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Five Plead Guilty In Wetzel County Circuit Court

By Staff | Dec 7, 2011

Five individuals entered guilty pleas in Wetzel County Circuit Court on Thursday before Judge Mark A. Karl. For offenses relating to theft and drug abuse, these defendants will serve various sentences spanning from supervised probation to incarceration in the state penitentiary.

Andrew William Richard, 22, of 28 Rose Street Lot 80N, New Martinsville, pleaded guilty to count one of his indictment, that being entry of a building other than a dwelling, and subsequently, he admitted to violating terms of his probation for committing a crime. For these offenses, Richard was sentenced to one to 10 years in the West Virginia State Penitentiary for Men with credit for 440 days served. As his probation was revoked, this sentence will run concurrently with his original sentence now imposed from a 2007 case which is also a one- to 10-year sentence.

Richard is further ordered to pay restitution to the victims in two incidents outlined in his indictments. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the state dismissed the remaining charges against him including a case pending in Magistrate Court. Richard’s bond continues until Dec. 9 at noon, wherein he is to self-report to the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office to be transferred to the penitentiary.

In his two-count indictment, Richard was charged with entry of a building other than a dwelling and grand larceny wherein between July 10-13 he allegedly entered without breaking a garage belonging to Brock T. Conner located on Price Run near Proctor and allegedly took a 2006 Kawasaki KLX 125 dirt bike, having a value of more than $1,000 belonging to Conner.

In his one-count indictment, Richard was charged with the misdemeanor offense of petit larceny wherein on or about Jan. 10 he took goods having a cumulative value of less than $1,000 belonging to Walmart Store No. 2684 in New Martinsville.

Notably, in 2007 Richard was alleged to have stolen cigarettes from Mayo’s Exxon valued at less than $1,000. A recommended stay at the Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders in Greenbrier County was his sentence given by Judge John Madden. Following successful completion of his sentence at the center, Richard was granted two years supervised probation by Judge David Hummel.

Tyler C. Fauber, 27, of 446 North Main Street, New Martinsville, pleaded guilty to count one of his indictment, that being conspiracy to deliver heroin for conspiring with Jeremy K. White, 24, of Paden City, to deliver the drug, which is a Schedule I controlled substance. Fauber was sentenced to the state penitentiary with credit for two days served. However, the execution of that sentence was suspended to allow Fauber to serve two years under supervised probation. He is further ordered to successfully complete the drug court program in Marshall County at his own expense in addition to paying all court costs. He also agreed to forfeit all money and property seized during the investigation by the New Martinsville Police Department including a 2008 Ford pickup truck. As requested, Fauber will receive drug treatment and counseling as a condition of his sentence and, pursuant to the agreement, the state dismissed count two of his indictment.

According to his drug use history statement, Fauber used heroin and marijuana within the last 120 days and believed his drug use contributed to his crime. He did claim he could control his drug use and behavior, however still requested counseling be a part of his sentencing.

On or about June 6, Fauber committed the felony offense of conspiracy to deliver heroin in that he conspired with White to deliver the drug. This charge came after he made a call to the NMPD stating his truck was broken into. When police arrived they saw a syringe and empty heroin stamp. Fauber told police he was a user of the drug and had driven White to Pittsburgh so White could purchase the drug, some of which was given to Fauber. Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught stated no full stamps of heroin were on Fauber’s person or at his residence. However, Haught noted that White, who was staying with Fauber, was found to have 58 stamps on his person upon arrival to the Northern Regional Jail.

Notably, on Sept. 6 White pleaded guilty to one count of information for conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance (heroin) and was sentenced to one to five years in the state penitentiary.

Thomas Clark Johnson, 29, of 312 Mount View Gardens, Waynesburg, Pa., admitted to violating terms of his probation by using controlled substances. For this offense he is confined in the NRJ for 60 days with credit for time served. Johnson will be released Dec. 20 and placed back on probation, which is extended until June 24, 2013. He was remanded following his hearing.

According to the probation revocation petition, Johnson tested positive for morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and hydromorphone following a Sept. 21 drug test.

