×
×
homepage logo

Grand Jury Indicts 23 On 46 Charges

By Staff | Jan 25, 2011

Wetzel County Grand Jurors returned 46 true bills against 23 defendants during the January grand jury session held Jan. 17. Additionally, two sealed indictments were recorded and will remain sealed indefinitely. Several severe cases will be on the docket in this term of Wetzel County Circuit Court.

Justin C. Riggs, 22, and Amanda D. Riggs, 22, of 558 Kappel Street, New Martinsville, were indicted on two counts each of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, and malicious assault for felonious offenses said to have occurred on or about Feb. 18 in Wetzel County. Both are presently being held in the Northern Regional Jail.

Justin and Amanda Riggs allegedly abused their minor child and caused bodily injury to their child with the intent to maim, disfigure, or kill, by inflicting injuries to the child’s skull.

John Michael Howell, 42, of HC 61 Box 114, New Martinsville, was handed a four-count indictment charging him with felony offenses of a sexual and violent nature said to have occurred on or about Dec. 14 in Wetzel County.

Howell faces one count each of the felony offenses of kidnapping, second degree attempted sexual assault, first degree sexual assault, and malicious assault (respective to counts one through four) for acts committed against his wife. The two had been separated since August and have a child in common.

Howell allegedly attacked the victim when she attempted to leave his residence after picking up the child. The victim was flown from Wetzel County Hospital to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. Upon his arrest the evening of Dec. 14, Howell was found with scratches around his left eye, left side, and a bruise on his left arm.

Howell is being held in the Northern Regional Jail until his hearing Jan. 26 at 1:30 p.m. wherein Judge Mark A. Karl is to decide on the appropriate bond for Howell. During Howell’s hearing in Wetzel County Circuit Court on Docket Day, Jan. 18, a heated discussion took place between the state and the defense over the issue of Howell’s bond. Attorney Frederick Gardner argued strongly for Howell to be allowed to make bond and remain at home under terms similar to home confinement, claiming Howell’s safety was at risk in the NRJ and that he was not a flight risk.

James Russell Webber, 66, of 83 Northgate Drive, New Martinsville, was indicted with three counts of the felony offense of solicitation to commit a felony crime of violence for his acts said to have occurred between Oct. 1 and Dec. 8 in Wetzel County.

Between this said time period Webber allegedly solicited, instigated, or induced a cooperating confidential individual to commit three felony crimes of violence, namely murders, against three men, by offering to compensate said individual for the acts of murder, providing money to purchase a firearm to conduct said murders, and discussing plans regarding said murders.

At his last hearing in Wetzel County Magistrate Court Webber’s bond was modified, allowing him to post bail. He’s been released on bond with several conditions, including submitting to electronic home confinement.

Bradford Pernell Wiseman, 46, of 548 Apple Street, New Martinsville, is charged with two counts of threats of terrorist acts for allegedly calling in false bomb threats to two businesses in Wetzel County. He is presently being held in the Northern Regional Jail.

Wiseman allegedly conveyed false information concerning terrorist attempts on two occasions by placing cell phone calls–one to the New Martinsville WalMart store on April 10, and another to the New Martinsville Speedway Office of June 23–advising the establishments that there was a bomb on the premises, knowing the said information was false.

Larry Eugene Jones Jr., 46, of 125 South Main Street, New Martinsville, holds a one-count indictment for the felony offense of wanton endangerment involving a firearm wherein on or about Nov. 8 in Wetzel County Jones allegedly unlawfully, feloniously, and wantonly performed an act with a firearm which created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another. This charge was made following the testimony of Captain Michael J. Thomas of the New Martinsville Police Department before the Grand Jury on Jan. 17.

While alcohol and drug-related crimes continue to permeate the criminal dockets in Wetzel County Circuit Court, the county was also the victim of many robberies and other such crimes over the last few months. Several defendants will face such charges this term of court.

James Matthew Doty, 26, of New Martinsville, is charged with one count of the felony offense of first degree robbery for his acts said to have occurred on or about Nov. 21 in Wetzel County.

Doty allegedly committed robbery in the first degree by using the threat of deadly force by presenting a deadly weapon to the clerk at the Budget Inn in New Martinsville and taking money from said clerk against the clerk’s will.

