Blainer Admits To Sexual Assault
Ten cases were heard in Wetzel County Circuit Court Aug. 25. Two pleas topped the bill in Judge Mark A. Karl’s courtroom.
Angela Kristy Higginbotham Morgan Blainer, 28, of 80 Third Street, Shinnston, pleaded guilty to count one, felony offense of sexual assault in the third degree. Sentencing is deferred until Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. following arguments from all parties regarding the pre-sentence report performed by Adult Probation Officer John Lantz. Blainer was given 20 days from Aug. 25 to register as a sex offender to the State Police Barracks in Harrison County.
The state recommended one to five years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Women with credit for time served, 20 days. After completing her term the state further advised Blainer be placed on 10 year’s supervised release, maintain her registry as a sex offender, pay all court costs, and make no contact with the victim. Pursuant to the plea agreement counts two and three of her indictment are dismissed, sexual assault in the third degree and wanton endangerment involving a firearm.
Wetzel County Prosecutor Tim Haught stated the 14-year-old victim was confronted by his grandmother about his relationship with Blainer. He admitted to his grandmother that he had sex with Blainer and she called the police. In his statement, the victim claimed the offenses occurred in a vehicle. DNA samples were taken and the results corroborated his statement.
Regarding her offenses Blainer said, “I was drinking with (the victim) and we went and had sex. I was taking Xanax heavily at the time.” Blainer admitted she and the victim slept together more than once, however couldn’t remember much due to her alcohol and drug consumption. She added she was not aware of the victim’s age at the time of the incidents. While Blainer stated she’s been clean and sober for several months, she requested alcohol and drug counseling be included in her sentencing.
Blainer received a three-count indictment for her offenses said to have occurred between Aug. 1-14, 2009, and on or about Aug. 25, 2009. Counts one and two charged Blainer with the felony offense of sexual assault in the third degree in that she, being 16 years old or more, did engage in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who was less than 16 years old and who was at least four years younger than the defendant and was not married to the defendant.
Count three charged Blainer with the felony offense of wanton endangerment involving a firearm in that on or about Aug. 25, 2009, she did wantonly perform any act with a firearm which created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another when she allegedly pointed a firearm at the same minor child named in counts one and two of Blainer’s indictment.
Hugh Dean Morgan, 69, of P.O. Box 101, Jacksonburg, also pleaded guilty to counts two and three of his three-count indictment, misdemeanor possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and misdemeanor domestic battery, respectively. Judge Karl sentenced Morgan to six months each for counts two and three to run concurrently in the Northern Regional Jail with credit for time served, 33 days. As Morgan had recently undergone surgery to one of his eyes, Judge Karl ruled a stay of execution of Morgan’s sentence until Oct. 1 at noon to allow Morgan time to see his doctor. Morgan’s bond continues.
Pursuant to Morgan’s plea agreement, count one, felony offense of wanton endangerment involving a firearm, was dismissed. Additionally he is to pay restitution for medical costs to the victim and court fees.
On or about March 19 Morgan, having consumed alcohol, allegedly pointed a firearm at step-son Stephen Edward Richardson and struck him with the same weapon during an argument at Morgan’s girlfriend’s home. Additionally Morgan unlawfully possessed a firearm as he was a convicted felon of one count of driving under the influence of alcohol, third offense.
In other matters, Rodney Lee Nolan, 24, of HC 62, Box 50A, Burton, was scheduled to proceed with a voluntariness hearing. However, Nolan was granted new counsel per his request made at his previous hearing Aug. 9. Judge Karl appointed Brent Clyburn to represent Nolan from this point forward. The matter was reset for Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.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 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 breaking and entering the residence of William Lane and Sandra Lane located on Long Drain/Earnshaw Road. Count three charges Nolan with breaking and entering the residence of Millar P. Cayavec located on Higginbotham Run Road in Wetzel County.
Nicholas Chad Fletcher, 31, of P.O. Box 245, Littleton, was also scheduled for a voluntariness hearing, however his attorney, Jeremiah Gardner, explained his client preferred to continue the case into the next term of court, as his codefendant, William Carmen Hadley, 41, of P.O. Box 83, Hundred, had done recently.
Fletcher is remanded to the Northern Regional Jail until his hearing on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m.
On June 16 Fletcher had the court enter innocent pleas for his four-count indictment. On or about Feb. 9 Fletcher and Hadley allegedly committed the felony offense of nighttime burglary (counts one and three) for breaking into the residences of Thelma Hunt of Burton and Cody Nichole Sturm of Hundred.
