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Sentencing Hearing Continued For Tape Viewing

By Staff | Sep 26, 2012

Zachary Jerico

A sentencing hearing was held Friday in Wetzel County Circuit Court for Zachary Jerico, 24, of 29. 1 Locust St., New Martinsville.

An investigator at the West Virginia State Police gave testimony as a witness at the sentencing hearing. He stated that while conducting a controlled buy in New Martinsville, which occurred after Jerico received his current indictment, he witnessed Jerico at a high drug area making contact with several others who have involvement with drugs. The investigator stated that there were multiple customers in the area, with one sale being made.

The investigator stated that based on his observations and training, he could assume that Jerico has had recent involvement with drugs.

Gardner asked that the tape used to record the controlled buy be played. Therefore, Judge Mark A. Karl set a return date for Oct. 1, 10 a.m. so that the tape can be played in chambers.

Jerico pleaded guilty on Aug. 16 to count two of his three-count indictment-conspiracy to deliver oxycodone, a scheduled II controlled narcotic substance. The recommended jail sentence for such an offense is one to 10 years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men.

In another matter, Thomas M. Smith, 23, 20 Steelton Street, New Martinsville, pleaded guilty to one-count information charging him with the felony offense of forgery. Thomas admitted that on or about June 6 he altered a check given to him by Reva Butler for mowing her lawn. Smith changed the amount of the check from $35 to $135 and then cashed the check at Mayo’s Exxon.

On Sept. 17, 2010, Smith was sentenced to one to 15 years in the West Virginia State Penitentiary for Men for his one count felony offense of nighttime burglary. However, execution of the sentence was suspended and Smith was ordered to successfully complete the program at the Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders within six months to two years. He was also ordered to receive drug and alcohol treatment while at the center due to his stated use of marijuana and heroin.

On Aug. 16, 2011, Smith had appeared in court where it was learned he had successfully completed the program at the Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders within the allotted time period. Per his plea agreement, Smith was placed on two years supervised probation.

Because he has broken the rules of probation with this current charge, his original sentence of one to 15 years was reinstated, along with an additional one to 10 years for forgery. These sentences are to run consecutively, though Smith has been given credit for time served. He also may eventually file a Rule 35 motion.

Roland Lee Day Jr., 60, of HC 61 Box 38A, Wileyville, appeared in Wetzel County Circuit Court Friday morning, alongside his defense attorney Robert McCoid. McCoid explained to the court that there has been discussion about resolving the case and requested that Judge Karl set a court date for consideration of a plea in November. Judge Karl agreed and set a return date for Nov. 16, 10 a.m.

Furthermore, McCoid requested that Day be allowed to travel to Ohio for work. Paul agreed to this and bond was modified so that Day can leave the state.

On March 7 Day entered a plea of innocence to each of his 33 counts of felony offenses of a sexual nature.

Counts one through three charge that between Jan. 1 and Jan. 30, 2006, Day allegedly committed the offense of sexual assault in the first degree, sexual abuse by a custodian, and incest, respectively.

The remaining charges are said to have occurred between Sept. 1, 2007, and Nov. 30, 2010. Counts four, six, eight, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, and 32 allege that Day committed the offense of sexual abuse in the first degree. Counts five, seven, nine, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, and 33 allege that Day committed the offense of sexual abuse by a custodian. Day’s bond continues.

Jeffrey Allen Dawson, 27, of Route 1, Box 16, Folsom, appeared alongside his attorney, Kevin Neiswonger, on a Rule 35 motion for reduction in sentence. Neiswonger stated that Dawson was sentenced to 1-5 years in prison for conspiracy and he had now served seven months. Neiswonger said Dawson had remained write-up free during his time and has enrolled in several classes at the jail.

Haught stated that even though he was not aware of any write-ups, he opposed a reduction in sentence, stating, “We believe the parole board should be making the decision. He will be eligible for parole after one year.”

Judge Karl stated that he would take the matter under advisement and set a return date for Sept. 28, 10 a.m.

John Michael Howell, 44, of HC 61 Box 114, New Martinsville, appeared alongside his attorney, Keith Hart. The court was alerted that Defense Attorney Brent Clyburn would serve with Hart as co-counsel on the case.

Karl responded that he knows the state opposes co-counsel, but under the circumstances, he wanted to err on the side of caution.

Haught stated that Howell should file another financial eligibility affidavit, and Karl showed no opposition to this. A return date has been set for Oct. 1, 10 a.m.

Summer Sellers Riley, 30, of 187 North State Route 2, Villa Apartments, appeared in court alongside Neiswonger. Haught stated that the prosecution wants to revoke Riley’s bond, as she has a new two-count indictment, conspiracy to deliver oxycodone and delivery of oxycodone. The new indictment states that on or about Aug. 27 Riley conspired with Jason Andrew Young to deliver oxycodone.

It was also stated that a trial date needs set for Riley’s previous indictments. Judge Karl set a return date for Sept. 28 to discuss revocation of bond.

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.

Ezra Cody Aberegg, 26, of P.O. Box 326, Pine Grove, made a court appearance with his defense attorney, Neiswonger. Neiswonger said that he had set up an appointment to talk to his client, but Aberegg was unable to make it on the appointed day as he was called into work. Neiswonger said he still needed to speak with Aberegg. Judge Karl urged Aberegg to keep his appointments as his attorney’s time is very important. Karl then set a return date for Sept. 28, 10 a.m.