Doty is being held in the Northern Regional Jail for this and other charges presently in hearing in Wetzel County Circuit Court including a two-count indictment for forgery and uttering, and two counts of delivery of a controlled narcotic substance (oxycodone).

Justin Raymond Wyatt, 22, of 1000 Chapline Street, Wheeling, and Jaynathan Earl Jones, 20, of New Martinsville, were indicted with one count each of first degree robbery for their acts said to have occurred on or about Sept. 8 in Wetzel County.

Wyatt and Jones allegedly committed robbery by striking and beating a male individual and stealing that individual’s wallet and money in New Martinsville. Both are being held in the Northern Regional Jail.

Joshua S. Dye, 21, of 2331 Mill Creek Road, Raven, Va.; Kevin E. Burress, 34, of 111 Brewster Lane, Cedar Bluff, Va.; and Wesley K. Burress, 27, of 315 Brewster Lane, Cedar Bluff, Va., allegedly worked together in attempting to perform an act of theft on or about Nov. 11 in Wetzel County which resulted in the receipt of one count each against them.

Joshua Dye and Kevin Burress are charged with one count each of attempted entry of a building other than a dwelling for allegedly attempting to break and enter Norris Pharmacy located in Pine Grove with the intent to commit a larceny therein.

Wesley Burress is charged with one count of aiding and abetting attempted entry of a building other than a dwelling for allegedly counseling with, aiding, and abetting Joshua Dye and Kevin Burress to attempt to break and enter Norris Pharmacy located in Pine Grove.

Benjamin Joseph Dotson, 30, of 2503 Beverly Street, Parkersburg, was handed three-count and five-count indictments for his offenses involving attempted theft and possession of controlled substances with the intent to deliver.

Regarding his three-count indictment, count one charges that between June 24-25 in Wetzel County Dotson allegedly committed the offense of entry of a building other than a dwelling in that he did break and enter a building commonly know as the Robert C. Byrd Center, housing the offices of the Town of Pine Grove and the Wetzel County Committee on Aging, located in Pine Grove with the intent to commit a larceny therein.

Count two alleges that during this same time and location Dotson committed the misdemeanor offense of petit larceny in that he stole, took, and carried away goods and chattels having a cumulative value of less than $1,000, belonging to the Town of Pine Grove and the Wetzel County Committee on Aging, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of said goods.

Count three charges Dotson with the misdemeanor offense of destruction of property for allegedly forcing open a window and multiple doors in the Robert C. Byrd Center in Pine Grove, thereby damaging the said window and doors.

Regarding his five-count indictment, counts one through five charge that Dotson allegedly possessed various controlled substances, those being: Xanax, a Schedule IV controlled substance; Vicodin, a Schedule III controlled substance; Lortab, a Schedule III controlled substance; Lorcet, a Schedule III controlled substance; and Dolophine, a Schedule II controlled substance, respectively, with the intent to deliver those same substances on or about Nov. 27 in Wetzel County.

Dotson is presently being held in the Northern Regional Jail on a $40,000 bond for his Wetzel County charges, but is also being held without bond for charges in Mercer County.

Roger Kent Boggess III, 21, of P.O. Box 227, Hundred, received a three-count indictment for his offenses said to have occurred on or about Oct. 1 in Wetzel County.

Count one charges Boggess with possession of marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance with the intent to deliver the same; count two alleges Boggess possessed Hydrocodone, a Schedule III controlled substance with the intent to deliver the same; and count three charges Bogges with possession of Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance with the intent to deliver the same.

Stephanie Nicole Fox, 20, of HC 61 Box 95C, Littleton, was handed a one-count indictment for the felony offense of manufacturing a controlled substance (marijuana) wherein on or about Sept. 27 in Wetzel County Fox allegedly manufactured, by cultivation, marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance.

Similarly, Larry Virgil Watson III, 18, of HC 61 Box 95 B, Littleton, was also handed a one-count indictment for the felony offense of manufacturing a controlled substance (marijuana) wherein on or about Sept. 27 in Wetzel County Watson allegedly manufactured, by cultivation, marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance.

Kenneth Evan Powell Jr., 46, of 315 South Third Avenue, Paden City, holds a one-count indictment for the felony offense of delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana) within 1,000 feet of a school.

