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Defendants Appear In Court

By Staff | Feb 2, 2011

Thirty cases filled the docket in Wetzel County Circuit Court Jan. 26. Judge Mark A. Karl presided over a packed gallery of defendants comprised of new and returning cases. The majority were arraigned for new charges this term.

Amanda D. Riggs, 22, and Justin C. Riggs, 22, of 558 Kappel Street, New Martinsville, entered innocent pleas to their 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 were remanded to the Northern Regional Jail and will return Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m.

Amanda and Justin 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 present before Judge Karl to continue the discussion of bond that started between his attorneys and the state on Jan. 18. After more discussion Judge Karl ordered all parties to return Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. for a bond hearing. Judge Karl granted the defense and the prosecution to call witnesses at that time, if desired. Howell was remanded to the Northern Regional Jail.

On Jan. 18 Howell pleaded innocent to his 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.

James Russell Webber, 66, of 83 Northgate Drive, New Martinsville, entered innocent pleas to his 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. He will return Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m. His bond continues.

Bradford Pernell Wiseman, 46, of 548 Apple Street, New Martinsville, remained silent as the court entered innocent pleas to Wiseman’s two counts of threats of terrorist acts for allegedly calling in false bomb threats to two businesses in Wetzel County. The matter of bond was addressed during Wiseman’s hearing as Attorney Jeremiah Gardner noted his client has difficulty in jail due to a physical disability. It was requested bond be modified to allow Wiseman to be released on bond. The state had no objections and therefore Judge Karl granted Wiseman’s bond be modified to $20,000 cover-all cash, surety, or professional bondsman. He was remanded to the Northern Regional Jail and will return Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m.

During Wiseman’s arraignment Haught presented an unopened letter the clerk’s office received on Jan. 24 from Wiseman, which was addressed to Haught. Haught returned the sealed envelope to Wiseman, stressing that as the prosecuting attorney, Haught cannot communicate in any way with Wiseman unless Attorney Jeremiah Gardner is present or gives such permission.

The indictments detail that 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, will be arraigned Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m. Special prosecutor Luke Furbee was unable to appear due to a family obligation and as such the matter was passed.

Jones 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.

James Matthew Doty, 26, of New Martinsville, appeared for his arraignment pertaining to his recent one-count charge of the felony offense of first degree robbery of the Budget Inn in New Martinsville for his acts said to have occurred on or about Nov. 21 in Wetzel County. However, the matter was passed for the time being and Doty was remanded to the Northern Regional Jail. He will return Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m.

Jaynathan Earl Jones, 20, of New Martinsville, and Justin Raymond Wyatt, 22, of 1000 Chapline Street, Wheeling, entered pleas of innocence to their one count indictment each of first degree robbery for their acts said to have occurred on or about Sept. 8 in Wetzel County. Both were remanded to the Northern Regional Jail and will return Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m.

Jones and Wyatt allegedly committed robbery by striking and beating a male individual and stealing that individual’s wallet and money in New Martinsville.

Joshua S. Dye, 21, of 2331 Mill Creek Road, Raven, Va.; Kevin E. Burress, 34, of 111 Brewster Lane, Cedar Bluff, Va.; and Wesley L. Burress, 35, of 315 Brewster Lane, Cedar Bluff, Va., entered innocent pleas for their one-count indictments in connection to an attempted burglary. The three will return to Wetzel County Circuit Court Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m. Their bonds continue. The three 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.