Man Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Offenses
An 18-count indictment, containing offenses of a sexual nature, was unsealed on Thursday, Feb. 11 in Wetzel County Circuit Court. Darian Wayne Reynolds, 35, of New Martinsville, was originally scheduled to plea to a two-count information that day. However, after rejecting the state’s offered plea agreement, Wetzel County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Carl “Worthy” Paul requested that the 18-count indictment, passed down by the January 2016 Grand Jury, be unsealed.
On Wednesday, Jan. 27 Reynolds was in the process of pleading to one information count of incest and one information count of sexual abuse by a custodian. However, during plea proceedings, Reynolds answered in the negative when asked if he felt he would get a fair trial in Wetzel County. The Honorable Judge Jeffrey Cramer advised Reynolds to discuss the plea agreement with Attorney Brett Ferro further.
A sentencing hearing was to be held after Reynolds’ plea. The prosecution was to recommend that Reynolds receive a 15 to 35 year prison sentence.
After the offered plea was rejected at the Feb. 11 court hearing, Judge Cramer unsealed the indictment and proceeded to read each count against Reynolds. After each count was read, Reynolds was asked to respond whether he was pleading guilty or not guilty to the specific count.
After two counts were read, Ferro advised the court that his client would waive the reading of the rest of the counts. Cramer declined Ferro’s request, stating that each count would be read.
In total, Reynolds was charged with six counts of sexual assault in the first degree, six counts of sexual abuse by a custodian, and six counts of incest, all to have been committed against a child. Reynolds pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Though bond was set at $40,000 cash-only in magistrate court, Cramer noted that given the amount of charges, as well as the amount of time in prison Reynolds would face if convicted, the bond would be set at $100,000 cash-only.
Reynolds is to return to court 3 p.m., Feb. 19 for further proceedings.