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Defendants To Return May 2

By Staff | May 1, 2013

Two Wetzel County Circuit Court defendants will return to court on May 2 to find out their fate.

At the April 19 court hearing, White argued on behalf of his client, Tori Dale Hinkle, 23, of Paden City, who had admitted to violating her probation at a previous hearing, held on March 22. Karl recapped Hinkle’s violations, stating that she had been arrested in Woodsfield, Ohio, and had been in the company of a convicted felon. Special Prosecuting Attorney Carl “Worthy” Paul argued that Hinkle should serve prison time. “She violated probation. She has done the opposite of proving she is a good citizen.”

White argued that his client was arrested for “simple assault” in Ohio. “She is not convicted for that charge; it’s still pending. They must not think much of it or else they would have pursued it with more zeal.”

White argued further that his client works right now, maintains a home, and cares for two small children. “To put her in jail, I believe, wouldn’t be in anyone’s best interest. The better course would be for her to be out of jail and continue to work. The children’s father is in jail. No one is there to care for the children. I think she could continue to be on probation.” He added, “Today’s age, we have problems with jail overcrowding and drug abuse. Her initial problem was drugs. Since then she has not failed a drug test. She’s passed drug tests, and has asked to be drug tested every-time (she’s in court).”

Karl agreed that he was concerned that the assault occurred in Monroe County six months ago, “and they’ve done nothing about it.”

White confirmed that Hinkle has had several hearings.

“Ms. Hinkle . . .,” Karl began. “If I recall correctly, I’ve said the same thing to you that I’ve told other people on probation . . . The state is urging me that they put you in jail for one to five.”

Karl added that he was going to have Hinkle drug tested again today. Hinkle assured him that he would receive a good test.

Furthermore, she confirmed when asked, that she had two small children, ages six and four.

“You better be thinking about them,” Karl stated, before adding that he would continue the case until May 2 to decide on Hinkle’s future. “If I have a problem, you know I can cause you a lot of problems. I’m not trying to be aloof, mean, or vicious. I’m just trying to explain to you . . . You understand you have to conform your acts to requirements of the law. What are you, 23?”

Hinkle said yes.

“So you had your first child when you were 17?” Karl asked.

“Yes sir,” Hinkle responded.

“I would think by now you would get it . . . You know you are standing here today with a free lawyer who is probably giving you good legal advice. You might want to listen to Mr. White. I want you to see Mr. Lantz before you leave here today.”

Karl added, “If you want to stay out of jail and stay on probation, you better listen to me and listen to your attorney.”

On Nov. 16, 2012, it was determined that Chief Probation Officer John D. Lantz had filed a petition to revoke Hinkle’s probation, a little short of one year since Hinkle had been released on supervised probation.

On July 15, 2011, Hinkle was sentenced to one to five years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Women for conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance (heroin). Judge Mark Karl had said he would hear a Rule 35 motion, reduction in sentence, after Hinkle had served a minimum of four months. On Nov. 18, 2011, Hinkle was released onto two years supervised probation.

In another matter, Daniel Ray Fordyce, 34, of HC 61 Box 3, Littleton, appeared alongside his attorney, George Stanton III, for a matter of sentencing.

Special Prosecuting Attorney Paul said that the state wants to see Fordyce imprisoned for a period of one to three years, primarily due to a recidivist filed against Fordyce for a prior felony. “When someone has a previous felony,” Paul stated, “they don’t have the break of probation.”

Stanton argued against prison time for his client, saying that the other individuals involved in the case have received probation, while the gentleman that allegedly sold the saw, as well as the gentleman that allegedly bought the saw, were not charged with anything.

Stanton argued that these co-defendants do not have families to care for, as Fordyce does. Furthermore, he has been called back to a job from which he was formerly laid off. “I would urge the court to give him a chance; he is working,” Stanton stated.

“If the court would leave him out, he would go back to work . . . He has three little boys. He’s in a little different situation than the other fellows who got probation out of this. He works. He has a great job opportunity right now. He’d really be punished . . . Who would really be punished would be (Stanton’s wife) and the children.”

As to a former conviction, Stanton stated, “Ten to twelve years ago, he was convicted of a similar property crime. He paid his debt to society and is productive.”

Karl did express concern over the fact that Fordyce had served four years in prison for a previous conviction of nighttime burglary. Karl stated that normally, a person gets out prior to serving four years and expressed concerns that Fordyce might have had writeups, though Fordyce denied such.

Fordyce confirmed that the ages of his children were two, three, and three months.

“I’m going to think about this,” Karl stated. “Mr. Fordyce, you understand I normally don’t give probation for someone with a prior felony. Probation is a privilege. It’s not a right.”

On Feb. 22, Fordyce pleaded guilty to a lesser included offense, attempted transfer of stolen goods of count two of his two-count indictment.

His indictment alleges that on or about Feb. 8, 2011, Fordyce allegedly stole goods totaling more than $1,000 from Savage Heavy Highway. His second count alleges that between Feb. 8, 2011, and April 3, 2011, Fordyce allegedly transferred to Andrew Burt Wade a Husqvarna K750 14″ chop saw valuing more than $1,000, which belonged to Savage Heavy Highway.

At the Feb. 22 hearing, Fordyce admitted to committing the offenses