In Wetzel County Circuit Court on Friday, James Ronald Long, 62, of 414 Ohio Street, New Martinsville, entered an Alford plea to possession of a controlled substance, marijuana. Judge Mark A. Karl explained to Long that this plea, also called a Kennedy plea, means that although Long is not admitting guilt to the crime, he understands that the state has evidence that could convict him.
For possession of a controlled substance, Long was sentenced to six months with credit for term served. The execution of this sentence was suspended and Long, instead, will serve one year of unsupervised probation. He is also to forfeit everything that was seized during the investigation.
Long and his brother, Roger Dean Long, 59, of P.O. Box 381, Reader, were originally charged by the January 2012 grand jury with one count each of manufacturing a controlled substance (marijuana). This offense was allegedly to have occurred on or about July 21 in Wetzel County. Prosecutor Timothy Haught stated that the discovery of the marijuana had occurred because of an anonymous tip received by law enforcement. The marijuana was discovered beside a mowed field. Nearby this area was a cabin where James Long resides. It was believed that Long was maintaining the plants.
With the disposition of James Ronald Long's case, the case against his brother, Roger Dean Long, was dismissed.
Also Friday, Charles Zachary Wells, 22, of Rt. 1 Box 171, New Martinsville, waived his right to a speedy trial as well, for both of his cases. A proposal has been made and counsel, Keith Hart and Brent Clyburn, are seeing if a global resolution could be reached for all cases. A return date has been set for Jan. 22, 10 a.m.
Wells previously entered pleas of innocence to his two indictments. His first indictment charges him with conspiracy, nighttime burglary, malicious assault, and assault during the commission of a felony. All of the offenses are to have occurred on Dec. 21, 2011, when Wells allegedly conspired with Wilson Scott Longwell The second indictment is for conspiracy and delivery of a controlled narcotic substance (oxycodone). The offense was to have occurred on Jan. 19 with Zachery Jerico and Shawn Stackpole.