The following hearings were recently held in Pocahontas County Circuit Court before the Honorable Judges Robert E. Richardson and Jennifer P. Dent:
A capias was issued for Landon Matthew Gibson, 20, of Buckeye, who failed to appear for his change of plea hearing. Gibson was indicted on one count, petit larceny, a misdemeanor; one count, grand larceny, a felony; one count, burglary, a felony.
A capias was issued for Joshua Ray VanReenen, 36, of Hillsboro, who failed to appear for his hearing. It was reported to the court that the defendant is working in Virginia and did not have a ride. The court noted that the defendant does not have the authority on bond to be in another state. VanReenen was indicted on one count, malicious assault; one count, wanton endangerment involving a firearm; and one count, use or presentation of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
A status hearing was scheduled by the court in the case the State vs Tanner Lee Moore, 26, of Marlinton, wherein the court advised that scheduling is needed to get this case on track. Moore waived his right to a speedy trial, and the matter is moved to the December Term. Jury Trial is set for March 25, 2024. An increased number of jurors will be needed in the jury pool. Moore was indicted on one count, first degree murder; one count, use or presentation of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
An in-person motion for protection and preservation of testimony was held in the case the State vs Luke Gum, 35, of Dunmore, wherein the defendant advised the court that he did not have an attorney, and asked for a continuance of the hearing. His former counsel withdrew as they had not been paid for at least a year. The matter is continued to November 8, and a jury trial is set for November 13. 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. The trial was originally set for June 2023.
William Scott, 63, of Marlinton, tendered a written plea agreement to the court wherein he pleaded guilty as to Kennedy v Frazier to new felony information filed that day for one count of sexual assault in the third degree, a felony. The court granted the state’s motion to dismiss case 22-F-23, one count, sexual assault in the second degree. The matter was referred to the probation department for a pre-sentence investigation report. Scott will undergo HIV testing while incarcerated. Sentencing and disposition is set for December 20. Scott is to register as a sex offender and file notice which will be sent to the probation department, the counsel of record and the registration department in South Charleston.
A hearing on motion to revoke deferred adjudication was held in the case the State vs Adam Harwell, 36, of Buckeye, wherein the court found that the defendant had violated the terms and conditions of his deferred adjudication agreement. Harwell admitted to the violation and the court adjudged him guilty of wanton endangerment. The matter is referred to the probation department for a pre-sentence investigation. Sentencing and disposition is set for November 1. Harwell remains on current bond.
A jury trial is set for November 1 in the case the State vs Justin Arbogast 35, of Valley Head. Arbogast was indicted on one count, sexual assault in the first degree, a felony; one count, sexual abuse by a parent of a child, a felony; one count, incest, a felony.
Christopher M. Gibson, 46, of Buckeye, tendered a written plea agreement to the court wherein he pleaded guilty to the felony offense of failure to register as a sex offender or provide notice of registration changes. The court accepted his plea and the matter is referred to the probation department. Sentencing and disposition is set for November 8.
David Mace, 37, of Marlinton, appeared by video from the Tygart Valley Regional Jail bringing a motion to sever counts. The State has no objections The court granted the motion and set a three-day trial, as to Count One of the indictment, to begin November 7. Mace was indicted on three counts, strangulation; and two counts, wanton endangerment involving a firearm.
A pre-trial conference was held in the case the State vs Roger Teter, Jr., 49, of Dunmore, wherein the State asked for a continuance as a witness was not available. Teter waived his right to a speedy trial and pre-trial is set for March 6, 2024; and a jury trial, March 13, 2024. Teter was indicted on one count, petit larceny.
Due to a heavy trial docket, the jury trial in the case the State vs Jerry Schoolcraft, 61, of Renick, has been moved to the next term of court. A five day trial will begin January 22, 2024. Schoolcraft was indicted on four counts, sexual assault in the second degree.
A hearing on clarification of sentencing order was held in the case the State vs Kevin Ray Curry, age 35, an inmate in the Mt. Olive Correctional Center. Defense counsel advised that, in the plea agreement, the sentence is to run concurrent with any other sentences being served with the effective sentence date of February 26, 2023. The sentencing order did not contain this language. The court directed the state to prepare an amended sentencing order.
Steven R. Good, 31, of Durbin, pleaded guilty to the lesser included offense of receiving or transferring stolen property. Defense counsel related that the defendant has no prior felony convictions. The court noted that Good has two prior misdemeanor convictions and sentenced him to the regional jail for one year. Sentence was suspended and the defendant was placed on supervised probation for two years. He is to undergo evaluation through the Day Report program and is do 50 hours of community service. Good is to make restitution in the amount of $2,329.16 during probation. No credit for jail time served.