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Judge Ponders Home Confinement Privilege

By Staff | Dec 8, 2010

Judge Mark A. Karl home confinement privilege under advisement in Wetzel County Circuit Court on Monday.

Wayne A. McCaman, 47, of 46 Anson Street, Apt. 4, New Martinsville, was present for a hearing pertaining to his petition to revoke home confinement. A lengthy hearing took place as testimonies were offered to the court. At the conclusion of the hearing Judge Karl moved to take the matter under advisement. McCaman is remanded to the Northern Regional Jail until Dec. 17 at 10 a.m.

At his last hearing Judge Karl ordered Frontier Communications to produce any phone records that would indicate a three-way call made, as Jeremiah Gardner told the judge such records were pertinent in McCaman’s case. On Monday Judge Karl informed the court Frontier sent a memo to all parties involved stating there was no way to determine if a three-way call was placed on their service lines. With that Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Haught and Gardner stated they were ready to hear testimony from either party.

The state called Adult Probation Officer John Lantz to the stand to go over the petition he filed against McCaman. Lantz filed the petition Nov. 1 following a string of efforts to allow McCaman time he claimed he needed to set up his land line telephone service as required for home confinement. Lantz stated he met with McCaman shortly following his sentencing hearing and went over the rules of probation and feels he gave him ample time to set up the phone line. Initially McCaman relayed that Frontier was having difficulty getting service to McCaman’s home. The next message came Sept 24 when McCaman left a message at Lantz’s office saying Frontier was going to get the service in place within a day or two. Again McCaman called Lantz’s office on Sept. 27 saying Frontier was definitely coming to hook up service the following day; on that message McCaman left his cell phone number. Lantz claims no other dialogue was made since the attempted call on Sept. 27. When Lantz attempted to call McCaman’s cell phone on Oct. 25, he found the service had been disconnected, prompting Lantz to file a petition against McCaman.

According to the order, McCaman was to have land line phone service available by Sept. 27. Haught asked Lantz if he ever took part in a three-way telephone conversation with McCaman, to which Lantz replied, “Absolutely not.” Haught then asked if Lantz knew when service was installed. Lantz said he had no idea but that according to the memo from Frontier, it appeared service was established Oct. 6. “I don’t know why no other calls were made telling us he had a phone,” Lantz said.

Attorney Gardner called McCaman’s fiance, Angela Beaver, to give testimony. She was unfortunately unable to recall details of events McCaman claimed to have happened, nor could she remember the dates of any said occurrences or names of others allegedly included in conversations. The most she could recount was Lantz’s secretary speaking to McCaman on the phone during the three-way conversation. Beaver said she was not a part of the conversation, only that the call was put on speaker phone so she was aware of what was said, although she could not answer Gardner’s nor Haught’s questions with any specificity. Beaver also said she remembered talking to Gardner over phone service matters, though once again was unable to share pertinent details.

Gardner then called McCaman to the stand. McCaman claims he got ahold of Frontier Communications shortly after his sentencing hearing and was told service would be installed soon. He further stated he paid Frontier for the hookup but that the service was not put in until early October. Between that time period McCaman said he continually got the runaround from Frontier and called Lantz’s office roughly 10 different times, always getting his secretary. He then recounted speaking with the Youth Probation Officer in one instance.

McCaman then stated he called the prosecutor’s office at one point because he was worried Haught would think McCaman was giving him the runaround. However, when McCaman told his attorney that he called the prosecutor, McCaman testified, Gardner instructed him not to call the prosecutor’s office. McCaman went on to say he got the impression from Gardner that he was not to call Lantz’s office directly anymore either and that Gardner himself would make future calls to the appropriate persons. “I just stayed at home and waited,” McCaman said.

During McCaman’s testimony Gardner asked him if it was ever his intention to not do as instructed in the home confinement order. McCaman replied it certainly was not and continued telling the court that if given the chance he would comply with every rule.

Lastly, Gardner addressed McCaman’s health. McCaman testified he had many health problems including a kidney transplant, three instances of skin cancer, and was presently coping with prostate cancer. McCaman said he’s missed several medical appointments and has not been able to receive his medications or proper care while in the Northern Regional Jail. “I do not belong in a place like this,” McCaman underlined.

When Haught questioned McCaman, he bluntly asked McCaman if he understood that it was his obligation to call Lantz to notify him of the hookup, to which McCaman replied he did understand, but that his attorney told him he would make those calls. Gardner then stated on record that he only advised his client not to make calls to the prosecutor’s office.

The state recommended to the court that McCaman’s home confinement be revoked and that he serve his original sentence based on his failure to notify Lantz of his phone service installation as ordered. Gardner addressed the court to explain that McCaman disconnected his cell phone service to help cover the costs of the land line connection. Furthermore, he stressed the seriousness of McCaman’s illnesses and pleaded to the court to give McCaman another chance.

On Sept. 13 McCaman pleaded guilty to his one-count indictment of driving while license suspended or revoked for DUI-third or subsequent offense. While the state recommended one to three years in the West Virginia State Penitentiary for Men, McCaman was granted alternative sentencing with no opposition from the state due to his medical conditions and treatments. McCaman was ordered to serve one year under home confinement with emergency, employment, and schooling release.

McCaman’s charge is said to have occurred on or about April 14, wherein McCaman unlawfully operated a motor vehicle in an inebriated state upon a public highway (Ironton Street and Mound Street in New Martinsville) when his privilege to do so had been suspended or revoked for DUI. McCaman was previously convicted of the offense of driving suspended for DUI in the Magistrate Court of Wetzel County on or about Nov. 26, 2001, and Jan. 22, 2004, and in the Magistrate Court of Tyler County on or about Jan. 15, 2004