that defendants don’t have a constitutional right to cross-examine child accusers unless their statements to school officials were made for the primary purpose of creating evidence for prosecution.

The case involves Darius Clark, a Cleveland man convicted of beating his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son. Clark says the trial court denied him the constitutional right to confront his accuser when it said the boy didn’t have to testify, but still considered statements he made to preschool teachers describing abuse.

The Supreme Court reversed a lower court and upheld Clark’s conviction.

The court’s ruling resolves a split among lower courts about the role played by teachers, social workers and others who have a legal duty to report suspected child abuse that they notice in the course of their work. Ohio’s highest court had ruled that the duty to report abuse effectively turned teachers into agents of the state for law enforcement purposes, even though no police were initially involved.

Writing for the court, Justice Samuel Alito said the fact that teachers have a legal duty to report child abuse suspicions to authorities does not transform a conversation between a concerned teacher and a student into a law enforcement mission aimed at gathering evidence for prosecution.

“Their questions and (the child’s) answers were primarily aimed at identifying and ending the threat,“ Alito said. It was nothing like “formalized station-house questioning” or police interrogation.

Alito added that it is “extremely unlikely” that a 3-year-old child would intend his statements as a substitute for trial testimony.

The case began in 2010 when preschool teachers at a Head Start program asked the boy about bruises and welts they saw around his left eye. Asked who caused the injuries, the boy said “Dee,“ referring to Clark.

Clark was later indicted, and the court allowed the teachers to testify at trial about statements the boy made identifying Clark. The boy was deemed “incompetent” to testify. Clark was convicted of felonious assault and child endangering.

A state appeals court overturned Clark’s conviction and the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed, ruling that teachers who are legally bound to report possible cases of abuse are in the same position as law enforcement officials when they question children.

Rejecting that view, Alito said the teachers’ “pressing concern was to protect (the child) and remove him from harm’s way.“

Forty-two states filed a brief supporting Ohio. They argue that excluding from evidence the statements children make to teachers, counselors and others who must report abuse will only protect abusers and impair the ability of states to protect children.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers submitted a brief arguing that children are susceptible to suggestion and giving unreliable testimony. The group said defendants have a constitutional right to cross examine witnesses, even when they are children.

Settlement Reached in Civil Rights Suit against Former Barbour Sheriff

The Gilmer Free Press    The Gilmer Free Press

Elkins, WV - A Barbour County woman’s lawsuit alleging while she was a teenager was coaxed into a sexual relationship by the former sheriff has come to a close.

Yesterday, trial was to begin in the case of Brittany Mae Keene v. John Wesley Hawkins, and the Barbour County Commission.  However, U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey on Monday entered an order dismissing it after receiving word Keene, 21, and Hawkins,49, mediated a tentative settlement.
Records show Keene agreed to voluntarily dismiss the Commission from the suit on Friday.

Telephone calls to both Keene’s, and Hawkins’ attorneys, Paul Harris, and Harry Smith III, inquiring about the terms of the settlement were not immediately returned.  Keith Gamble, attorney for the Commission, replied via email Tuesday noting Friday’s voluntary dismissal.

When asked if the Commission would still be required to disclose the terms since Hawkins was sued in his official capacity, and the county’s insurance carrier was footing the bill, Gamble replied “not necessarily,” and referred further questions to Smith.

In her complaint filed nearly two years ago, Keene alleged Hawkins began a series of conversations with her via Facebook in late July or early August 2011.  At the time, she was 17 years-old, and he was in his first term as sheriff.

About that time, Keene alleged Hawkins lured her to a camper at the county fairgrounds under the pretext of interviewing her for a job at county 911 center.  After entering the camper, she claims Hawkins offered her alcohol to drink.

When she attempted to leave, Keene claimed Hawkins pulled her back into the camper where he handcuffed her, stuffed a bandana into her mouth, and sexually assaulted her.  Both after the encounter, and via subsequent text messages, Keene alleged Hawkins threatened to kill her if she spoke publicly about what happened.

