Mansfield Acquitted in Trial
David Mansfield, 58, of 217 King Street, Troy, Tenn., was found not guilty, by a jury of his peers, on Aug. 9 in Wetzel County Circuit Court. Mansfield was on trial facing an eight-count indictment handed down by the May 2017 grand jury.
He was accused of four counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and four counts of sexual abuse by a custodian. All eight counts were alleged to have occurred on Oct. 8, 2016, in New Martinsville.
At the trial on Wednesday, Assistant Prosecutor Worthy Paul called a total of seven witnesses to the stand, including three New Martinsville Police officers who investigated the incident and one inmate from the Northern Regional Jail.
The state’s case against Mansfield centered around information provided by the alleged victim, a relative of Mansfield’s and a child at the time of the offenses. Testimony included accusations of sexual abuse in the early morning hours of Oct. 8, 2016, when Mansfield was in New Martinsville, visiting family.
Following the state’s testimony, and after cross-examination by the defense, Mansfield’s attorney, Brent Ferro, made a motion to have the entire case dismissed for lack of evidence. He said not one witness gave any evidence that Mansfield was in a position as custodian over the victim and that the state failed to prove any of the alleged offenses occurred.
After listening to the arguments by the state and defense, the Honorable Judge David W. Hummel, Jr., partially granted the defense’s motion by dismissing the four counts of sexual abuse by a custodian. He allowed the case to continue on the four counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.
Ferro called two witnesses to the stand, one of which was Mansfield’s sister. She testified her brother had lived with her on and off over the years and had never bothered a young child.
She also said she had operated a day care center and Mansfield had always been around the kids but never bothered them.
Mansfield, in his own defense, denied all accusations against him, saying he is an alcoholic who suffers from liver disease and heart problems. He said he only came to West Virginia because the accuser’s mother insisted he come visit. He said he flew to Pittsburgh where she picked him up, and he had planned to stay two weeks. He felt he was accused of the crime because he was drinking, against the accused mother’s wishes, and she wanted to have him arrested.
He said testimony against him, by his former cell mate, was untrue and he accused his cell mate of reading his paper work to get the information. Ferro said he felt the inmate may have had underlying reasons for testifying against Mansfield.
The state and the defense both rested and the case was turned over to the jury who were given instructions by Judge Hummel. After about 30 minutes of deliberating on the case, they returned with a verdict. Judge Hummel had the court clerk read the verdict, and Mansfield was found Innocent on all four counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.