Watson Pleads Innocent
Larry Virgil Watson Sr., 64, of Post Office Box 506, Hundred, entered a plea of innocence to his five-count indictment Friday in Wetzel County Circuit Court.
Watson’s indictment includes one charge each of attempted murder and malicious assault, along with three counts of wanton endangerment involving a firearm.
All the charges stem from an incident on Aug. 13 near Littleton. At that time Watson allegedly “did feloniously, willfully, maliciously, deliberately, unlawfully, and premeditatedly attempt to slay, kill, and murder Joseph Marcus Prendergast in Wetzel County. West Virginia, by shooting him with a firearm.” The wanton endangerment charges are for allegedly “creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily harm” to two individuals and law enforcement officers. The individuals were at a residence near where Watson allegedly discharged a firearm. The last count says “after being repeatedly instructed to drop or surrender the same by Law Enforcement Officers, thereby creating a substantial risk of death or bodily harm to Law Enforcement Officers.”
Pre-trial motions in the case are to be taken up April 17, noon, and a trial date has been tentatively set for May 1.
The issue of bond was then brought up before the court. Watson spoke on his own behalf on the matter, stating “I can’t come up with that money.” He added: “I’m in and out of the hospital every week. I think I’m going to go back today, and I just wanted to see if you’d reduce my bond just so I can get home confinement so I can go back and forth to the doctor.”
“It’s the court’s understanding on that issue,” Judge Hummel began, “that you have on numerous or on different occasions been to the hospital, and then once there, you’ve refused treatment.”
“So it sounds kind of asinine to ask for medical release, and then when you get there, you refuse treatment that they are providing to you.”
Gardner argued that he believed that on one or more occasions, in an attempt to make it to his hearing, Watson was “refusing medical treatment for that reason.”
“I believe his sole purpose in refusing treatment is he wanted treatment delayed until after his hearing,” said Gardner.
Watson agreed with Gardner and again argued that if he could go back and forth to the doctor, his health would get better.
“The state’s position has not changed, given the severity of what transpired,” stated Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught. Haught argued that Watson allegedly shot a man and had a stand-off with police. “So we don’t believe the bond is unreasonable in this case.”
Hummel agreed to decrease the bond to $85,000. He stated that, should Watson make bond, he will be on home incarceration with an electronic GPS monitor.