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Judge Delays Ruling On Sentence Reduction

May 23, 2012
BY LAUREN RIGGS - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

In Friday morning's session of Wetzel County Circuit Court, Justin Raymond Wyatt appeared alongside his counsel, Kevin Neiswonger, to file a Rule 35B modification, reduction in sentence.

Wyatt, 23, of 1000 Chapline Street, Wheeling, W.Va., has thus far served 12-and-a-half months. In September 2011 he pleaded guilty to two counts of information of conspiracy to commit unlawful assault and was sentenced to West virginia Penitentiary for Men to one to five years of each count to be served consecutively.

Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught spoke against Wyatt's request, stating that Wyatt has only served 12-and-a-half months.

Article Photos

Justin Raymond Wyatt

In addition, Haught denied Wyatt's claim that he has been write-up free, stating that upon contacting the Northern Regional Jail, he learned that Wyatt had been given five days of lock-down.

Neiswonger replied that Wyatt had received punishment for standing in front of another inmate's cell.

Karl stated that because only 12-and-a-half months has been served, meaning that Wyatt is not eligible for parole until another 11 months, he is setting this matter aside until July 20 at 10 a.m.

Jeffrey Allen Dawson, 26, of Route 1, Box 16, Folsom, also made a court appearance on Friday, where he pleaded guilty to count one, conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, hydrocodone, a schedule III substance. Dawson has been given credit for approximately 85 days served and is permanently banned from New Martinsville's Wal-Mart.

Dawson had previously been charged with feloniously conspiring to deliver hydrocodone, a Schedule III controlled substance (count one); marijuana, a Schedule II controlled substance (count two); oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance (count three); Adderall, a Schedule II controlled substance (count four); Alprazolam, a Schedule II controlled substance (count five); and suboxone, a Schedule II controlled substance (count six).

Karl told Dawson, "Good luck to you Mr. Dawson. I hope to not see you again."

Natasha Goding, 25, of 134 Thompson Drive, New Martinsville, also pleaded guilty to one count information of third offense shoplifting. On Feb. 16, she was caught stuffing items including approximately eight DVDs into her purse inside the New Martinsville Wal-Mart.

Goding confessed to wanting to return the items, totaling $151.12 for credit. Goding's sentence of one to 10 years in the West Virginia Penitentiary of Women plus a $500 fine was reduced to one year of supervised home incarceration plus the $500 fine. She was given credit for two days served in jail.

Brian Bassett, 23, of Rt. 1 Box 265 Middlebourne, also pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny and one count of third offense DUI. According to Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught, on Feb. 25, Officer Don Larsen was attempting to stop Bassett on suspicion of DUI when Bassett turned on to the four lane section of state Route 2 in New Martinsville. Basset ended up wrecking the vehicle and was taken to the Wetzel County Hospital Emergency Room where a blood test found that Bassett had a blood alcohol content of 0.24-three times over the legal limit.

Upon further investigation, it was found that the 1998 Chevy Malibu Bassett was driving was a stolen vehicle, in that it actually belonged to Jerry Finch. Bassett agreed to these charges, stating "I stole a car. . .I was driving drunk. . . I'm very sorry for what I've done. There's no excuse for what I did."

Bassett had no previous felonies in the state but has three previous DUIs. He does have a previous felony in the state of Ohio for burglary. As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution agreed not to file this prior felony against him. Bassett was sentenced to one to 10 years for grand larceny and one to three years for third offense DUI. These sentences are to run concurrently and Bassett will be given credit for the 84 days he has already served. As part of his sentence, Bassett has requested alcohol counseling.

When asked if he had anything to say to the court, Bassett apologized again, saying "I'm very sorry for what I've done."

Andrew Goddard, 18, of HC 60 Box 12A, New Martinsville, also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor information count.

He confessed that on Jan. 4, he was involved in an altercation with three other individuals in which he did commit the misdemeanor offense of battery. Goddard is sentenced to 90 days in the Northern Regional Jail, but an execution of this sentence was agreed upon, and, instead, Goddard will be placed on probation.

Neither Special Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Cramer, Defense Attorney Martin Sheehan, nor James Russell Webber himself were present for the hearing in the case of the State of West Virginia vs. James Russell Webber. Judge Karl reset the hearing date for May 25 at 10:00 a.m.

Despite objections from the prosecution, Webber, 67, of 83 Northgate Drive, New Martinsville, had been released on home confinement on March 29.

Allegedly around July 4, 2011, Webber cut off his home confinement bracelet and then spent time at the Northern Regional Jail before being evaluated in Charleston where he was deemed incompetent. However, during his hearing on March 9 the court redeemed him competent.

On Jan. 26 Webber entered innocent pleas to his three counts of the felony offense of solicitation to commit a felony crime of violence for his acts said to have occurred between Oct. 1, 2010, and Dec. 8, 2010, in Wetzel County.

Between the said time period Webber allegedly solicited, instigated, or induced a cooperating confidential individual to commit three felony crimes of violence, namely murders, against three men, by offering to compensate said individual for the acts of murder, providing money to purchase a firearm to conduct said murders, and discussing plans regarding said murders.

In another matter, it appears as if a resolution is possible in the case of the State of West Virginia vs. Larry Eugene Jones. Details of a plea agreement will be given to the court on Friday at 10 a.m.

Jones holds a one-count indictment for the felony offense of wanton endangerment involving a firearm wherein on or about Nov. 8, 2010, in Wetzel County Jones allegedly unlawfully, feloniously, and wantonly performed an act with a firearm which created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another. This charge was made following the testimony of Captain Michael J. Thomas of the New Martinsville Police Department before the grand jury on Jan. 17.

In addition to that incident, Jones was also charged with wanton endangerment following a police standoff on May 29 at his home. Police had arrived to serve Jones papers for a court appearance when he pointed a .22 caliber weapon at the officers. Later, Jones turned the gun onto himself, shooting himself in the stomach. Fortunately, no officers were hurt.

James Ronald Long will reappear in court on June 21 at noon. Long, 61, of 414 Ohio Street, New Martinsville, has been charged with one count of manufacturing a controlled substance (marijuana) for allegedly manufacturing, by cultivation, the Schedule II controlled substance.



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