The following hearings were recently held in Pocahontas County Circuit Court before the Honorable Judges Robert E. Richardson and Jennifer P. Dent:
A motion for bond reduction was made in the case the State vs Sergio D. Rodriguez-Huertas, 27, of Durbin, wherein defense counsel asked the court to set a personal recognizance bond. The defendant is homeless, and has been informed about a homeless shelter in Elkins. Rodriguez-Huertas worked for a subcontractor, trimming trees for the power company and may be able to return to this job. The court deferred ruling on them motion until more information can be obtained. Rodriguez-Huertas was indicted on one count, entry of a building other than a dwelling, a felony; one count, petit larceny, a misdemeanor; one count, battery, a misdemeanor. His original bond was set at $10,000 cash/surety with the special condition of no direct or indirect contact with the victims. At a later hearing, defense counsel asked for a competency evaluation of his client.
A status hearing was held in the case the State vs Casey Elizabeth Crabtree, 27, of Hillsboro, wherein defense counsel advised the court that the matter is ready to set for a change of plea. That hearing is set for March 16. Crabtree was indicted on eight counts, forgery, and six counts, uttering.
A change of plea hearing was held in the case the State vs John Christopher Holliday, 32, of Mill Creek, wherein a written pre-trial diversion agreement was tendered to the court. If the defendant follows all the conditions of the agreement for a period of two years, he may withdraw his plea of guilty and the matter will be dismissed. Holliday pleaded guilty to two counts of grand larceny. Court costs are to be paid within the two-years period, as well.
In his arraignment hearing, Steven R. Good, 30, of Durbin, pleaded not guilty to one count receiving or transferring stolen property, a felony. Good advised the court that he does not qualify for court appointed counsel and he cannot afford to hire an attorney. The court will appoint counsel and the defendant will be responsible for half of the cost. Good remains on present $5,000 bond.
In person sentencing was held in the case the State vs Michael Turner, 46, of Marlinton, wherein defense counsel asked for an alternative sentence of home incarceration with Day Report Program. The court related that the defendant had a deferred adjudication which was revoked and he had the opportunity to follow the one condition of staying away from the victim in this case. Turner has not followed that condition. He was sentenced to the custody of the West Virginia Department of Corrections for not less than one year nor more than five years and was fined $1,000. Turner was remanded to custody.
Kevin Withers, 39, of Marlinton, entered into a Kennedy v Fraiser plea to one count of fleeing from a law enforcement officer with reckless indifference to the safety of other persons, a felony. He will also plea to the misdemeanor charges in Magistrate Court of one count brandishing a deadly weapon; one count, obstructing an officer and one count, domestic assault.
Ross George Benedict, 36, of Marlinton, will undergo a competency evaluation. He was indicted by the August 2022 Grand Jury on one count, burglary, a felony; one count, destruction of property, a misdemeanor.
Luke M Gum, 34, of Dunmore, waived his right to a speedy trial in this term of court. Trial is set for June. Gum was indicted on three counts, sexual abuse in the first degree, a felony; three counts, sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian of a child, a felony; four counts, sexual assault in the first degree, a felony.
A status conference was held in the case the State vs Roger W. Teter, Jr, 49, of Dunmore, wherein the defendant waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The State asked that Teter be remanded to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail concerning new charges in magistrate court. If the defendant appears in Magistrate court by 2 p.m. the afternoon of this hearing on the issuance of a capias, the court will consider a bond in this matter, pending the outcome. Teter was indicted by the grand jury on one count, possession with intent to deliver Methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled non-narcotic substance, a felony; one count, possession with intent to deliver a Schedule III, controlled narcotic substance, Buprenorphine, a felony. The charge in magistrate court was for grand larceny.