However, Keene filed a domestic violence protective order against Hawkins on May 11, 2012. A week before a scheduled hearing on her petition, Keene was indicted by the Barbour County grand jury for receiving stolen property.

Though it was later dismissed, Keene alleged the indictment was brought as a form of retaliation for filing her domestic violence petition. 

In her suit, Keene alleged she was not the only victim of Hawkins’ “deviant sexual behavior.”  She claimed to have knowledge of at least five other women raging from 16- to 19-years old, Hawkins had sex with either while on duty or on county property.

Records show a trial date was rescheduled twice, the second time in February to accommodate Hawkins’ release from prison following his conviction on an unrelated mail fraud charge.

According to indictment brought against him via information by U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II on February 11, 2014, Hawkins ten months earlier wrecked a 2004 GMC Envoy owned by his wife at a farm on Jerusalem Church Road in Philippi he, and one of his deputies used to raise cattle.  Following the wreck, Hawkins instructed the deputy, whose name is not specified in the indictment, to misstate how, and where the wreck occurred.

After filing a claim with them, the indictment states Nationwide sent GMC Financial, who had a lien on the truck, one check for $8,167.25 on April 15, 2012, and another for $95.40 on June 10.

An indictment via information is where a defendant waives his right to have his case presented to the grand jury, and intends to pled guilty.

At the time of his indictment, Hawkins was in his second term as sheriff.  He was re-elected in 2012 with no opposition.

Records show that exchange for pleading guilty, resigning as sheriff, surrendering his law enforcement certification and agreeing never to serve in an law enforcement capacity again, U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed it would not prosecute Hawkins for charges stemming from an investigation into his mismanagement of an estate, and funds from the Sheriff’s tax office.

Last June, Bailey sentenced Hawkins to one year, and a day in prison followed by three years supervised probation.  In addition to a $100 special assessment, Hawkins was ordered to make full restitution to GMC Financial.

Records show Hawkins paid the assessment the day of his sentencing, and $2,000 toward the restitution a week later.

The following July, Hawkins was ordered by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to serve his sentence at the Federal Corrections Institution in Memphis, Tenn.  Records show he was released on May 28.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, case numbers 13-cv-49 (Keene civil) and 14-cr-11 (Hawkins criminal)

~~  Lawrence J. Smith ~~

06.17.2015
CommunityBarbour CountyNewsCourthouseRegion

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Gilmer County Circuit court Report - 06.08.15

The Gilmer Free Press

On Friday, June 05, 2015 Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire held Court in Gilmer County.


Four fugitives from justice, all represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton, waived to return to their respective states as follows:

1) Anthony Martinez waived to return to New York;

2) Marcus Howard waived to return to Virginia;

3) Damion Blaylock waived to return to Ohio; and

4) Tariq Muhamad waived to return to Pennsylvania.

Authorities in those states have until 4 PM Wednesday, June 17, 2015 to pick these inmates up at Central Regional Jail or they will be released from custody.


•  One juvenile hearing was reset for Friday, July 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM with the Wednesday, July 01, 2015 hearing in the case being cancelled.


•  Also one civil matter involving Keith Arbogast vs. Magistrate Wolfe and Prosecuting Attorney Gerald B. Hough was before the Court and after hearing the preliminary hearing was not scheduled within the 20 days as required.

Judge Facemire dismissed the magistrate criminal case and released Mr. Arbogast’s bond.

He also quashed all subpoenas issued for the office and staff of Grindo but denied sanctions against Hough that plaintiff’s attorney, Daniel Grindo had argued for.




On Monday June 08, 2015 Judge Jack Alsop set the docket for the July term of Court before conducting his regular monthly motion day.