Counts two and four charge Fletcher and Hadley with the misdemeanor offense of petit larceny. Count two charges the two men with stealing medications belonging to Thelma Hunt, and count four charges them with stealing a Ruger Model 860 44 magnum revolver belonging to Cody Nichole Sturm.
On July 14 it was made known in Wetzel County Circuit Court that Fletcher is also charged with malicious wounding in Monongalia County.
Wayne A. McCaman, 46, of 46 Anson Street, Apt. 4, New Martinsville, was presented a plea agreement regarding his one-count indictment of driving while license suspended or revoked for DUI-third or subsequent offense. He is set to plea Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m.
McCaman’s charge is said to have occurred on or about April 14 wherein McCaman unlawfully operated a motor vehicle in an inebriated state upon a public highway (Ironton Street and Mound Street in New Martinsville) when his privilege to do so had been suspended or revoked for DUI. McCaman was previously convicted of the offense of driving suspended for DUI in the Magistrate Court of Wetzel County on or about Nov. 26, 2001, and Jan. 22, 2004, and in the Magistrate Court of Tyler County on or about Jan. 15, 2004.
Douglas Shane Steele, 23, of HC 61, Box 62, New Martinsville, was present for a status hearing, however apparently not in proper attire as Judge Karl lectured Steele to not wear flip-flops and other such casual wear in his courtroom. Following these remarks Attorney Kevin Neiswonger informed the court that his client has made a payment of $700 toward the restitution for windows Steele had broken during an alleged burglary and breaking and entering. However, Neiswonger stated Steele would continue to make payments as soon as possible, but requested to waive his term of court to do so. With that said, Karl continued the matter until Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. to allow Steele time to make full restitution. His bond continues.
At his hearing on July 14, Haught shared with the court that an agreement for dismissal of Steele’s case was planned as soon as restitution in the amount of $1,700 was made. As part of the planned arrangement, Steele would be released of his indictment for helping to convict another individual.
Steele is charged with three counts of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycontin) wherein on or about Oct. 29, 2009, Steele delivered in New Martinsville oxycontin, a Schedule II controlled substance, which is a narcotic drug.
Also in circuit court was Fred Leslie Kirk, 40, of 332 Jackson Ave., Sistersville. Not on the docket, Kirk was present for a petition to revoke probation but was without counsel. Judge Karl appointed the Public Defenders Office to assign counsel to Kirk. Gardner handled Kirk’s case earlier and will most likely be reappointed. Kirk is remanded to the Northern Regional Jail until his return date set for Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m.
On Jan. 8 Kirk stood before Judge Hummel for a motion for sentence modification after serving 120 days of his one to five-year sentence in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men. At that time Judge Hummel was taking the motion under consideration. On Feb. 19 Hummel granted Kirk’s Rule 35 B motion and Kirk was placed on two year’s probation.
On Sept. 4, 2009, Kirk pleaded guilty to a felony count of failure to register as a sex offender in the month of his birth (October) to the State Police detachment.
Robert Eugene Morgan, 20, of 1374 Thorn Ridge Rd., Friendly, was to have a hearing on a petition to revoke probation. Present with his attorney, Neiswonger, Morgan waived his preliminary hearing and his case was passed until Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m. Morgan’s terms of probation continue.
Per his sentencing, Morgan was put on two year’s supervised probation with Adult Probation Officer John Lantz on Feb. 4 after spending time in the Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders. Morgan illustrated exemplary behavior at the center, earning his GED and a certificate in welding.
Morgan was indicted on one count of attempted entry of a building other than a dwelling, in which it is alleged on Nov. 18, 2007, he attempted to break into Norris Pharmacy in Pine Grove with intent to commit a larceny.
Similarly, Eugene John Huggins, 21, of 28 Rose Street Lot 8N, New Martinsville, waived his preliminary hearing regarding a petition to revoke probation. His terms of probation continue and he is to return Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m.
On Feb. 5 it was made known there are allegations against Huggins of violating his probation as he tested positive for marijuana.
Lastly, Warren Todd Wade, 46, presently held at the Northern Regional Jail, was in Wetzel County Circuit Court for a matter of extradition. It was stated Wade has a warrant issued from Belmont County, Ohio, for failure to appear in court. Wade signed the waiver of extradition and is remanded to the Northern Regional Jail to await extradition to Ohio.