According to Pocahontas County Circuit Clerk Connie Carr, the following cases were heard December 21 before the Honorable Judge Jennifer P. Dent:

A hearing on a defense motion to recuse the prosecuting attorney in the case of State vs Dustin Lloyd Viars, 36, of Ladylake, Florida, was continued. Viars and two witnesses appeared in court, but more witnesses are expected to be called. The matter is further scheduled for January 6.

A hearing to revoke probation was held in the case of State vs William Robert Ratliff, Jr. 42, of Lewisburg, wherein the defendant was sanctioned to 48 hours in jail for violating court orders. Ratliff was convicted of destruction of property.

Kenton A. Combs, 57, of Marlinton, waived his right to a speedy trial. Defense counsel advised that negotiations are ongoing. Pre-trial is set for March 1. Combs was indicted on nine counts, obstructing firefighter or emergency equipment, a felony; one count, failure to extinguish, a felony.

Stuart Tingler, 30, of Hillsboro failed to appear for his status conference. A capias remains in effect. The matter is continued.

The court denied a defense motion for a continuance in the case of State vs Angel Irlanda Torres, 20, of Bartow. Defense advised that plea negotiations are in the works. Torres is charged with one count, burglary, one count, conspiracy and one count, wanton endangerment involving a firearm. Change of plea hearing is set for January 25.

The court denied a treatment plan in the case of the State vs Shawn W. Barb, 32, of Marlinton, as no information on the plan has been provided at this time. Barb is charged with two counts delivery of a controlled substance.

A pre-trial hearing is set for March 1 in the case State vs Earl Ray Adkins, Jr., 47, of Hillsboro. Adkins is charged with failure to register as a sex offender.

The court denied a defense motion to modify probation in the case State vs Kimberly Vandevender, 28, of Green Bank. The state had objected to the modification, stating “the defendant has been in more trouble.” Vandevender was indicted on eight counts, taking the identity of another person.

A change of plea hearing was held December 22 in the case State vs Stephen Leland James, 38, of Roanoke, Virginia, wherein the defense presented a plea agreement which stated that the defendant would plead guilty to the felony offense of entry of a building other than a dwelling, and, in exchange, the State would dismiss the charges of one count of possession with intent to deliver and 452 counts of lottery ticket theft. The defendant will pay restitution. The Court accepted the plea, and dismissed all other charges with prejudice. The matter is set for a sentencing and disposition hearing March 1, 2017.

The following cases were heard January 4:

A sentencing and disposition hearing was held in the case of the State vs James Richard Cassell, 49, of Arbovale, where in the court accepted the defendant’s plea of guilty to delivery of a schedule I controlled non-narcotic substance – marijuana. The court dismisses two other charges. Cassell was sentenced to the state penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years, but will be allowed to discharge the sentence on home confinement. In addition he must pay court costs within six months. Cassell was indicted on two counts, delivery of a Schedule I con- trolled non-narcotic substance, a felony; one count, delivery of a Schedule I1 controlled narcotic substance, a felony.

Joshua Lee Kimble, 31, of Circleville, has been assessed and is awaiting acceptance into Drug Court. A status/change of plea hearing is set for January 18. Kimble was indicted on one count, driving under the influence, third offense, a felony; one count, possession of a controlled non-narcotic substance, methamphetamine, a misdemeanor; one count, driving revoked for DUI, a misdemeanor.

In a disposition hearing in the case the State vs Kristopher Dale Nutter, 37, of Marlinton, Nutter asked the court to allow him to return to work and to a normal life. The court will allow the defendant to return to probation and home incarceration. The probation department will determine how long home incarceration is needed. The probation department must approve employment options. Nutter is to seek help for his substance abuse.

A pretrial status conference is set for February 15 in the case the State vs Joshua T. Stuart, 19, of Hillsboro. Stuart was indicted on two counts, wanton endangerment and one count, destruction of property.

A status conference is set for February 1 in the case the State vs Jeremi L. Kincaid, 23, of Marlinton. Kincaid was indicted on one count malicious wounding.