•  The only criminal case set was State of West Virginia vs. Dwight Bullough

He is represented by Daniel Grindo of Gassaway and it will be set for docket call Thursday, July 09, 2015 with trial to be set at a later date.


•  Grand Jury will be held Tuesday, July 07, 2015.


•  Criminal Docket Call will be 9:00 AM Thursday, July 09, 2015.


•  Juvenile status conferences will be held at 11:30 on Thursday, July 09, 2015 also.


•  Tuesday, July 14, 2015 will be arraignment and plea day.


•  Wednesday, July 15, 2015 will be petit/magistrate jury indoctrination.


•  Status hearings will be heard as follows in these cases:

1) July 09, 2015 at 9:00 AM Charles Emerson vs. David Ballard (Warden)

2) July 09, 2015 at 9:10 AM Rosendo Contreras vs. David Ballard (Warden)

3) July 09, 2015 at 9:20 AM Kenneth McCord vs. David Ballard (Warden)

4) July 09, 2015 at 9:30 AM Karen Burns vs. State of West Virginia

5) July 09, 2015 at 9:40 AM Mary Starcher vs. State of West Virginia

and

1) July 07, 2015 at 10:00 AM Credit Acceptance Corp. vs. Roy D. Wiant Jr.

2) July 07, 2015 at 10:10 AM Debra Swick vs. J.W. Ebert Corp.

3) July 07, 2015 at 10:20 AM Michael J. Wheeler vs. William F. Foster

4) July 07, 2015 at 10:30 AM GMH Gas Co. Inc. et al vs. William Cottrill

5) July 07, 2015 at 10:40 AM Stonewall Jackson Memorial vs. Elizabeth Mongold

6) July 07, 2015 at 10:50 AM Travis Wells, et al vs. State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. Co.

7) July 07, 2015 at 11:00 AM Brenda Lawson vs. Gilmer County PSD

8) July 07, 2015 at 11:10 AM Van Ramsey II vs. Van Ramsey Sr.

9) July 07, 2015 at 11:20 AM Stonewall Jackson Memorial vs. Roger Dean Fisher

10) July 07, 2015 at 11:30 AM Stonewall Jackson Memorial vs. Rosa Lee Lee


•  Judge Alsop set the bench trial of a magistrate appeal involving Matthew Butcher (attorney David Karickhoff) vs. State of West Virginia (special prosecutor Shannon Johnson) for 1:00 PM Friday, July 24, 2015.


•  Fifteen juvenile matters were heard.


•  DC Petroleum Inc. vs. Christopher Haymond, et al

The case set for a show cause hearing had arguments given by both sides and Judge Alsop gave the defendants until Wednesday, July 08, 2015 to submit a settlement agreement and complete the case or he will schedule it for an evidentiary hearing and start assessing attorney fees.


•  One guardianship petition was finalized.

06.10.2015
CommunityGilmer CountyGlenvilleNewsCourthouseRegion

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Gilmer County Family Court Report - 05.27.15

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Family Court Judge Larry Whited was is Gilmer County on Wednesday, May 27, 2015.


He heard 6 cases:

•  Two modifications were heard and granted, one relocation report was filed.


Three divorces were granted between:

•  Cammie Yoho (50) of Glenville, WV divorced Christopher Perry Yoho (49) of Sand Fork, WV.


•  Frederick Wilson (33) of Cox’s Mills, WV divorced Jennifer Wilson (36) of Troy, WV.


•  Rachelle Doty (37) of Rosedale, WV divorced Richard Doty II (44) of New Martinsville, WV.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report - 05.26.15

The Gilmer Free Press

•  On Tuesday, May 19, 2015 Judge Jack Alsop heard a juvenile matter in Gilmer County.



On Thursday, May 21, 2015 Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire heard several matters in Gilmer County.


•  One fugitive from justice waived to return to Maryland.

