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Steed Pleads Guilty

By Staff | Dec 30, 2009

Tyler Joseph Steed, 20, of P.O. Box 61, Caldwell, Ohio, pleaded guilty to the lesser included misdemeanor of possession of a controlled substance (hydrocodone) in Judge David Hummel Jr.’s courtroom Tuesday.

As per the plea agreement, the state dropped the felony count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Steed was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, pay any court costs, and surrender the cash retrieved by the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Department at the time of the incident.

On Oct. 12, 2008, Steed was pulled over at the BP Gas Station for a burned-out headlight when Wetzel County Sheriff’s Deputy Rob Scott of Wetzel County noticed Steed acting nervous. Scott asked to search the vehicle and found 40 hydrocodone tablets in the console. Steed was also found holding $621 in cash, which he claimed was his savings. Based on that evidence, Steed was charged with possession and intent to deliver and the cash was confiscated. However, it was later discovered that Steed was merely holding the pills for a friend who had a prescription for the drug and there were no signs of intent to deliver.Jashwa Lee Adams, 20, of P. O. Box 57, Jacksonburg, was before Judge Hummel for a probation review as Officer Lantz stated Adams failed a drug test which is a violation of his probation. Although Adams has a prescription for hydrocodone, his drug test revealed levels too great to suggest prescribed use of the medication. Furthermore, it was evident that Adams was filling prescriptions from several doctors.

Judge Hummel ordered to modify probation for Adams to attend and successfully complete drug court in Marshall County under Adam’s own financing. Additionally, per the state’s request, a copy of the order will be sent to the physicians currently prescribing hydrocodone to Adams to make them aware of his drug abuse.

On March 23 Adams pleaded guilty to felony possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) with intent to deliver. Adams was granted probation through a Rule 35, reduction in sentence, motion after serving 120 days of his original sentence.

On Dec. 29 Adams stated he can’t control himself in regard to abusing drugs and said even when he was in prison he found access to drugs. Hummel recalled that at his Rule 35 hearing Adams claimed he learned a lot from his time served in prison. However Tuesday Judge Hummel commented that apparently he has a lot more to learn.

In an unusual case Benjamin Thomas, 22, of 296 North State Route 2 Lot 47 West, New Martinsville, was in circuit court for a motion to stay and motion to withdraw a plea. His attorney, Kevin Neiswonger, explained to the court that although Thomas previously pleaded guilty to nine counts of obscene, anonymous, harassing, and threatening communications by computer, Thomas did not make the plea knowingly in magistrate court. Thomas testified that he did not understand what he was signing when he was arraigned.

He claimed the sentencing process lasted only 20 minutes-allowing no time for authorities to read or explain the documents to him. Thomas went on to say he was not aware of the full consequences regarding his possible consecutive sentencing for each count, his responsibility to pay court costs, and his possible fines of up to $500 for each count. Thomas claimed he had “no clue what it (the sentencing) meant.”

Neiswonger requested the court remand the matter back to magistrate court to litigate the situation. Judge Hummel surmised Thomas was not fully informed over what could potentially happen. The state had no objection to the request and the court ruled to not dismiss the case, but set aside the stay of sentencing and withdraw his plea. The matter will be remanded to magistrate court until further proceedings. Because of this incident Judge Hummel further ruled that Thomas is to have every line read to him in future paperwork.

In the on-going case of Cynthia Longwell Nottingham, 34, of Court Street, Middlebourne, Nottingham was present in Judge Hummel’s court without counsel. According to Officer Lantz, Nottingham has violated her probation for a third time. Based on that information the state opposed the former bond and requested to set a new bond of $10,000. The court ordered the state to tender discovery and a return date was set for Jan. 8 at 9 a.m.

In 2008 Nottingham admitted to setting fire to her own home while her children were in the building and pleaded guilty to the misuse of funds of an elder person. She was placed on three years supervised probation. Additionally, in recent months Nottingham has been allegedly involved in shoplifting.

Rebecca Dawn Beltran, 20, of RR 1 Box 87 Carmichael, Glen Easton, W.Va., has made bond. Due to outstanding discovery and negotiations, Beltran, along with her public defender Jeremiah Gardner, requested to waive her right to a speedy trial and move her case to the next term of court. The court approved the request and they will continue the matter generally. A return date was not set.

Beltran is facing a two-count indictment. Count one is a felony offense of entry of a building other than a dwelling to have allegedly occurred between July 16 and 24, 2008, in which she entered a building belonging to Carl Nelson on Commercial St., New Martinsville, with the intent to commit a larceny. Count two is felony grand larceny to have allegedly occurred between the dates of July 16 and 24, 2008, with the value of $1,000 or more of paintball guns and equipment that belonged to Nelson.

George D. Burch, 66, of 302 West Main St., Paden City, failed to appear in circuit court because of fluid on his lungs that prevented him from leaving his home. Burch’s health has further not enabled him to undergo the psychological evaluation the court has requested. As his case cannot go any further until the evaluation is performed, Hummel ordered that Burch receive his evaluation under a local psychologist, Dr. Mike Marshall. The court will return on Jan. 8 at 9 a.m.

Burch faces a three-count indictment: count one, failure to update sex offender registry information, failing or refusing to report his move to a new address; count two, failure to register as a sex offender in the month of his birth to the State Police detachment to have allegedly occurred between the the dates of Sept. 1 and 30, 2007; and count three, failure to register as a sex offender in the month of his birth to the State Police detachment to have allegedly occurred between the dates of Sept. 1 and 30, 2008.

Other cases in circuit court on Tuesday included Jack D. Keys, 50, of P.O. Box 764, New Martinsville, who was in court for a mandatory status conference with his counsel Brian Carr. It was decided that motions need to be filed and as such Keys requested to waive his right to a speedy trial. The court moved to push his case to the next term which begins Jan. 12. A return date has not been set.

Keys faces a four-count indictment: count one, felony fleeing from an officer while under the influence; count two, misdemeanor second-offense driving under the influence of alcohol; and counts three and four are identical, felony child abuse by creating a risk of serious bodily injury or death by fleeing from a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol which allegedly occurred on July 31 in Wetzel County.

Lastly, the case of Herbert C. Rice, 49, of HC 61, Box 53, Knob Fork, is still unresolved. Significant developments were recently discovered and were privately brought to the court’s attention Tuesday. A trial date is set for Jan. 4.

Rice was indicted in May 2007 on one count first degree sexual assault involving a child, one count first degree sexual abuse, one count incest, and one count sexual abuse by custodian. He also faced charges in Berkley County in June.