Judge Denies Reduction
In Wetzel County Circuit Court on Jan. 14, Judge David W. Hummel Jr. denied a motion to reduce the bond of $40,000 set in Wetzel County Magistrate Court for Steven Lee Leek, 42, of 168 Vine St., New Martinsville.
Defense Attorney Jeremiah Gardner suggested that Leek is not a flight risk as he has lived in New Martinsville his whole life and noted Leek has attended all court dates in the past. His elderly aunt lives with him and she is ill; he needs to take care of her, argued Gardner.
Leek spoke to the court, saying, “She (his aunt) is driving herself crazy, me being in jail. I beg you, if possible, that I can be out there with her to help her understand my charges and what I’m facing.”
Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught argued against the bond reduction, pointing out Leek’s criminal history as provided the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) includes first degree sexual assault, sexual abuse by a custodian, attempted first degree sexual assault, plus some misdemeanors.
He further cited the new four-count indictment, adding he intends to file for Leek to be labeled as a recidivist if he is convicted of this new indictment.
“We believe he might be a flight risk and a threat to the residents of New Martinsville and Wetzel County if he is allowed to be at large,” concluded Haught.
Hummel seemed to agree when he denied the motion and said, “Mr. Leek, your own statement that this might be the last time you might get to spend with her (his aunt), that could give rise to the fight that you’re a flight risk.”