Bernard Coleman III was represented by Bryan Hinkle of Buckhannon and authorities in MD have until Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 4 PM to pick Coleman up or Central Regional Jail will release him.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jeremy Askew

He was before the Court for plea but his hearing was reset for Monday, June 22, 2015 at 11:00 AM upon motion of Bryan Hinkle, his attorney.


•  One juvenile matter was heard.




On Tuesday, May 26, 2015 Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire heard 8 juvenile matters in Gilmer County.


•  One fugitive from justice waived to return to Ohio.

David Humphries will be kept in Central Regional Jail until 4 PM on Tuesday, June 02, 2015 and if authorities from Ohio have not picked him up he will be released.

He was represented by Brian Bailey of Buckhannon.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Joe Thomas

his sentencing was postponed to Friday, June 05, 2015 at 9:00 AM due to his D&C report not being received yet.

David Karickhoff of Sutton is Joe’s attorney.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Kristen Clowser

She was before the Court for a magistrate appeal.

However, due to the defendant not being present in the Court room when her case was called Judge Facemire dismissed the appeal and remanded it to Magistrate Court.

Shortly thereafter Valentina Wheeler (her attorney) represented to the Court that her client had been in the bathroom.

The prosecutor had dismissed his witnesses so Judge Facemire directed the defense attorney to file a motion to reconsider.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Gary Gunderson

The hearing was reset for Monday, July 20, 2015.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Traci Pyles

She was before the Court for reconsideration of her sentence.

After a discussion with the probation officer Judge Facemire suspended the sentences he had heretofore imposed on Pyles and admitted her to 5 years probation with 6 months home confinement and then 6 months GPS monitoring system.

She must do 150 hours of community service per year of probation and she is permitted to live with her boyfriend but both have to be drug tested every other week.

She must also enroll in school or get a full time job and has a 9:30 PM curfew.

Her attorney was Timothy Gentilozzi of Clarksburg.


•  State of West Virginia vs. Jason Rousch

He was before the Court asking for another reduction of bond.

His bond was reduced to $100,000.00 and he will be on home confinement and must reside with his father, Donald Rousch.

He also must have a 9:30 PM curfew.

Gilmer County Family Court Report - 05.13.15

The Gilmer Free Press

Gilmer County Family Court Judge Larry Whited took the following actions Wednesday, May 11, 2015:

One divorce was granted:


    •  Tammy Shiflet (50) of Glenville, WV divorced Larry Shiflet (56) of Normantown, WV


    •  On May 13, 2015 Shelley Lyn Pickens(52 ) of Annville, PA divorced James Alan Pickens (53) of Racine, OH.


    •  Also on May 13, 2015 Glendon Guy Ashley (48) of Glenville divorced Tressa Kay Ashley (46) of undisclosed address.


    •  One divorce was dismissed because parties failed to appear.


    •  One contempt petition was dismissed for the second time due to not submitting the final order to consider with the petition.

Gilmer County Circuit Court Report - 05.11.15

The Gilmer Free Press

On Monday, May 11, 2015 Judge Jack Alsop presided over Court and heard a 3 page docket of cases in Gilmer County.


•  Three fugitives from justice waived to return to their states as follows:

1) Eugene Wheeler and

2) Steven Holmes, both waived to return to Pennsylvania

3) Carlton Joyner waived to return to Maryland

All 3 were represented by Brian Bailey of Buckhannon and authorities in their states have until 4 PM on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 to pick them up at Central Regional Jail or they will be released.


•  Twelve juvenile cases were heard.


•  Two names change cases were on the docket, one was granted and the other was reset for Thursday, July 09, 2015 at 10:00 AM and an amended petition must be filed and a guardian ad litem (Bryan Hinkle of Buckhannon) was appointed to represent the minors.


Two magistrate appeals were set for hearing:

•  One will be heard as a bench trial on Monday, June 08, 2015 at 1:30 PM.

•  The other will be reset upon receipt of the order.


The civil case of Lori Short vs. William Stalnaker will be heard as a bench trial on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

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