Sex Offender Violated Probation Working With Children, Carnival
Judge Mark A. Karl found probable cause in a probation violation hearing against Fred Leslie Kirk in Wetzel County Circuit Court Sept. 13.
Kirk, 40, of 332 Jackson Ave., Sistersville, will appear for an adjudicatory hearing Sept. 29 at 1:30 p.m. following a petition to revoke probation hearing Monday that resulted in Judge Karl’s ruling for probable cause. Kirk appeared before Judge Karl along with Attorney Jeremiah Gardner and Adult Probation Officer John Lantz, who provided testimony against Kirk. Lantz took the witness stand and answered questions from Wetzel County Prosecutor Tim Haught, Attorney Jeremiah Gardner, and Judge Mark A. Karl regarding Kirk’s alleged probation violation wherein Kirk was found living with and being in contact with minors, a circumstance which goes against a special conditions regulation on his probation terms.
Lantz testified that on Aug. 9 he met with Kirk after receiving complaints he was living with and in contact with minors. “I told him it wasn’t appropriate and thusly made it a condition to not have any contact with minors,” Lantz said. Lantz affirmed Haught’s assumption that Kirk understood the new provision to his probation terms. However, that very evening Kirk was spotted at Town and Country Days-employed by Deshler Amusements-helping children on and off rides. Lantz added Kirk did not disclose at their meeting that he was employed with Deshler Amusements. Furthermore, Kirk is required to report any employment to the West Virginia State Police and his probation officer. Haught asked Lantz if he would have permitted Kirk’s employment to which Lantz replied sternly, “Absolutely not.”
Gardner then spoke with Lantz, asking if Lantz had Kirk sign off on his additional rule. Lantz said it was not necessary as he’d signed off on the standard rules and verbally confirmed he understood the additional condition. Gardner then asked if the additional rule was a normal addition to probation terms. “I haven’t employed it in the last few years, however, when I get calls from the community I’m going to take action,” Lantz replied. “I put it on him (Kirk) because he was on probation, because he was a sex offender, and for the safety of the community.”
Gardner made the point that Kirk was incarcerated after his first evening of work, making it impossible to report his employment within the time limit allotted to him.
Before the hearing concluded Gardner requested Kirk be released on his previous bond before the next hearing. The state strongly objected, as did Judge Karl. Kirk is incarcerated until his hearing on Sept. 29.
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.
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.