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Defendants Appear In Wetzel Circuit Court

By Staff | Feb 23, 2011

Fifteen defendants appeared before Mark A. Karl in Wetzel County Circuit Court on Feb. 18.

Bradford Pernell Wiseman, 47, of 548 Apple Street, New Martinsville, appeared for his hearing on Friday wherein Attorney Jeremiah Gardner requested additional time regarding Wiseman’s case. A return date was set for March 7 at 10 a.m. Wiseman was remanded to the Northern Regional Jail.

On Jan. 26 Wiseman 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 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 on June 23–advising the establishments that there was a bomb on the premises, knowing the said information was false.

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

It was further noted in court that Powell retained new representation through Thorn Law Offices of Morgantown. Powell’s bond continues until his next hearing scheduled for March 18 at 10 a.m.

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

Stephanie Nicole Fox, 20, of HC 61 Box 95C, Littleton, pleaded innocent to her one-count indictment in Wetzel County Circuit Court on Friday. Present with her recently appointed counsel, Attorney Gardner, Fox will return March 18 at 10 a.m. She is out on bond.

Co-defendant Larry Virgil Watson III, 18, of HC 61 Box 95 B, Littleton, pleaded innocent to his one-count indictment. His bond continues and he will return Feb. 25 at 10 a.m.

Fox and Watson were handed a one-count indictment each for the felony offense of manufacturing a controlled substance (marijuana) wherein on or about Sept. 27 in Wetzel County the two allegedly manufactured, by cultivation, marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance.

Randy L. Lewis, 22, of 325 Virginia Street, New Martinsville, appeared in Wetzel County Circuit Court wherein Attorney Kevin Neiswonger (standing in for Lewis’ attorney David White) requested a return date to allow time to resolve miscellaneous matters. A return date was set for March 18 at 10 a.m. Lewis’ bond continues.

Lewis is facing a one-count indictment wherein during the summer of 2008 in Wetzel County, Lewis allegedly committed the felony offense of sexual assault in the third degree in that he, being 16 years old or more, engaged in sexual intercourse with a female child who was not married to Lewis.

Justin C. Riggs, 22, of 558 Kappel Street, New Martinsville, appeared for his hearing alongside Attorney Brent Clyburn. Clyburn stated he was still reviewing discovery and requested more time to review matters and possibly file motions. Additionally, upon his request, Clyburn was granted the transcripts of all the witnesses’ testimony in the case, most importantly being that of the medical professional who examined the victim in the case. Judge Karl ordered the transcripts be made available to Clyburn as soon as possible. Justin Riggs will return March 21 at 1:30 p.m., while co-defendant Amanda D. Riggs, 23, of 558 Kappel Street, New Martinsville, will return to Wetzel County Circuit March 7 at 10 a.m. Both are being held in the Northern Regional Jail.

On Jan. 26 the two entered innocent pleas to their two counts each of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury and malicious assault, felonious offenses said to have occurred on or about Feb. 18, 2010, in Wetzel County.

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.

Larry Eugene Jones Jr., 46, of 125 South Main Street, New Martinsville, appeared for his hearing in Wetzel County Circuit Court wherein it was decided Jones would soon undergo a psychological evaluation before proceeding with his case. Jones’ bond continues and Judge Karl set a return date for March 18 at 10 a.m.

On Feb. 9 Jones remained silent as the court entered an innocent plea to Jones’ one-count indictment for the felony offense of wanton endangerment involving a firearm.

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.

Jaynathan Earl Jones, 21, of New Martinsville, and Justin Raymond Wyatt, 22, of 1000 Chapline Street, Wheeling, were present for their hearings regarding their one-count indictment each of first degree robbery. Both will return to Wetzel County Circuit Court March 18 at 10 a.m. Jones was remanded, while Wyatt is out on bond.

During Wyatt’s hearing on Feb. 9 his Attorney Neiswonger argued for Wyatt’s bond of $20,000 be lowered to match the co-defendant’s bond of $10,000. Despite the state’s opposition, Judge Karl ruled Wyatt’s bond be reduced to $10,000 cash, surety, or professional bondsman. As a condition of his bond Wyatt is to have no contact with the victim in the case.

During that hearing Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught explained the state’s position on the issue of bond. First, Haught brought up the fact that Wyatt’s address is listed as Wheeling, but that in fact he had been hiding out with a girlfriend for a considerable amount of time in Wetzel County. Second, Haught stated he felt Jones’ bond was set too low and therefore believed $20,000 was appropriate.

Neiswonger interjected and explained Wyatt’s Wheeling address was only temporary for the purposes of military paperwork, as Wyatt was apparently planning at one point to enter the military. It was stated if Wyatt made bond he would stay in Sistersville with his mother and step-father.

On Jan. 26 Wyatt and Jones 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.

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

The state has extended a plea offer to Paul William Derby, 27, of 416 Foundry Street, New Martinsville, however Attorney Gardner stated on Friday he had not yet reviewed the offer. Derby will return March 18 at 10 a.m. His bond continues.

On Feb. 9 Derby pleaded innocent to his 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, appeared with Attorney Gardner, who stated additional time was needed to review plea matters. Lemasters was remanded to the NRJ and will return March 18 at 10 a.m.

On Jan. 26 Lemasters remained silent as the court entered innocent pleas to his three-count indictment for his offenses said to have occurred on or about Oct. 27 in Wetzel County.

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 a 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.

Thomas Clark Johnson, 29, of 312 Mount View Gardens, Waynesburg, Pa., appeared in Wetzel County Circuit Court on Friday alongside Attorney Gardner who stated more time was needed to negotiate a plea agreement with the state, therefore a return date was set for March 18 at 10 a.m. Johnson was remanded to the Northern Regional Jail.

On Jan. 26 Johnson remained silent as the court entered innocent pleas to his three-count indictment charging him with the felony offense of forgery said to have occurred between July 22-23 in Wetzel County.

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, Robert David Morgan, 43, of 213 1/2 Diamond Street, Sistersville, appeared in Wetzel County Circuit Court on Friday for a re-sentencing hearing regarding his remanded case from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Per the state supreme court’s ruling and Morgan’s employment standing, Judge Karl re-sentenced Morgan to 60 days on home confinement with work release for his offenses of operating an ATV on a highway and driving while revoked for DUI in November 2005. Morgan’s sentence was ordered to begin Feb. 25 and he will have 90 days to pay fines totaling $350 in addition to court costs.

Morgan was convicted in Wetzel County Magistrate Court on March 28, 2006, of operating an all-terrain vehicle on a highway on Nov. 3, 2005. He was sentenced in magistrate court to pay a $100 fine and costs. Morgan was also convicted on the same date in Wetzel County Magistrate Court of driving while revoked for DUI on Nov. 3, 2005, and was sentenced in magistrate court for that offense to six months jail, a fine of $250 and costs.

Morgan appealed his convictions to Wetzel County Circuit Court and after a bench trial on Feb. 1, 2010, the court found Morgan guilty of both offenses and imposed a sentence of a $100 fine and costs for improper operation of the ATV and a sentence of 60 days in jail, and a $250 fine and costs for DWR/DUI.

Morgan then appealed the convictions to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. On Oct. 27, 2010, the court remanded the case for imposition of sentence pursuant to the defendant’s right of allocution.