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Defendants Facing Criminal Indictments Appear in Court

By Staff | Jul 15, 2015

Several defendants indicted by the May 2015 Grand Jury entered guilty pleas Friday, July 10 in Wetzel County Circuit Court, presided over by the Honorable Judge David W. Hummel.

Nikolas Brady Matthews, 31, of Wetzel County, entered an into an Alford plea regarding his charge of conspiracy to deliver a controlled narcotic substance. Matthews did not admit guilt to the charge but agreed there was sufficient evidence to convict him of the crime. He was sentenced to one to give years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men.

Jesse Oscar Bates, 25, of Route 9 Box 616, Fairmont, pleaded guilty to count two of his indictment, misdemeanor petit larceny. Bates was sentenced to six months in jail, with credit for time served. Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught said the alleged victim in the case states Bates entered her home and stole her computer. The computer was later recovered at a residence where Bates lived. Haught said the state believes this would be circumstantial evidence that Bates did steal the computer. He said the state believes it could prevail in regards to a petit larceny conviction, based on the fact the computer was recovered at Bates’ residence.

Bates was originally indicted by the May 2015 Grand Jury and was charged with daytime burglary and petit larceny. The offenses allegedly occurred on Jan. 7, 2015.

Kayla Rose Gavula, 31, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate a clandestine drug laboratory. Haught explained Gavula had conspired with Christopher James Henderson. He said the state would have offered testimony of New Martinsville Police Department.

Gavula admitted the meth lab was at her residence. When Hummel asked what the smell of meth is like, Gavula stated, “ammonia.”

A pre-sentencing investigation is to be conducted in the case involving Gavula. She will return to court 9:15 a.m., July 20.

Gavula’s co-defendant, Christopher James Henderson, 31, of RR 1, Box 358, New Martinsville pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to manufacture meth.

Judge Hummel inquired as to what was required to make meth. Henderson replied there is a lot of objects you can get from the Home Depot and “a lot of stores around here.” Henderson said he manufactured the meth to “feed his addiction.” He said he has been addicted for nine to 10 years. He said he grew up around the drugs and in the wrong neighborhood.

It was mentioned that as part of evidence batteries and bottles were found at the residence. Judge Hummel suggested the batteries could have been used for an electronic, though Henderson admitted “they were cut up.”

Henderson could possibly be sentenced to two to 10 years in the penitentiary for his crimes. A pre-sentencing investigation is to be filed in the matter however, and Henderson will return to court July 20 for purposes of sentencing.

Henderson and Gavula were originally each handed down two indictments by the May 2015 grand jury. A two-count indictment charges each with conspiracy to operate a clandestine drug laboratory and possession of precursors to manufacture methamphetamines.

A second two-count indictment charges each with conspiracy to operate a clandestine drug laboratory and operation of a clandestine drug laboratory. These offenses allegedly occurred on or about Oct. 12, 2014 and resulted in an explosion at a residence in New Martinsville.

Shannon Fendler, 31, of 306 Poplar Street, St. Marys, pleaded to the offense of grand larceny. This offense occurred in Wetzel County at New Martinsville’s Peebles store. Haught said the state would offer testimony from NMPD, a third-party witness, as well as individuals who were at Peebles at the time. Haught said Fendler and the co-defendant in the case, Megan Gay, took more than $1,000 worth of property from the store. Fendler admitted to going to Peebles and stealing merchandise, placing the stolen items in her purse.

During Fendler’s plea agreement, Hummel asked Fendler how high she was at the moment, while in court. She said she was not high at all but admitted to using Subutex a few days ago. She said she had not taken any other controlled substances however. Hummel ordered for Fendler to be drug tested, stating her bond would be revoked if she tested positive for other substances. After some time, Fendler returned to the courtroom where the court was notified that Fendler had failed to provide a urine sample. Therefore, her bond was revoked. She will return to court for sentencing pertaining to her grand larceny conviction at 9:15 a.m., July 20.

Fendler was indicted by the May 2015 grand jury. Fendler’s indictment alleged that on Dec. 14, 2014, she allegedly stole goods having a value of more than $1,000, which belonged to Peebles in New Martinsville.

Fendler’s co-defendent, Megan Gay, 31, of 148 East Thistle Drive, New Martinsville, pleaded guilty to petit larceny and will return to court July 20 for sentencing Gay could serve up to one year in prison for her offense.

Gay’s indictment from the May 2015 grand jury alleged that on or about Dec. 11, 2014, Gay stole goods having a value of more than $1,000 from Peebles.