Defendants Review Evidence, Plead
Several cases were heard before the Honorable Judge David W. Hummel in court Aug. 2 in Wetzel County Circuit Court.
The case involving Jordan Tyler Kerns, 20, of 402 Abbie Drive, New Martinsville, was continued until Sept. 6, 8:45 a.m. Kerns had requested to review all the evidence in the case again because of a possible plea. However, after spending time in chambers reviewing the evidence, Attorney Shane Mallet stated that the computer “got gun shy,” and Kerns and himself were only able to view about 50 percent of the evidence. Mallet stated he would meet with his client on a future date at the Northern Regional Jail.
Kerns received a two-count indictment from the May 2013 grand jury charging him with photographing a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and distribution of material depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Also, on Aug. 2, Christine N. Rial Dreyfuse, 26, pleaded guilty to forgery. She was sentenced to one to 10 years in prison, though the state agreed not to oppose a Rule 35, reduction in sentence, after she has served a year. The state agreed to not pursue a nighttime burglary charge. Dreyfuse is also supposed to pay restitution whenever she has it.
Dreyfuse did admit to taking drugs. She stated she has been taking Percocet, along with Xanax, and she admitted she has no reason to take them. Dreyfuse said she spent about $200 a week on the drugs.
Dreyfuse stated the offense occurred when she used the victim’s credit card at Walmart to buy a phone.
Jesse Ryan Tedrow, 20, of P.O. Box 325, Hundred, admitted in court to his probation violations, which included drug use and associating with a convicted felon.
Tedrow’s attorney, Jeremiah Gardner, remarked that he felt the court should just follow the new law in regards to the violation, referencing Senate Bill 371. Gardner stated that Senate Bill 371 changes what can happen on the first offense. “My interpretation is that the court could sentence him up to 60 days on any charge,” Gardner stated.
“Your honor, normally I would be arguing for imposition of the original sentence,” Haught stated. “I believe he was given a chance when we put him on probation for the first time, because of his age, because of his cooperation in this particular case. We are constrained at this point by the legislature. The new law took away discretion, the little bit I had in making recommendations. I’m going to recommend that he be incarcerated for 60 days pursuant to the new law and then he would be released and go back on probation, and we will go through the graduated steps.”
Haught added, raising his voice, “I’m constantly bothered by people who come into this court and say, ‘I smoked marijuana, and I use drugs.’ It’s against the law. We don’t do it, and I don’t know what else to say, your honor. It’s just disrespectful to the court, to the community. It’s disrespectful to our society in general, and it shows an attitude of complete and total disrespect.”
Gardner argued, “Your honor, my client has admitted he has screwed up, but he doesn’t just do drugs. He just got a job on the pipeline, and he told me he’s working 60 hours a week . . . probably making too much for court-appointed counsel at this time, but he’s wanting to continue to work.” Gardner asked the court to consider an alternative sentence, such as home confinement.
However, Hummel agreed with the 60-day jail sentence, with the court’s Chief Probation Officer John D. Lantz giving Tedrow a stern warning to stay away from convicted felon, Denton Franklin Pletcher. Hummel agreed, telling Tedrow to “get over your bromance with him.”
Tedrow pleaded guilty Jan. 18, to the lesser included offense, petit larceny, of his charge of grand larceny. Tedrow was sentenced to one year in jail; however, upon further recommendation, the execution of this sentence was suspended and Tedrow was to serve one year of probation.
Roger Lee Headley, 30, of HC 60, Box 9BB, New Martinsville, appeared in court on a petition submitted to revoke his probation. Headley’s attorney, Brent Clyburn, stated that his client agreed to waive the preliminary hearing in the matter and, instead, requested that the matter be set for adjudication.
The state had Tyler County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Shannon Huffman available in court that day, as a witness to the matter, so Judge Hummel decided to proceed to take testimony from Huffman, to be used later.
Huffman correctly identified Headley in the courtroom and testified that he has dealt with Headley off and on for the past several years. He stated he had the occasion to investigate a crime or an alleged crime involving Headley. Huffman stated that on April 30, around 3 a.m. or later, he received a call from the 911 center. He was advised by the victim that Headley had stole some pipe that was being stored on Braeden Hill Road.
Headley had been helping the victim cut up the pipe, which was laying in a field. However, that evening the victim was told by his nephew that Headley was on his way out to the location to steal the pipe. The victim in the matter stated he saw a black Chevy truck being loaded up with pipe.
“(The victim) advised me that he wished to press charges against Roger (Headley), so I, in turn, drove to Braeden Hill Road and spoke to Mr. Headley.”
Huffman testified that he arrived at Headley’s house, where Headley’s father had invited him in. “Mr. Headley came out and I did a Miranda Rights form with him and then a statement,” Huffman said. “(Headley) advised me that he came out, got the pipe, and his attempt was to take it to Guernsey Awards outside of Marietta and sell it.” He added, “He admitted to taking the pipe. He admitted his intent was to take it and sell it. He said he knew it belonged to (the victims).”
Huffman reported that the value of the pipe was less than $1,000, which was agreed to by the victims in the case, “There were 47 pieces of pipe in the bed of the truck. It came out to $306 or something like that.” Huffman added that all of the pipe was recovered, as he had ordered Headley to return it to the field where he got it.
During the redirect, Clyburn confirmed with Huffman that he had advised Headley to take the pipe back to the field where he got it.
“I had no way to secure the pipe,” Huffman remarked.
It was also confirmed that Headley’s uncle also partly owned some of the pipe and that the pipe is broken up into three foot sections, which is eight to 10 inches.
Hummel stated that the testimony would be preserved for adjudication. A return date was set for Sept. 6, 10 a.m.
On Feb. 22, 2013, Headley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver oxycodone. For this offense, Headley had been sentenced to serve one to 15 years in the West Virginia State Penitentiary for Men, with credit for six days already served.
However, the execution of that sentence was suspended and Headley was to instead serve one year of home incarceration with work release. After one year, Headley would have been released on parole under the supervision of Chief Probation Officer Lantz.
Nathan Kernan, 22, pleaded guilty Aug. 2 to the felony offense of third degree sexual assault. For this offense, he was sentenced to one to five years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men. Kernan said he had been drinking the night of the offense, as well as mixing pills. He said he did not really know the victim “all that good,” but she was a sibling of a friend. Prosecuting Attorney Haught agreed that there was no forceful compulsion; however, the victim was below the age of 16 at the time. Thus, she was legally incapable of making the decision.
Kernan did make two statements in regards to the crime, one to the state police. His attorney, Gardner, reported that another statement was the result of pressure after he had failed a lie detector test.
Kernan also admitted in court to having engaged in drug abuse lately. He stated that he has been taking hydrochodone pills and using marijuana every week, along with drinking liquor.
Per the terms of the plea agreement, Kernan will not be indicted on a “host of potential other charges,” including burglary, nighttime burglary, battery, and petit larceny.
Judge Hummel strongly advised Kernan to pay attention to the laws that he would be subject to after release from prison. He reminded Kernan that he must register as sex offender within three days of being out of prison and he must also register on his birthday. “The sexual offender registration statute changes from time to time. It will behoove you, it would be in your best interests, to keep up on the changes of the law. You will be subject to those modifications . . .The law changes. If you violated or are alleged to violate the law because it changed, you still could be revoked and placed into prison . . . You understand that, right?” Hummel continued, “Please follow (the rules) closely. I want you to put this all behind you, continue on, and not be incarcerated after you get out this time. If you have questions about your registration requirements. Ask somebody. That somebody could very well be the state police, who will see you more than you care to see them, but you have to.”