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Sentence Reduction Considered

By Staff | Oct 2, 2013

Judge Mark A. Karl will address a motion for reduction in sentence Oct. 7, 1:15 p.m., in Wetzel County Circuit Court.

The defendant, Charles Zachary Wells, 23, of Route 1 Box 171, New Martinsville, has spent six months in Northern Regional Jail for conspiracy to deliver oxycodone. Wells’ retained counsel, Kevin Neiswonger, argued for his client’s release, stating that Wells’ co-defendant received home confinement. Furthermore, Neiswonger argued that his client has completed classes in parenting skills, domestic violence, and anger management while incarcerated.

Neiswonger confirmed his client had received write-ups while in prison, but one was for a broken wristband and another “offense” was because his client’s cellmate had given himself a tattoo. Neiswonger explained that his client was allegedly written up because of his cell mate’s actions.

Haught confirmed that he had heard the same as Neiswonger regarding the infractions, but added that the problem with Wells is his multiple arrests. Haught stated Wells has been in the legal system and also that the state had dismissed other pending charges against Wells when he pleaded Feb. 22.

Wells argued for his release, explaining he had been leading a life of nothing when he committed the crimes. “I would’ve had nothing,” he said. Wells stated he had plans to take Narcotics Anonymous classes, get a job, and pay child support if he was released from prison.

Although Haught said that the state’s position was for Wells to remain in prison, he did emphasize that if Wells was released, the state wanted him to take part in the county’s drug court program.

Wells was sentenced to one to five years in prison March 4 for his drug-offense.

A trial in the case involving Troy M. Richman has been set for Dec. 12, 9 a.m. The case had previously been set for Sept. 4; however, due to an issue with a witness, the case was continued on Aug. 27.

Richman received a one-count indictment alleging that on or about June 4, 2012, he committed the felony offense of malicious assault by cutting a victim with a knife.

The case involving Ronald Morgan, 37, of HC 60, Box 92, Pine Grove, has been continued until Oct. 18, 10 a.m., due to a scheduling conflict with Attorney Shane Mallet.

Morgan was handed a one-count indictment by the May 2012 grand jury charging him with the felony offense of grand larceny.

Attorney Neiswonger reported that he had submitted a proposal to the state in the case involving his client, Joshua Ray Watson, 21, of RR1 Box 111, Metz. Watson is set to return to court Oct. 18, 10 a.m.

In May 2012, Watson was indicted on charges of nighttime burglary and grand larceny.

Charles Robert Wells, 47, of P.O. Box 53, Proctor, will return to court Oct. 7, 1:15 p.m. He was recently arrested on a capias warrant. Charles Robert Wells stated he did not know he had court; his attorney in regards to case 12-F-20, David C. White, urged him not to speak. Judge Karl gave Charles Robert Wells a stern warning, telling him to pay attention to his attorneys (White and Gardner, who is representing Charles Robert Wells in case 12-F-91), as he could be facing life in prison.

From the January 2012 grand jury, Wells received a one-count felony indictment for 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.

Additionally, from the September 2012 grand jury, Wells was charged with third or subsequent offense domestic battery, as well as battery.

It alleges that on July 16, 2012, Wells intentionally struck a person in the face by throwing a can of soda or beer at her in New Martinsville.

Charles Michael Young, 52, and Mary Evelyn Young, 51, both of Route 1, Box 31A, New Martinsville, appeared in court for a voluntariness hearing Sept. 26. Sergeant C.J. Lantz of the West Virginia State Police gave testimony.

Lantz confirmed that he recognized the defendants, as he took statements from them over two years ago when conducting an investigation. Lantz stated each defendant filled out a DPS miranda rights form.

Lantz also testified that each individual initialed a box on the form, showing they understood they were free to leave. He also said neither individual asked for anything or indicated they wanted to leave.

A return date was set for Oct. 18, 10 a.m., when Karl will decide the voluntariness of the Youngs’ statements.