In May, Aberegg was handed a two-count indictment by the grand jury, for entry of a building other than a dwelling and grand larceny. On Jan. 13 he allegedly broke into an out building located on property belonging to John Hall on North Fork Road, Pine Grove, and took goods valued at more than $1,000.

Mark Levi Blake, 32, of P.O. Box 274, Pine Grove, appeared in court where his attorney, Neiswonger, reported to the court that there was a plea agreement, “in principle.”

Neiswonger stated that Blake had been placed on suicide watch and, therefore, although he wanted to discuss the plea agreement with Blake, he wanted to see how long Blake’s suicide watch would last, so it would not play a factor in the future. A return date was then set for Oct. 1, 10 a.m.

Blake had 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 were for sexual abuse in the first degree for allegedly subjecting another person to sexual contact without their consent. All of the alleged events for the charges were to have occurred between Dec. 31, 2009, and May 30, 2011.

It appears as if a solution might soon possibly be reached in the case involving James Ronald Long, 61, of 414 Ohio Street, New Martinsville. Haught reported that he had discussed the matter with Long’s attorney, Scott Brown, and had relayed a proposal, but he needed to put the proposal into writing. Judge Karl set a return date for Oct. 19, 10 a.m.

Long, along with his brother, Roger Dean Long, 58, of P.O. Box 381, Reader, is charged with one count of manufacturing a controlled substance (marijuana) for allegedly manufacturing, by cultivation, the Schedule II controlled substance on or about July 21 in Wetzel County.

In the case involving Roger Dean Long, it was determined that if a solution was reached in the case involving James Ronald Long, then a resolution would be reached in Roger Dean Long’s case. Karl set a return date for Roger Dean Long, for Oct. 26, 10 a.m.

Defense Attorney Roger Weese was able to give an update regarding the case involving his client, Ronald A. Morgan, 36, of HC 60, Box 92, Pine Grove. Weese reported that he was still awaiting affidavits and statements for discovery in the case. He added that he was also representing Morgan in a companion case in Tyler County. A return date for Morgan has been set for Oct. 19, 10 a.m.

Morgan’s one-count indictment of grand larceny alleges that he did commit simple larceny of goods or chattels of the value of $1,000 or more, belonging to Randy W. Lemasters, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the same.

Neiswonger reported that the state wanted a handwriting analysis done for the case involving his clients, Mary Evelyn Young, 50, and Charles Michael Young, 51, both of Route 1, Box 31A, New Martinsville. Neiswonger reported that Haught wanted the original documents for the handwriting analysis in this case, but his clients objected to it, as they were worried the originals, what they consider to be their defense and exculpatory evidence, would get lost. Neiswonger proposed the idea that himself and the Youngs would meet with Haught at the prosecutor’s office at a future date. Copies would be made of the originals, and the originals would be looked over at the office, along with the copies, so that Haught can see that there are no differences.

Karl agreed with this plan and set a return date for Oct. 19, 10 a.m. He also warned the Youngs that if a handwriting analysis is done, it might take a while for their case to proceed, perhaps even after the first of the year.

On Feb. 10 both Charles and Mary Young entered pleas of innocence to their charges.

Both are charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person and forgery for offenses against Burton Young between Oct. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2010, in Wetzel County. Charles Michael Young holds a two-count indictment while Mary Evelyn Young holds a three-count indictment.

Counts one and two in their respective indictments allege they misappropriated the assets of Burton Young, who is over the age of 65, by permitting the recording of a Quitclaim Deed, transferring the real property of Burton Young to their names, without the knowledge or consent of Burton Young. Count two charges them with feloniously forging the attestation of a notary public to the same Quitclaim Deed.

Additionally, Mary Evelyn Young’s third count in her indictment states that on or about Dec. 13, 2010, in Wetzel County, she committed the offense of uttering wherein she feloniously employed as true the above named Quitclaim Deed, when she knew the attestation of the notary public thereon was forged.

In the case involving Shawn C. Stackpole, 27, of Post Office 116, Porters Falls, Haught asked that the matter be passed so he and Clyburn, Stackpole’s defense, have time to discuss matters. Karl agreed and set the matter returnable for Oct. 19, 10 a.m.

Stackpole was indicted on two counts, conspiracy and principal in the second degree to delivery of a controlled narcotic substance (oxycodone). On or around Jan. 19, Stackpole allegedly conspired with Zachery Jerico and Charles Zachary Wells to deliver oxycodone, a schedule II controlled narcotic substance in Wetzel County. The second charge states that on that same date Stackpole did intentionally aid and abet in the delivery of oxycodone.

Charles Zachary Wells, 22, of Rt. 1 Box 171, New Martinsville appeared in court for his two separate indictments, being represented by Clyburn and Keith Hart. Hart stated that he has received the discovery from Clyburn on case 12-F-66, a case Clyburn was previously representing Wells on; however, time is needed to review discovery. Thus a return date has been set for Oct. 1, 10 a.m.

Clyburn stated that as for case 12-F-65, he has reviewed discovery. However, there are a number of things he needs to discuss with Haught. Therefore, a return date has been set for Oct. 19, 10 a.m.

Wells previously entered pleas of innocence to his two indictments. His first indictment charges him with conspiracy, nighttime burglary, malicious assault, and assault during the commission of a felony.

The second indictment is for conspiracy and delivery of a controlled narcotic substance (oxycodone). The offense was to have occurred on Jan. 19 with Zachery Jerico and Shawn Stackpole.