On March 18 Johnson pleaded guilty by way of information to one count of conspiracy to commit uttering. For this he was sentenced to the state penitentiary for a period of one to five years with credit for 86 days served. Johnson’s other charges were dismissed.

On June 24 he was released on a Rule 35 sentence modification motion. He was placed on two years supervised probation.

Johnson was indicted on three counts of the felony offense of forgery said to have occurred between July 22-23, 2010, in Wetzel County wherein he allegedly 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.

Brittany Jo Nolan Powell, 26, of 1250 North State Route 2, Apt. 27, New Martinsville, pleaded guilty to one information misdemeanor for petit larceny and was sentenced to the NRJ for 156 days with credit for 156 days. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the state dismissed the felony charge against her. She is also to pay court costs. While she is released from her Wetzel County charges, Powell was remanded to finish serving time on a Tyler County charge.

During her hearing it was noted Powell is a user of illegal drugs and believes her drug use contributed to her crime, however she did not request drug counseling, affirming that while she cannot control her behavior while under the influence, she can control her use of drugs.

On Oct. 3 Powell pleaded innocent to the charges outlined in her five-count indictment for offenses said to have occurred on or about June 16 in Wetzel County.

Counts one, four, and five charge her with allegedly committing the felony offense of uttering.

Count one states she uttered and employed as true a WesBanco check issued on Howell’s account and made payable to “Cash” in the amount of $100, by tendering the same check to Mayo’s Exxon and offering the same as true, to the prejudice of Howell, WesBanco, and Mayo’s Exxon, when she knew the said check was forged.

Count four states she uttered and employed as true a WesBanco check issued on Howell’s account and made payable to “Walmart” in the amount of $126.28, by tendering the said check to Walmart when she knew the said check was forged. Count five states she uttered and employed as true a WesBanco check issued on Howell’s account and made payable to “Go-Mart” in the amount of $65.63, by tendering the said check to Go-Mart when she knew the said check was forged. Count two charges Powell with the felony offense of forgery for forging the signature of Howell to the Electronic Check receipt authorizing the electronic deposit of a check issued on Howell’s WesBanco account and made payable to “Cash” in the amount of $100, which was cashed at Mayo’s Exxon in New Martinsville.

Lastly, count three charges Powell with the felony offense of attempted uttering wherein she attempted to utter and employ as true a WesBanco check issued on Howell’s account and made payable to “Exxon” in the amount of $100, by attempting to tender the said check to Mayo’s Exxon when she knew the said check was forged.

Finally, Wesley L. Burress, 36, of 315 Brewster Lane, Cedar Bluff, Va., pleaded guilty to count one of his indictment, that being aiding and abetting attempted entry of a building other than a dwelling. For this offense he was sentenced to the state penitentiary for one to three years with credit for three days served. However, the execution of his sentence was suspended to instead serve one year on home incarceration with work release. Arrangements will be made to transfer his sentence to Virginia. Burress is also ordered to pay court costs.

During his hearing Burress said he dropped two codefendants off at Norris Pharmacy in Pine Grove on Nov. 10, 200, and had agreed to come back and pick them up. He claimed at that time he didn’t know they were trying to break into the building. However, Haught shared with the court that the codefendants gave statements indicating Burress did know their intentions and had agreed to transport them and be a look-out.

Notably, on Nov. 18 his brother and codefendant, Kevin E. Burress, 35, of 111 Brewster Lane, Cedar Bluff, Va., pleaded guilty to attempted entry of a building other than a dwelling and was sentenced to one to three years in the state penitentiary with credit for three days served. Similarly, it was agreed he would serve one year on home incarceration with work release in Virginia. However, after one year home incarceration, Kevin Burress will be placed on two years supervised probation.

The other codefendant, Joshua S. Dye, 22, of 2331 Mill Creek Road, Raven, Va., pleaded guilty in April to the lesser included misdemeanor of accessory after the fact to his one-count indictment of attempted entry of a building other than a dwelling. He was sentenced to six months in the NRJ, with credit for four days served, and fined $100. However, his sentence was suspended to instead serve one year on home supervised probation.

As part of their plea agreements, both he and Kevin Burress agreed to testify truthfully against Wesley Burress.