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Judge Cramer Addresses Circuit Court Matters

By Staff | May 1, 2019

Judge Jeffrey Cramer recently addressed several matters in Wetzel County Circuit Court. Those matters are as follows:

Tanya M. Southern, 50, had been issued a capias, subsequent to her being indicted by the Wetzel County Grand Jury in January 2018. She was provided an affidavit to allow Judge Cramer to appoint an attorney for her. The public defender’s office was tentatively appointed. An arraignment was set for April 15. Judge Cramer didn’t want to arraign her on the charges, given the severity of them, without an attorney going over the indictment with her.

Ryan Schostag, 32, appeared in court alongside Attorney BrettFerro for a hearing of a petition to revoke supervised probation and home incarceration. Schostag was willing to waive the preliminary hearing and willing to admit to some of the alligations contained within the petition, mainly having consumed alcohol while on probation. Assistant Prosecutor Justin Craft told the court that the state is aware that he has previously been revoked twice, back in February the state recommended a 120-day sanction and agreed after the argument from the defense that he could serve home confinement for the balance of his incarceration until June. Schostag has made arrangements to go to a rehabilitation facility in Morgantown. Craft feels that this would be in the best interest of the tax payers in the state of W.Va. given that the alternative would be to sentence him to the underlying sentence. Ferro argued for release of incarceration upon his acceptance into the new WVU Medicine inpatient rehabilitation facility in Morgantown.

Judge Cramer imposed the 1-5 year sentence in the Department of Corrections. He extended his supervised probation for a period of six months past what it would have been which brings it to December. Judge Cramer ordered that he attend the program at WVU hospital rehabilitation program as a specific condition of probation to be included in the order as well as the aftercare that they recommend. Schostag was remanded pending acceptance into the program.

Kristi Rhena Fox-Hall, 35, of 46 Anson Street Apt. 7, New Martinsville, did not appear. Instead, a bondsman was present. Judge Cramer gave him a week to find Fox. Cramer directed him to get a bail piece and pick her up himself and take her to the jail, sheriff’s department or any local law enforcement because there is a capias out for her arrest.

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James Willis Bright, age 60, of Alabama appeared in Wetzel County Circuit Court on April, 23. Bright was indicted by the January term of the Wetzel County Grand Jury of the felony offense of attempted murder and three felony offenses of Wanton Endangerment With a Firearm that occurred on October 29, 2018. On Tuesday, he pled guilty through a plea agreement to one count of Wanton Endangerment With a Firearm.

He faces a definite sentence of up to 5 years in the DRC. A sentencing date will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation. Bright wantonly discharged a firearm in a trailer park during a domestic quarrel. Thanks to Deputy Swanberg of the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office and the Pine Grove Police for their work on this case.

Denzil Ray Owens, age 38, of Middlebourne, West Virginia appeared in Wetzel County Circuit Court on Tuesday, April 23, and was sentenced to not less than 1 nor more than 5 years in the DRC for Failing to Update His Sex Offender Registry by Judge Jeffrey Cramer.

Owens was indicted by the Wetzel County Grand Jury in January on the charge. The offense was committed between September 1, 2018 and September 30, 2018, in Wetzel County.

The case was investigated by the WVSP. Owens was ordered to report to serve his sentence on April 29th, 2019. He is eligible for Rule 35 modification of sentence after serving 4 months.