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Cramer Has A Busy Day In Circuit Court

By Staff | Jan 31, 2018

The Honorable Judge Jeffery C. Cramer held criminal court in Wetzel County on Thursday, Jan. 25 for arraignment of individuals indicted by the January 2018 session of the Wetzel County Grand Jury.

Appearing before Judge Cramer, alongside her court-appointed attorney Brett Ferro, was Crystal Lynn Aston, 35, of 664 Maple Avenue, New Martinsville. Aston is accused in a one-count indictment of the felony offense of malicious assault, alleged to have occurred on or about March 31, 2017. She pleaded not guilty to the charge and was ordered to return to court for a pre-trial on March 12, at 10 a.m. A trial date has been set for March 21. Bond was allowed to continue.

Billy Joe Barnette, 44, of 163 Burlington Road, P.O. Box 601, New Martinsville, was in court alongside his attorney, Ferro, to answer to the charge of the felony offense failure to register as a sex offender, allegedly occurring between May 1 and June 16 of 2017. The indictment charges him with failing to report a cell phone to the West Virginia State Police detachment in Wetzel County.

Barnette was arraigned on the charges and entered a plea of not guilty. He was ordered to return to court on Feb. 20, for a pre-trial at 10 a.m. A trial date of Feb. 27 has been set in the matter. His bond was allowed to continue with no objection.

Stephen Anthony Blatt, 31, of 606 North Fifth Avenue, Paden City, was scheduled to appear in court before Judge Cramer on Jan. 25 to answer to a one-count felony indictment. Blatt had his case reset for Jan. 31, 10 a.m. He is presently incarcerated, and his case is set for a plea. The indictment against Blatt charges him with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to deliver. The offense is alleged to have occurred on or about Nov. 6.

Lindsay Nicole Burley, P.O. Box 301, Hundred, was in court alongside her attorney, Shane Mallett, to give an answer to a two-count felony indictment. Burley is charged with grand larceny and conspiracy. Burley is accused of stealing goods in excess of $1,000. She is also accused of conspiring with Kelly Lee Tustin to steal a UTV. Both offenses allegedly occurred between Aug. 10 and Aug. 14, 2017.

Burley entered a not guilty plea to all charges against her. She was ordered to return to court on March 12 for a pre-trial hearing, and a trial date was set for March 13. Her bond was allowed to continue; however on a request from Prosecutor Tim Haught, she was placed on pre-trial supervision by the probation office.

Kayla Dawn Cecil, 26, of 162 Furbee Road, Reader, appeared in court before Judge Cramer to plead not guilty to a one-count felony indictment, charging her with delivery of a controlled substance (methamphetamine). The offense allegedly occurred around Dec. 8.

Judge Cramer set a pre-trial hearing in the case for Feb. 26, at 10 a.m. He also set a trial date for March 1. Cecil, who was on a $20,000 cash-only bond, had it reduced to a cash/surety bond on a motion from her attorney, Ferro. As a condition of the bond reduction, she will be placed on pre-trial supervision by the probation office if she makes bond. She was remanded to jail.

Michael Lee Erb, 31, of 911 Pioneer Community Road, St. Mary’s, appeared in court alongside his attorney Patricia Kurelac, to give an answer to a one-count felony indictment, charging him with the felony offense of receiving stolen goods. He is accused of stealing a Jeep Patriot belonging to another person, valued at more than $1,000. The offense is alleged to have occurred on or about July 25, 2017.

Erb entered a not guilty plea to his indictment. A pre-trial hearing was set for March 12 with a trial date of March 13. Erb was ordered to return on March 12 if he isn’t extradited to Ohio, where he is currently facing charges.

James A. Haught, 23, of 717 Sixth Street, New Martinsville, was charged in a three-count indictment with the felony offenses of “failure to register or provide notice of registration changes,” to have allegedly occurred between July 31 and Nov. 27, 2017. He appeared before Judge Cramer on Thursday. Judge Cramer was informed by James Haught’s attorney, Ferro, that a plea agreement in the case had been reached with the state, whereby the new indictment would be dismissed with James Haught admitting to four supervised parole violations. A disposition hearing in the case will be held on Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. James Haught was remanded to jail

Amanda Lenn Higginbotham, 36, of Morgan Run Road, Smithfield, pleaded not guilty to charges in her four-count indictment.

