Lasure Ordered To Fulfill Original Sentence
BY MIRANDA STOKES Staff Writer The gallery was again packed in Wetzel County Circuit Court as 20 defendants returned to address matters in hearing on Feb. 9 with Judge Mark A. Karl presiding. Following her admission to violating probation, Michelle Lasure, 28, of HC 60, Box 82, Pine Grove, was ordered to serve her original sentence to the West Virginia Penitentiary for Women for a period of one to 10 years for each of the two counts of probation violation against her, to be served concurrently with credit for time served. Furthermore, Judge Karl stated he would entertain a Rule 35 sentence modification after Lasure serves four months of satisfactory incarceration. Lasure was released on probation and ordered to self-report to the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office at noon today to be transported to the Northern Regional Jail. During her hearing Lasure admitted to violating the rules and terms of her probation for using illegal drugs without a prescription, wherein on at least two occasions Lasure tested positive for drugs. “Incarceration is the only way to keep her away from these substances,” Wetzel County Prosecutor Tim Haught stated. Upon her release from incarceration the state requested Lasure be ordered to enter an inpatient drug treatment facility as a term of her probation. On March 4 Lasure pleaded guilty to one-count forgery and one-count uttering (counts one and two of her 12-count indictment). The remaining counts, five each of forgery and uttering, were dismissed per her plea agreement. Judge David W. Hummel Jr. sentenced her to one to 10 years in the West Virginia State Penitentiary for Women for each charge, to be served concurrently. Judge Hummel suspended incarceration and ordered Lasure to two years supervised probation. Lasure allegedly, between Feb. 20 and 28, 2009, forged the signature of another person, Garnett Harrison, on the WesBanco account of Garnett A. Harrison and Sherlyn D. Moore, and made payable in the amount of $50 four separate times, $75 once, and $30 once. She also allegedly committed uttering when she employed the WesBanco checks to be signed as true. All of these checks were made payable and cashed at Simon’s Market in Pine Grove. Another admission of guilt was made on Wednesday. Eric John Spears, 27, of HC 62, Box PP, Pine Grove, pleaded guilty to count three of his six-count indictment, that being sexual assault in the second degree. Judge Karl ruled to defer the imposition of sentencing until March 7 at 10 a.m. During that hearing witnesses will be called. While sentencing has not been executed, Judge Karl did order Spears to register as a sex offender by Feb. 11. Spears’ bond continues. The state’s recommendation for sentencing is 10-25 years in the West Virginia State Penitentiary for Men. Following completion of this sentence the state further requests Spears be placed under supervised release for 50 years and register as a sex offender, have no contact with the victim in the case, and pay counseling fees for the victim, in addition to court costs. Per the plea agreement, the remaining five counts of Spears’ indictments would be dismissed. On Oct. 4 Spears entered innocent pleas for all six of his sexual assault charges for his offenses said to have occurred during the summer of 2009 in Wetzel County. Counts one and three charge Spears with the felony offense of sexual assault in the second degree. Count one alleges he engaged in sexual intrusion with a female. Count three alleges he engaged in sexual intercourse with the same minor, without her consent. Count five of the indictment charges Spears with the felony offense of sexual assault in the first degree in that he allegedly engaged in sexual contact with the same girl. Counts two, four, and six charge Spears with the felony offense of sexual abuse by a custodian in that he allegedly engaged in sexual intrusion and sexual contact with the same female child under his care, custody, or control. Regarding an on-going case, Judge Karl stated in Wetzel County Circuit Court on Wednesday that his ruling on the voluntariness hearing in the case of Rodney Lee Nolan, 24, of HC 62, Box 50A, Burton, would be mailed later in the week. With that in mind the matter was reset for Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. During that time a trial date will be set. Nolan’s bond continues. The voluntariness hearing surrounding his was held in November and December. It surrounded the defense’s belief that Nolan was not read his rights before making a written statement and that threats and promises were made to force Nolan into making the statement. Furthermore, the defense argued Nolan was intoxicated at the time of the investigation and statement and was as such taken advantage of by law enforcement. Nolan is indicted on three counts of burglary 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. Following a bench conference, it was decided Andrew Laugh, 20, of 134 Wetzel Street, Paden City, will return to Wetzel County Circuit Court on Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. to enter a plea. His bond continues. On Oct. 4 Laugh pleaded innocent to his one-count charge of the felony offense of manufacturing a controlled substance (marijuana) said to have occurred June 22 in Wetzel County. Allegedly, Laugh manufactured, by cultivation, marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance.