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Judge Releases Webber On Home Confinement

By Staff | Apr 4, 2012

James Russell Webber

A man previously thought to be both dangerous and incompetent has been released on home confinement following his hearing in Wetzel County Circuit Court on Thursday. Judge Mark A. Karl granted that motion in addition to another for sentence modification.

James Russell Webber, 67, of 83 Northgate Drive, New Martinsville, was released on home confinement following his hearing in circuit court on Thursday.

Special Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Cramer noted to the court that the state firmly opposed the motion for release. “There was no agreement to have him re-released,” Cramer stressed. “This is an ongoing opposition.”

After further discussion over Webber’s stability and testimony from his wife, the judge permitted he be released on a $250,000 cash, justification of surety bond. Terms of his bond include the order that Webber continue psychiatric treatment and continue to take his medications as prescribed. Additionally, he is to be hooked up to electronic monitoring while on home confinement.

During her testimony, Mrs. Webber assured the court she had no concerns for herself or the community with regard to her husband’s behavior and affirmed she was willing to see that Webber gets the care and medication needed. With such assurances the judge agreed to let Webber post bond and be placed back on home incarceration until his next court appearance, yet to be determined.

Allegedly around July 4, 2011, Webber cut off his home confinement bracelet and then spent time at the Northern Regional Jail before being evaluated in Charleston where he was deemed incompetent. However, during his hearing on March 9 the court redeemed him competent.

On Jan. 26 Webber entered innocent pleas to his three counts of the felony offense of solicitation to commit a felony crime of violence for his acts said to have occurred between Oct. 1 and Dec. 8 in Wetzel County.

Between the said time period Webber allegedly solicited, instigated, or induced a cooperating confidential individual to commit three felony crimes of violence, namely murders, against three men, by offering to compensate said individual for the acts of murder, providing money to purchase a firearm to conduct said murders, and discussing plans regarding said murders.

In another matter, Rodney Lee Nolan, 26, of HC 62, Box 50A, Burton, was placed on two years supervised probation following the judge’s granting of a Rule 35 sentence modification request. Nolan, who was sentenced on Sept. 21, had successfully served six months of incarceration before making the Rule 35 motion which was made available to him in the plea agreement. Following his hearing Nolan was released and ordered to meet with Adult Probation Officer John Lantz to begin probation.

During the hearing on Thursday Defense Attorney Brent Clyburn told the court his client had only one minor write-up for being in another inmate’s cell. “He’s presented no problem to the facility and has been a satisfactory inmate,” Clyburn affirmed.

While the state initially opposed the motion for sentence modification, Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught said that after speaking with officials and learning of Nolan’s single infraction, Haught resolved, “I’m not opposed at this time to a Rule 35, provided he be placed on probation.”

On Sept. 21, Nolan was sentenced to one to 10 years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men for the offense of entry of a dwelling, a lesser included offense from count one in his three-count indictment. Nolan pleaded guilty to the offense on July 25 wherein the remaining charges were dismissed.

Nolan was indicted in January 2010 for three counts of burglary to have occurred between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1, 2008. Count one charges Nolan with feloniously 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 feloniously breaking and entering the residence of William Lane and Sandra Lane located on Long Drain Earnshaw Road. Count three charges Nolan with feloniously breaking and entering the residence of Millar P. Cayavec located on Higginbotham Run Road in Wetzel County.

Meanwhile, a trial date has been set in the case of Alex Wayne Pyles, 23, of HC 60 Box 99, Valley Manor Apt. 14, Pine Grove, who waived his right to a speedy trial and will return June 21 at 9 a.m. for his trial. His bond continues.

On Feb. 7 Pyles remained silent as the court entered a plea of innocence to each of his charges.

Pyles is charged with two felony counts of sexual assault in the third degree. The charges allege that between Sept. 1, 2010, and Oct. 31, 2010, he did engage in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who was less than 16 years old and who was at least four years younger than the defendant and not married to the defendant.

However, a few more defendants may avoid going to trial as they consider plea agreements from the state.

Thomas Edward Welch, 48, of RR 124, Proctor, appeared in court wherein it was learned a plea agreement has been made that just needs reduced to writing. Following his brief hearing, Welch was remanded to the NRJ and will return April 9 at 1:30 p.m.

On Feb. 22 Welch pleaded innocent to his charge of failure to register as a sex offender, an offense alleged to have occurred on or about Oct. 28, 2011.

Similarly, an offer has been made and simply needs reduced to writing in the case of Cheyenne Sellers, 21, of 136 Cox St., New Martinsville, who appeared in court with Attorney Thomas White. Sellers will also return April 9 a 1:30 p.m. He was remanded to the NRJ.

On Feb. 24 Sellers pleaded innocent to each of 14 counts against him.

