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Defense Seeks Recusal Of Assistant Prosecutor

By Staff | Aug 29, 2012

Judge Mark A. Karl heard testimony from Mary Pyles Shrebe, mother of defendant Alex Wayne Pyles, in Wetzel County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon.

On Friday Defense Attorney Jeremiah Gardner had presented motions for home confinement and to recuse the Wetzel County Prosecutor’s Office, specifically Carl “Worthy” Paul, from the case of Pyles, 23, of HC 60 Box 99, Valley Manor, Apt. 14, Pine Grove. At that time Paul’s objections to the motions were noted. However, the state did not object to a mental status examination.

Gardner stated Tuesday that Shrebe wished to testify to the events that led to the defense’s motion at hand. Shrebe’s allegations stem from Pyles’ magistrate hearing for allegedly intimidating a witness in his current felony case in Wetzel County Circuit Court. Tuesday, Shrebe testified that Worthy Paul told her son at that time, “If a hair on my witness’s head is touched, your life as you know it is over.”

The prosecution argued that Paul was only doing his job by reminding Pyles that if the witness in the case is harmed, Pyles is going to jail. Prosecutor Tim Haught said Pyles is charged in multiple counts of sexual assault and he has been accused of threatening the life of a complaining witness. This, combined with the magistrate charge of intimidating a witness, make Paul’s admonition understandable, said Haught.

Shrebe agrees that Paul only meant that Pyles would go to prison, but she states that her son was “frightened” and “scared to death,” after Paul’s remarks.

Judge Karl made no decisions regarding the defense’s motion. Currently, Pyles is scheduled for a psychological evaluation on Sept. 24.

During his hearing Tuesday, Pyles made the request to Gardner to testify. Judge Karl strongly urged Pyles not to do so, stating that his attorney knows what is best for him.

“You would not want to say something that would hurt your case,” Karl stated.

Pyles then requested to be transferred to Hillcrest Behavioral Health Services in Wheeling, stating he was having suicidal thoughts. He added that he had been on suicidal watch in prison for six to eight days now. Karl stated that he would make the necessary arrangements for Pyles to be transferred. No return date for Pyles’ next court appearance was set.

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.