Judge Sentences Probation Violator To Original Sentence
Twenty cases involving 19 individuals were heard in Wetzel County Circuit Court’s Docket Day held Thursday with Judge David W. Hummel Jr. presiding. Proceedings included one sentencing, numerous return date settings, several capias warrants issued, and three case dismissals.
Jashwa Lee Adams, 21, of P. O. Box 57, Jacksonburg, was reinstated to the West Virginia State Penitentiary for Men for one to five years following his hearing for a petition to revoke probation. At his hearing on May 5, it was stated Adams had allegedly tested positive for marijuana, violating his probation. On Thursday Haught affirmed the state was ready to proceed, having subpoenaed a witness and the drug testing lab is able to provide testimony via telephone. Gardner retorted he didn’t believe this case needed to go to the adjudicatory phase, as Adams was prepared to admit to his probation violation. On Thursday Judge Hummel asked Adams if he’d recently taken any drugs, which he answered that he had smoked marijuana recently, thus admitting to the court he’d in fact violated his probation. Gardner further requested leniency for Adams with a sentence to the Anthony Center for treatment.
On March 23, 2009, 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, 2009, Adams allegedly violated his probation and stated he couldn’t control himself in regard to abusing drugs and said even when he was in prison he found access to drugs. During this hearing he was ordered to a drug center in Harrison County, but did not complete that program. Most recently he’d allegedly tested positive for marijuana as was stated in the courtroom on May 5. Ultimately, Adams’ record indicated he’d served 133 days total in prison.
The state offered testimony from Carl Steven Santilli, an employee of the Harrison County drug center who had interviewed Adams and assessed him for the drug treatment program on March 4. Santilli explained that Adams’ needs assessment test showed a high potential for re-offending and relapsing. Adams’ score was 26; the high range is categorized as 20-29 points. Furthermore, Adams’ scores stood out in areas of lack of education, lack of employment, alcohol and drug problems, and a criminal background. Santilli reported that Adams was not seen at the center after March 25, but did say in his professional opinion that Adams was salvageable and would benefit from residential treatment. He stated Adams’ decision-making skills are seriously affected and stressed a controlled environment would be to his benefit. In arguing for his client, Gardner asked Santilli if relapse was normal at the treatment center. Santilli replied yes, however went on to say those persons were actively in recovery, and that in his opinion Adams was never in recovery. Garner claimed Adams didn’t go back to the center because he’d been injured at his logging job and was in the hospital. He further explained Adams was self-medicating himself to deal with the pain from his injury which lead to the probation violation. Based on Santilli’s testimony, Hummel assuredly ordered Adams to his original sentence of one to five years in the state penitentiary for men with credit for 133 days and disappointedly told Adams, “You just didn’t quit using.”
In other matters, Jack D. Keys, 50, of P.O. Box 764, New Martinsville, was in Wetzel County Circuit Court for a possible plea entry. It was made known in the courtroom that an agreement has been reached between the defendant and the state, however time is needed before a plea can be entered. Keys will return on June 9 at 8:45 a.m. for a formal plea entry. Until that time his bond continues.
Keys faces a two-count indictment: count one, felony fleeing from an officer while under the influence; and count two, misdemeanor second-offense driving under the influence of alcohol. Both offenses allegedly occurred on July 31 in Wetzel County.
Jason Jennings Taylor, 39, of 1030 Third Street, New Martinsville, was in court for a hearing. The state has had a number of discussions with Taylor’s attorney, Earl Bowser Jr., and both parties believe they are going to have a plea in the matter. The only issue left to resolve is restitution. A return date was set for June 9 at 9:45 a.m. for a formal plea. Until that time Taylor’s bond continues and he is to continue to stay away from the alleged victim.
Taylor holds a three-count indictment. All three counts are alleged to have occurred on or about Oct. 9, 2009. Count one is felony offense of nighttime burglary in which Taylor allegedly, in the nighttime, intentionally, unlawfully, knowingly, and feloniously enter the residence of Matthew McDiffitt located at 901 James Street, New Martinsville. Count two is felony offense of malicious assault in which he allegedly maliciously, unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly, cause bodily injury to J. L. Iams, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill the said J. L. Iams by biting his thumb. Count three is felony offense assault during commission of a felony in which Taylor allegedly, during the commission of the felony offense of nighttime burglary, did intentionally, maliciously, unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly wound J. L. Iams by biting his thumb.
George D. Burch, 66, of 302 West Main St., Paden City, failed to appear in court along with his attorney, Patricia Kurelac. The court has not received information back from Dr. Rush regarding his opinion on whether or not Burch can be restored to a necessary competency level. Burch is presently on home confinement and the state police are aware of his whereabouts. He is scheduled to return June 9 at 9 a.m.
A competency hearing with Dr. Rush was recommended by the state to resolve if Burch could become competent enough to stand trial. Dr. Rush’s professional opinion as of now is that he is not competent and the state had no reason to disagree with that. The only issue remaining is whether or not Burch could become competent in a reasonable amount of time. If he cannot be restored then the court has no option but to dismiss the case, given its nature.
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.
Charles Ray Taylor Jr., 27, of 111 South Third Avenue, Paden City, was present for a petition to revoke probation. He was released from serving his sentence on April 20 and placed on probation, however allegedly failed to register as a sex offender within three days as required by statute, thus violating his probation. For this, Taylor was additionally charged with the felony offense of failure to register which will be bound over to next term’s grand jury.
As Jeremiah Gardner was appointed to the new felony charge, he was also appointed as Taylor’s attorney regarding the present matter. A return date was set for June 9 at 9 a.m. for a preliminary hearing. The state brought up that Taylor’s alleged victim in the underlying case is local and aware of Taylor’s release and has expressed concerns. For this Hummel ruled a bond of $10,000 cash or professional bondsman and home confinement if bond is made.
On Sept. 5, 2005, Taylor pleaded guilty to three felony offenses: abduction, second degree sexual assault, and assault during the commission of a felony. He was sentenced on Sept. 30, 2005, and released April 20, 2010.
Rodney Lee Nolan, 24, of HC 62, Box 50A, Burton, was in Wetzel County Circuit Court to proceed with his case. Nolan’s cross evaluation report from Chestnut Ridge Hospital in Morgantown was completed. It concluded he is competent to stand trial, and there is no information on the report to indicate he wouldn’t be criminally responsible. The state noted Nolan gave inculpatory statements in the matter. Gardner then made a motion to suppress evidence. Hummel set a voluntariness hearing for June 9 at 9:15 a.m. Nolan’s bond continues.
Nolan is indicted on three counts of burglary. The three counts are alleged to have occurred between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1, 2008. Count one charges Nolan with intentionally, unlawfully, knowingly, and feloniously breaking and entering the residence of Clint. W. Jones located on County Route 66, commonly known as Harker Run Road in Wetzel County. Count two charges him with intentionally, unlawfully, knowingly, and feloniously breaking and entering the residence of William Lane and Sandra Lane located on Long Drain Earnshaw Road. Count three charges Nolan with intentionally, unlawfully, knowingly, and feloniously breaking and entering the residence of Millar P. Cayavec located on Higginbotham Run Road in Wetzel County.