She is charged with felony, uttering, and two counts of conspiracy, alleged to have occurred on or about May 20, 2016. Judge Cramer ordered Higginbotham to return to court on March 12 at 10 a.m. A pre-trial hearing and a trial date of April 11 was set. Her bond was allowed to continue with no objection.

Benjamin Ray Highley, 47, of HC 60 Box 47B, Glen Easton, appeared in court alongside Ferro to answer to a two-count indictment. – “possession of a motor vehicle without vehicle identification mark,” and “altering a vehicle identification number, with fraudulent intent.” The indictment charges that Highley knowingly and feloniously did buy, sell or possess a motor vehicle with an altered manufacturer serial number. The offenses are alleged to have occurred between the dates of March 11 and April 22, 2017.

Highley was ordered to return to court on Jan. 31, at 10:30 a.m. for arraignment. Bond was set at $5,000 cash/surety. Judge Cramer gave Highley until 4:30 on Jan. 26 to meet bond or self-report to jail. Highley would also be under pre-trial supervision by the probation office if bond is met.

Kevin Joseph Hubbard, 27, of RR 1 Box 43 C, Reader, pleaded not guilty to his three-count felony indictment. Hubbard’s offenses are to have allegedly occurred on or about April 27, 2017. He is charged with malicious assault, strangulation (causing the victim bodily injury or loss of consciousness), and third-offense domestic battery. Hubbard was convicted of domestic battery in Marshall County Circuit Court on Nov. 4, 2014. He was convicted of domestic battery on Sept. 27, 2012 in Marshall County Magistrate Court.

Hubbard will return to court March 12, 10 a.m. A trial date is set for April 9. Hubbard’s bond was allowed to continue.

Thomas James Hull, 25, of 32 Ross Street, New Martinsville, pleaded not guilty to a three-count drug related indictment. Hull is charged with possession of a controlled substance (heroin), with intent to deliver; delivery of a controlled substance, and conspiracy. All three offenses allegedly occurred on Aug. 14-15, 2017.

A pre-trial hearing is slated for March 12, while a trial date is set for March 13. Hull’s bond was allowed to continue.

Ashley Nichole Iseli, 30, of 1704 Ritchie Avenue, Fairmont, pleaded not guilty to a four-count indictment. Iseli is charged with forgery,uttering, and two counts of conspiracy. All offenses allegedly occurred around May 20, 2017. Iseli will return to court March 12. A trial date of March 13 was set, and bond was allowed to continue.

Stacy Nichole Jones, 34, of 186 Scaffold Road, Spencer, failed to appear in court to answer to a one-count felony indictment, charging her with grand larceny. The offense allegedly occurred on or about Nov. 21, 2016.

On a recommendation from the state, a capias warrant was issued for her arrest. Judge Cramer ordered his office to be notified when she is picked up.

Alexander Cleveland King, 32, of 148, South Main Street, New Martinsville, pleaded not guilty to a one-count indictment, charging him with uttering a false bill. King is accused of an attempt to employ, as true, a false $100 bill. The offense allegedly occurred on or about May 7, 2017.

King is to return to court Feb. 12 for a pre-trial hearing. A trial date of March 19 was set by Cramer, and King’s bond was allowed to continue.

Jason Anthony Litton, 38, of 133 South First Avenue, Paden City, appeared in court alongside Ferro, to answer two separate three-count indictments handed down by the grand jury. Each indictment charges him with three felony offenses. The first indictment charges Litton with daytime burglary, grand larceny, and conspiracy. All three events allegedly occurred between July 24 and July 31, 2017 when Litton is accused of entering a residence and stealing goods with a value of more than $1,000. Litton is alleged to conspire with Ashley B. Willhoite to steal.

Litton’s second indictment contains three felony counts of third-offense shoplifting. All offenses allegedly occurred at New Martinsville’s Walmart. The offenses allegedly occurred on July 1, Aug. 21, and Aug. 31, all in 2017. Litton had two previous shoplifting convictions, one in Wetzel County Magistrate Court in March 2012 and one in Moundsville’s municipal court in January 2013.

