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Hall Pleads Guilty

January 22, 2014
BY ED PARSONS - For the Wetzel Chronicle , Wetzel Chronicle

James Michael Hall, 36, of 115010 Crouse St., Pound, Va., pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI in Wetzel County Circuit Court Friday.

Judge Marl A. Karl sentenced Hall to 30 days in jail with credit for time served of one day. However, the remainder of his jail time was suspended and he was placed on two years supervised probation. He was also fined $200 and ordered to make restitution to Jeremiah Smith in the amount of $1,300, as well as pay all costs of his prosecution. He was also told that if he didn't make restitution and pay the court costs, his probation would continue. He was ordered to report to Probation Officer John Lantz.

Hall's other two counts, fleeing from an officer while DUI and destruction of property, were dismissed through a plea agreement.

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In court Jan. 10 before Judge David W. Hummel, Rhonda Anne Parker, 20, of 150 Dunlap St., New Martinsville, appeared in court for sentencing alongside her attorney Patricia Kurelac. Parker was indicted by the September 2013 grand jury on nine sets of forgery and uttering for a total of 18 felony charges. She pleaded guilty on Oct. 17 to counts three and four, forgery and uttering.

She confessed to stealing the checks from her ex-boyfriend's grandmother, forging them, and cashing them at various locations in New Martinsville. She also confessed to having a drug addiction and to shooting up heroin multiple times per week.

She spoke on her own behalf Friday, stating she is employed at McDonald's and she goes to Chestnut Ridge in Morgantown, W.Va., for her drug addiction. Her attorney, Patricia Kurelac, told the court she has been trying to get Parker's records from Chestnut Ridge but has has a difficult time communicating with them. She said her first request was on Dec. 1 and was just told Thursday they had been mailed out. "I expect them Monday and I believe they will be to the benefit of my client," she said. Kurelac also told the court her client sought out counseling at Chestnut Ridge on her own.

"She is now away from her ex-partner," argued Kurelac. "She works and attends counseling two times per week. She lives with her aunt and uncle, and is willing to do whatever it takes. She has two children and two on the way. I would recommended probation."

Prosecutor Haught this was a property crime and he wants to see the victims receive every penny that was taken from them. "Even if she has to pay it back five dollars at a time," said Haught, who added that he felt Parker has suffered through many disadvantages of life by not being afforded the same advantages as some. He feels the court has a responsibility to try and rehabilitate her.

Haught said the court needs to draft an order to send her to the penitentiary with rehabilitation and the drug court program. He stated he was still very concerned because she is still taking Subutex, even through it is prescribed. His goal would be to see her make restitution to all the victims.

Judge Hummel then sentenced her to one- to 10-years, for each count, in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Women to run consecutive. He then suspended the sentence and placed her on four years of supervised probation. She must also enroll in the drug court, continue counseling at Chestnut Ridge, make restitution to all victims, and pay all costs of her prosecution.



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