In arraignment hearings:

Larry Arbogast, 37, of Durbin, pleaded not guilty to two counts burglary, one count destruction of property and two counts petit larceny. A cash/surety bond was set at $20,000. The defendant was remanded to custody.

Jeremy W. Moore, 28, of Marlinton, pleaded not guilty to one count of entry of a building other than a dwelling and one count of petit larceny. A personal recognizance bond was set in the amount of $5,000 with the condition that the defendant may leave the state for employment only.

These cases were heard January 11:

An outstanding motion hearing was held in the case the State vs Adam Via, 18, of Dunmore, concerning a motion to suppress evidence. Defense counsel stated that he did not have time to brief the matter as to the court’s expectations and asked that the trial be continued. Via waived his right to a speedy trial. The court will allow the defense until January 25 to file briefs and the state has until February 8 to answer. Via was indicted by the August 2016 Grand Jury on three counts, grand larceny; one count, burglary; one count, entry of a building other than a dwelling; one count, reckless driving; one count driving without a license; one count, falsely reporting an emergency incident.

In a change of plea hearing in the case the State vs Jorge Banton Pantojas, 25, of Bartow, a plea agreement was tendered to the court in which Pantojas would plead guilty to the misdemeanor offense of brandishing. The State moved to dismiss the felony charges of conspiracy and burglary. The matter was referred to the probation department for pre-sentence investigation. Pantojas remains on present bond.

The court denied a defense motion for early release in the case the State vs Jeremy Fitzgerald, 31, of Cass. Fitzgerald will be released January 20 to be immediately hooked up on home incarceration.

A continuance was granted in the case the State vs Tre Michael Plaugher, 21, of Philippi, as the defendant has federal charges against him. Pre-trial status conference is set for March 29. Plaugher is charged with one count, grand larceny; one count, burglary; and one count, conspiracy to commit a felony.

A non-jury trial is set for February 8 in the case the State vs Andrew Michael Lang, 25, of Lynchburg, Virginia. Lang appealed the magistrate court’s decision with regard to a speeding violation.

At a status conference in the case the State vs Kenneth R. Peck, Jr. 40, of Arbovale, the court was advised that the defendant had been extradited by Virginia on charges there. Upon completion of that matter, Peck will face charges here. A trial is set for March 30. Peck is charged with manufacturing Schedule I and II narcotic, conspiracy, gross neglect of child creating substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury and possession of a controlled substance.

Defense council for Lew Means, 59, of Bartow, advised the court that the defendant is being assessed for drug court. A status conference/change of plea hearing is set for February 1 in the matter. Means was indicted by the August 2016 Grand Jury on one count, possession of a Schedule II controlled narcotic substance; one count, possession of a Schedule III controlled narcotic substance.

Defense counsel advised that not all discovery issues had been resolved in the case the State vs Kenneth W. Cutlip, 58, of Marlinton, and the court granted a continuance and set a pretrial status conference for February 1. Cutlip was indicted by the August 2016 Grand Jury of one count, delivery of a Schedule II controlled narcotic substance; two counts, possession with intent to deliver a Schedule Ii controlled substance; and one count, concealment of stolen property.

In the sentencing and disposition hearing in the State’s case against Christopher L. Rose, 39, of Summersville, the court denied a defense motion that Rose’s sentence run concurrent with his sentence in Nicholas County, and asked that he be given jail time in lieu of prison. The state advised the court that the defendant is high-risk to reoffend, and asked that Rose be sentenced to the state penitentiary on both charges. As to one count, Rose was sentenced to not less than one nor more that five years in the state penitentiary and fined $5,000. As to the second count – not less than one year nor more than three years and fined $500. Sentences will run consecutively with the sentence from Nicholas County. Upon parole or release, then Rose will be under 20 years of supervised probation. He was remanded to custody. The August 2015 Grand Jury returned a three count indictment against Rose. He was sentenced on two counts – sexual abuse in the first degree and attempt to commit sexual abuse in the first degree.