Litton pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was ordered to return to court on March 12 for a pre-trial hearing. A trial date was set by Judge Cramer for March 15. Litton’s bond was allowed to continue in the case; however, Prosecutor Tim Haught asked the court to order pre-trial supervision by the probation office due to there being a series of cascading events in the case. The court agreed and bond continues under that condition.

Ashley Brooke Willhoite, 37, also of 133 South First Avenue, Paden City, also appeared before Judge Cramer to answer to a three-count indictment. Willhoite is charged with daytime burglary, grand larceny, and conspiracy. Willhoite is accused of entering without breaking a dwelling with intent to commit a crime. She then is accused of allegedly stealing goods valued at $1,000. Both counts are alleged to have occurred between July 24 and July 31, 2017. Cont three, conspiracy, accuses Willhoite of conspiring with Jason Litton to steal the goods between July 24 and July 31, 2017.

Willhoite was without an attorney and was ordered by Judge Cramer to fill out financial eligibility papers for a court-appointed attorney. Cramer tentatively appointed Kevin Neiswonger to represent Willhoite. She was placed on a $5,000 cash/ surety bond on the recommendation of Prosecutor Tim Haught. Judge Cramer gave Willhoite until 4:30, Jan. 26 to post the bond, or she was to self report to the Northern Regional Jail by 5 p.m. If she was able to post bond, Willhoite was to be placed under supervised release by the probation office. She was ordered to return to court for arraignment on Jan. 31.

Zachary Jeremiah Ferrebee, 28, also of 133 South First Avenue, Paden City, appeared in court alongside Ferro to face a felony one-count indictment, charging him with the felony offense of breaking and entering, with the intent to commit a crime. The offense is alleged to have occurred on or about Oct. 26 or 27, 2017, in Paden City.

Ferrebee’s attorney informed the court he had reached a plea agreement with the state in the case, and they were ready to proceed with it. Judge Cramer said that time today wouldn’t allow for it and he ordered a return date of Jan. 31 for the plea. Ferrebee was remanded to jail.

Dustine Michael Moore, 24, of 6 Witscheys Addition Street, New Martinsville, appeared alongside Attorney Patricia Kurelac, to pled not guilty to a four-count felony indictment.

Moore is charged with delivery of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of a controlled substance (buprenorphine), and two counts of conspiracy.

The offenses are alleged to have occurred on May 30, 2017.

Judge Cramer ordered Moore to return to court on March 12 for a pre-trial hearing; a trial date of April 11 was set, and Moore was remanded to jail, bond pending.

Gregory Dalton Morgan, 23, of 404 Virginia Street, New Martinsville, or 3377 Furbee Ridge Road, Reader, pleaded not guilty to a three-count indictment.

Morgan is charged with grand larceny, misdemeanor breaking and entering, and misdemeanor destruction of property. All offenses are alleged to have occurred on or about April 2, 2017. Morgan is accused of stealing goods, valuing more than $1,000. He is also accused of breaking and entering an automobile with intent to commit a larceny.

Morgan will return to court on March 12 for a pre-trial hearing. A trial date was set for March 21. His bond was allowed to continue.

William Paul Morgan, 37, of 318 South Wells Street, Sistersville, failed to appear in court before Judge Cramer to answer a one-count felony indictment, charging him with failure to register or provide notice of registration changes. The felony offense of failure to register as a sex offender is alleged to have happened between Sept. 1-29, 2017 in Wetzel County.

A capias was issued for Morgan’s arrest.

Justin Alan Richeson, 35, of Rt. 20, P.O. Box 19, Reader, failed to appear in court to answer a one-count felony indictment. Richeson is charged with nighttime burglary. He is accused of entering a dwelling in New Martinsville, with intent to commit a crime. The offense allegedly occurred on or about April 20, 2017. On a request from the state, a capias warrant was ordered. Judge Cramer is to be notified when Richeson is apprehended.

Leslie Wayne Rial, 69, of 20 Urban Street, New Martinsville, was expected to answer a one-count indictment charging him with retaliation against a public official. The offense allegedly occurred on or about Aug. 27, 2016.

Rial is presently incarcerated at Sharp’s Hospital. The case was continued generally until his status is released.

