During Friday afternoon's session of Wetzel County Circuit Court, a voluntariness hearing was held in the case involving Alexander Scott Whaley, 24, of HC 62, Box PP, Pine Grove.
The topic of dispute involved a statement made by Whaley to Deputy Eric Daugherty. Whaley claims that Daugherty told him not to include information in his statement involving the concealed weapon Whaley was carrying at the time of the incident. Whaley reports that the deputy told him it did not matter if this information was in his statement. Whaley argues that this information was relevant because "if I was after (Wildman, the alleged victim), I would've pulled the firearm."
Deputy Daugherty argues that he never advised Whaley to leave the information out of the statement, that the topic was only approached when he called the Jackson County Sheriff's Department to see if they wanted to revoke the firearm permit. Defense Attorney Alberty asked Daugherty if anyone else was present during the statement. Daugherty said there was not.
Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught argued that the topic really had no relevance to the case or to the statement that Whaley made, seeing as Whaley is not denying that he made the statement. Alberty agreed, saying the statement Whaley made was voluntary. It was agreed that the topic could be brought up during the trial, which is set for Jan. 3, 9 a.m.
Whaley received a one-count indictment from the September 2012 grand jury, charging him with malicious assault. This charge alleges that on or about June 27, Whaley cased bodily injury to Leonard K. Wildman by striking him in the face and kicking him in the face.
Prosecutor Haught reported at the Nov. 27 hearing in court that the victim in the case is in a nursing home after leaving the hospital. This all stems from injuries that allegedly occurred from the June 27 incident. It was determined at that hearing that Earl Bowser Jr. will be appointed guardian ad litem for the victim, who Haught reported is currently not competent or medically able to represent himself.
At this Nov. 27 hearing, Haught brought up another issue of concern in the case-telephone calls that the defense claims were made to the prosecutor's office by Whaley and his family. Haught stated that if Whaley wishes to proceed with these claims, then it would mean that Haught and his entire office would be witnesses at the trial, which, consequently, would cause a conflict in the trial. Furthermore, Haught stated that none of the calls Whaley claims were made concerned the victim.
Alberty agreed at this time that all of the testimony coming from the prosecutor's office contradicts his client's claims. Therefore, the defense agreed that these issues would not be discussed at trial. Whaley confirmed this aloud. Although the next term of court is quickly nearing, Alberty reported that it was his client's wish to have his trial before the end of term. Furthermore, it was stated that Whaley did not have the funds to acquire multiple medical experts. Therefore, it was requested that the court fund an expert for him. This request was denied, seeing as Whaley was able to retain his own counsel for his case.