On or about Oct. 21 in Wetzel County Powell allegedly, being 18 years of age or older, delivered marijuana, Schedule I controlled substance, within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising Paden City High School.

Paul William Derby, 27, of 416 Foundry Street, New Martinsville, was handed a one-count indictment for delivery of a controlled substance (Hydrocodone).

The indictment alleges that on or about Sept. 23, 2009, Derby delivered Hydrocodone, a Schedule III controlled substance, in Wetzel County.

Curtis A. Lemasters, 25, of 215 Scott Place, Fairmont, received a three-count indictment for his offenses said to have occurred on or about Oct. 27 in Wetzel County. He is presently being held in the Northern Regional Jail.

Lemasters is charged with third offense driving on a license revoked for DUI (count one) wherein he operated a motor vehicle on state Route 7 and state Route 20, having previously been convicted of the offense of driving suspended/revoked for DUI in two cases in the Magistrate Court of Marion County on or about Aug. 5, 2008.

Lemasters is also charged with the felony offense of fleeing from an officer in a vehicle (count two) for allegedly fleeing from Deputy R. L. Scott Jr., who was acting in his official capacity as a Wetzel County Sheriff’s Deputy, after Deputy Scott had activated his blue lights and siren, and Lemasters operated his vehicle in a manner showing a reckless indifference to the safety of others by driving at high rates of speed while a pregnant female passenger was in his vehicle.

Lastly, Lemasters is charged with the felony offense of altering distinguishing number for a motor vehicle in that he allegedly, with fraudulent intent, altered a distinguishing number, being a West Virginia registration plate, by placing on his motor vehicle a registration plate which he knew was not assigned to his motor vehicle.

Warren Todd Wade, 46, of HC 68 Box 21, Wileyville, was handed a two-count indictment this term for offenses said to have occurred in Wetzel County on or about June 7.

Count one charges Wade with the felony offense of fleeing from an officer while DUI wherein he allegedly, being under the influence of alcohol at the time, fled in a vehicle on state Route 7 from Deputy R. L. Scott Jr., who was acting in his official capacity as a deputy for the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office, after Deputy Scott had activated his blue lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle.

Count two charges Wade with the felony offense of driving under the influence of alcohol wherein he allegedly drove a vehicle on state Route 7 while under the influence of alcohol in the above outlined incident.

Wade remains in the Northern Regional Jail for these and other charges presently in hearing in Wetzel County Circuit Court. In the September term of court Wade was handed 11 total indictments. His charges from that term include two counts of wanton endangerment involving a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, sexual assault in the first degree, sexual abuse by a custodian, fleeing from an officer while driving under the influence, driving under the influence of alcohol, entry of a building other than a dwelling, grand larceny, sexual abuse in the first degree, and receiving stolen goods.

Robert Lee Brown, 35, of 742 Maple Lane, Sistersville, received a two-count indictment charging him with the felony offenses of altering a distinguishing number for a motor vehicle (count one), and receiving stolen property (count two).

Between July 1 and Aug. 22 in Wetzel County Brown allegedly altered a distinguishing number, being a West Virginia registration plate, by placing on his motor vehicle a registration plate which he knew was not assigned to his motor vehicle. Additionally, during this same time period Brown allegedly knowingly and unlawfully received from another person a West Virginia registration plate which he knew or had reason to believe had been stolen.

Thomas Clark Johnson, 28, of 312 Mount View Gardens, Waynesburg, Pa., was handed a three-count indictment charging him with the felony offense of forgery said to have occurred between July 22-23 in Wetzel County. He is presently being held in the Northern Regional Jail.

Johnson allegedly unlawfully, feloniously, and with the intent to defraud, forged the signature of another person to checks issued by Johnson and made payable to “Thomas Johnson” in the amounts of $240, $300, and $200 respectively to each count. These checks were cashed at a store in Hundred.

Lastly, Brian Tyler Russell, 20, of 819 Fifth Street, New Martinsville, is charged with one count of the felony offense of failure to appear on felony bail, in that on or about Dec. 1 in Wetzel County Russell allegedly, having been admitted to bail after being charged with a felony, willfully, and without just cause, failed to appear before the Wetzel County Circuit Court for a hearing which he was required to attend.