Ryan Nicklaus Richmond, 24, of 639 Wise Acres Road, New Martinsville, was in court to answer a one-count felony indictment ,charging him with possession of a controlled substance (heroin), with intent to deliver. The offense allegedly occurred on or about Dec. 5 in Wetzel County. A plea agreement has been reached in the case, and Richmond was ordered to return to court on Jan. 31 to enter the plea or be arraigned. He was remanded to jail.

Charles L. Roberts, 59, of 292 Bear Run Road, Littleton, pleaded not guilty to a six-count felony indictment, charging him with six separate counts of failure to update sex offender registry information.

Roberts was ordered to return to court for a pre-trial hearing on Feb. 26, 10 a.m. A trial date of March 1 was set, and bond was allowed to continue.

Robert Jack Six, 33, of HC 62 Box MM, Burton, pleaded not guilty to third-offense driving under the influence of alcohol.

He was also charged in a separate two-count felony indictment with nighttime burglary and conspiracy, to have occurred on or about Sept. 16.

Six will return to court March 12 for a pre-trial hearing. A trial was set for March 21.

Tanya M. Southern, 40, of 781 Third Street, New Martinsville, failed to appear in court to answer to her five-count indictment, containing four misdemeanor offenses and one felony offense. She is charged with “unlawful shooting at another in street, alley, or public resort,” domestic battery, brandishing a deadly weapon, wanton endangerment involving a firearm (felony), and shooting across a road or near a building or crowd. All offenses allegedly occurred Oct. 1.

A capias warrant was issued for Southern’s arrest.

Clarence Franklin Thayer, 35, of 917 Ashcamp Run Road, Metz, was indicted, charged on four felony counts of failure to register as a sex offender. Thayer pleaded not guilty.

Thayer was ordered to return to court for a pre-trial hearing on Feb. 20, at 10 a.m. A trial date was also set for Feb. 24. His bond was allowed to continue with no objections.

Joshua Elijah Toothman, 31, of 714 North Fourth Avenue, Paden City, is charged in two separate indictments of one-count felony offense retaliation against a witness, and a two-count felony offense attempted nighttime burglary and felony conspiracy. Toothman pleaded not guilty to all three charges and was ordered to return to court on March 12 for a pre-trial hearing. A trial date of April 9 was also set. He is presently serving another sentence; however, bond of $5,000 cash/surety was set for the present charges. He was remanded to jail.

Kelly Lee Tustin, 54, of P.O. Box 402, Hundred, pleaded not guilty to the charges in her two-count indictment. Tustin was charged by the grand jury with the felony offenses of grand larceny and conspiracy, alleged to have occurred between Aug. 10 and Aug. 14, 2017.

Tustin will return to court March 12 for a pre-trial hearing. A trial date of March 13 was set.

Tustin’s bond will continue; however, she was ordered to have a pre-trial supervised bond, on request by Prosecutor Haught.

A capias was issued for the arrest of Franklin Dale Welch, 27, of 46590 East Captina Highway, Alledonia, Ohio. Welch was charged with the felony offense of nighttime burglary. Welch failed to appear in court, however. Judge Cramer is to be notified when Welch is picked up.

There was the full slate of defendants who appeared on Jan. 25 to give an answer to the charges brought against them, while there were also several older cases before Judge Cramer.

Benjamin Dale Francis, 38, of 803 Ironton Street, New Martinsville, appeared in court for a status hearing. He was remanded pending more information on his evaluation from Sharps Hospital. He will return at a later date.

Paul Campbell Jr., 33, of Salem will appear in court on Feb. 14 for motions and a pre-trial hearing. He is charged with daytime burglary and petit larceny.

Tille Doris Freeland, 53, of New Martinsville, was in court for a status hearing. The defendant and the state have reached a possible resolution in the case, and it will be heard on Feb. 20.

She is charged with the felony offense of welfare fraud.

Jordan Tyler Kerns, 26, of Paden City, is charged with battery on a law enforcement officer. He will return to court for sentencing on Feb. 7.

Capias warrants continued for the following individuals:

Robert Jason Work, 41, presently incarcerated in Ohio, had his capias continued.

Asia Nicole Thomas, 21, of New Martinsville, had her capias warrant continued.

Logan John Lynn Miller, 31, of Waynesburg, Pa. had his capias warrant continued.

Mohamed Abdihamis Mohamed, 25, of Ohio, had his capias warrant continued.