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Yost Enters Guilty Plea

By Staff | Jul 13, 2011

One entered a guilty plea in Wetzel County Circuit Court Friday while others waived term of court. Judge Mark A. Karl presided as he heard matters from six defendants including an argument over the element of the offense in the case of one individual. Many defendants are scheduled to return to court this Friday.

Michael T. Yost, 33, of 639 James Street, New Martinsville, pleaded guilty to count one of his two-count indictment, that being the felony offense of entry of a building other than a dwelling, during his hearing on July 8. For this offense the state recommends Yost be sentenced to one to 10 years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men with credit for time served. Judge Karl ordered a pre-sentence report to be conducted by Adult Probation Officer John Lantz and Yost will return Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. for sentencing. Pursuant to the plea agreement, count two of Yost’s indictment has been dismissed.

Relatedly, codefendant Charles Zachary Wells, 21, of Route 1, Box 171, New Martinsville, is scheduled to return to circuit court July 15 at 10 a.m.

Wells and Yost received two-count indictments each charging them with offenses said to have occurred during the month of March in Wetzel County.

Count one charges Wells and Yost with the felony offense of entry of a building other than a dwelling wherein they did break and enter a building housing the Headquarters Family Hair Salon. Count two states they each committed the misdemeanor offense of petit larceny in that they did carry away a cash register and cash having a cumulative value of less than $1,000 belonging to Jamie Benson, doing business as Headquarters Family Hair Salon, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the same.

In a separate matter, Attorney H. John Rogers addressed the court regarding what is and what isn’t obscene material during his client’s hearing on Friday. While neither Rogers nor Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught disputed the facts of the case of Daniel L. Postlethwait, 25, of 28 Rose Street, Lot 42 South, New Martinsville, the two shared differing interpretations of Postlethwait’s alleged offense. Following several exchanges, Judge Karl ruled for the two parties to submit notes of argument to the court by July 22. Postlethwait remains on bond and will return July 29 at 10 a.m.

On Oct. 18 Postlethwait entered a plea of innocence to his one-count indictment for his offense said to have occurred during the month of March in Wetzel County wherein he allegedly committed the felony offense of display of obscene matter to a minor in that he displayed such matter to a minor.

Regarding this charge Attorney Rogers stood firm in his opinion on Friday that due to the nature of Postletwait’s relationship with the alleged victim in the case, the exchange of said material should not be considered obscene. Rogers added that a statement was taken from the victim, wherein she claims she solicited the images.

The state’s position, however, is that whether the victim solicited the material or not is irrelevant given her age, which was 17 at the time of the offense. “The defendant is an adult and that individual was a minor,” Haught said resolutely.