Wetzel County Grand Jurors handed Sellers five indictments totaling 14 true bills this term of court. A two-count indictment charges him with felony entry of a dwelling and misdemeanor petit larceny. Both allege that between July 2010 and Aug. 22, 2010, he, during the daytime, entered without breaking a dwelling house of Mike Anderson in New Martinsville with the intent to commit a crime therein and take away goods or chattels valued at less than $1,000 belonging to Anderson.

Another two-count indictment charges him with felony entry of a dwelling and misdemeanor petit larceny. Both allege that on Oct. 3, 2009, he, during the daytime, entered without breaking a dwelling house of Harry Campbell in New Martinsville with the intent to commit a crime therein and take away a Smith & Wesson 357 caliber revolver valued at less than $1,000 belonging to Campbell.

A four-count felony indictment includes two counts each of forgery and uttering for allegedly forging and employing as true checks written in the amounts of $100 and $200 on the account of James D. Furbee II to Mayo’s Exxon

A two-count felony indictment charges him with felony forgery and uttering, respectively, for allegedly forging and employing as true a check written in the amount of $60 on the account of Sgt. Harry E. Campbell, a retired New Martinsville Police Department officer, and Cynthia A. Starkey on Aug. 1, 2010, to Witschey’s Market, Inc.

A four-count felony indictment includes two counts each of forgery and uttering for allegedly forging and employing as true checks written in the amounts of $335 and $520 on the account of M & H Trucking to Witschey’s Market, Inc.

In ongoing matters, Mark Levi Blake, 32, of P.O. Box 274, Pine Grove, appeared in court wherein it was noted more time was needed to review matters in the case. As such the judge set a return date for April 16 at 10 a.m. He was remanded to the NRJ.

Blake received a three-count felony indictment. Count one was for sexual assault in the second degree for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without the person’s consent. Counts two and three for sexual abuse in the first degree for allegedly subjecting another person to sexual contact without their consent, resulting in forcible compulsion. All of the alleged events for the charges were to have occurred between Dec. 31, 2009, and May 30, 2011.

Leslie L. Debolt, 41, of 416 Foundry Street, New Martinsville, appeared in circuit court wherein charges in Marion County and a petition to revoke federal parole are possibly pending against him. Indicating the defendant needed more time to work out a disposition, Attorney Kevin Neiswonger asked the matter be passed. Debolt agreed to waive his right to a speedy trial and was remanded to the NRJ. He will return on Docket Day, May 10, at 10 a.m.

On Feb. 22 Debolt pleaded innocent to his four-count indictment for offenses alleged to have occurred on or about Sept. 28 in Wetzel County.

Count one charges Debolt with fleeing from an officer while DUI for fleeing in an automobile on state Route 2 and on Foundry Street in New Martinsville.

Count two states he committed the misdemeanor offense of driving under the influence of any controlled substance.

Count three charges him with misdemeanor reckless driving for driving at a high rate of speed, nearly striking a child, and by striking a pole on Foundry Street.

Count four states Debolt committed the misdemeanor offense of domestic assault for committing an act which placed his girlfriend in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury by chasing her both inside and outside their home in New Martinsville.

Kristica Skelley, 30, of 714 North Fourth Avenue, Paden City, appeared to continue matters pertaining to her petition to revoke probation. As Lantz was still away, Haught asked the matter be passed until the probation officer could return to further discuss his disposition in the case. As requested, the judge reset the matter for hearing on April 16 at 10 a.m. Skelley remains on bond.

On Feb. 24 it was learned that in addition to the petition filed to revoke Skelley’s probation, an amendment was presented regarding her having contact with a person under indictment, namely Summer Sellers Riley, 29, of 187 North State Route 2, Villa Apartments, New Martinsville.

On Oct. 3, 2011, Skelley was sentenced to one to 15 years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Women with credit for 11 days served for possession of a controlled substance (heroin) with intent to deliver, an offense she pleaded guilty to during her hearing on Monday. However, the execution of her sentence was suspended for two years supervised probation.

Skelley was ordered to pay court costs and is further ordered to forfeit all monies and property seized by the Paden City Police Department during their investigation. Haught noted 120 stamps of heroin and roughly $1,817 in cash were seized by police.

Charles Robert Wells, 45, of 247 Lang Dr., New Martinsville, will return to circuit court on April 16 at 10 a.m. to allow time for the defense to review matters. His bond continues.

On Feb. 22 Wells pleaded innocent to his one-count felony charge of third-offense domestic battery. He is alleged to have struck his girlfriend in the face with his hand and kicked her in the ribs with his foot on Oct. 24, 2011.

Lastly, Summer Sellers Riley, 29, of 187 North State Route 2, Villa Apartments, New Martinsville, appeared for her brief hearing wherein the state asked the court for time to make a plea offer. As such a return date was set for April 16 at 10 a.m. Her bond continues.

On Feb. 7 Riley pleaded innocent to her one count indictment for felony delivery of a controlled substance (oxycodone), an offense which is alleged to have been committed on Sept. 10, 2011, in New Martinsville.