Circuit Court

According to Pocahontas County Circuit Clerk Connie Carr, the following cases were heard December 11 before the Honorable Judge Robert E. Richardson:

James William Wood, Jr., 27, of Marlinton, was sentenced to six months in the regional jail for (1) unlawful taking of a vehicle, a misdemeanor; not less than one year nor more than 10 years in the West Virginia Department of Correction for (2) entry of a building other than a dwelling, a felony; one year in the regional jail for (3) destruction of property, a misdemeanor; not less than one year nor more than 10 years in WVDC for (4) grand larceny, a felony; not less than one year nor more than five years in WVDC for (5) reckless fleeing from law enforcement officer, a felony; six months in the regional jail for (6) assault on a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor… As to unlawful taking of vehicle: restitution in the amount of $3,000 to Phillip Anderson and $9,111.45 to Safeco Insurance Company. Wood was fined $100 and given 163 days’ credit for time served as to this charge. The court will reserve the right to assess any amount of restitution to Little General Store once the total is received as to the charge of destruction of property. Defendant is fined $250. As to grand larceny, the court will defer assessment of restitution as it is not known at this time. Defendant is fined $1,000 as to this charge. As to reckless fleeing from a law enforcement officer, Wood is fined $1,000. As to assault on a law enforcement officer, the defendant is fined $150 for a total of $2,500 in fines. Court costs were assessed, and restitution will be remitted first to Phillip Anderson and secondly to Safeco Insurance Company. Fines and court costs are to be paid after restitution.

In the case the State vs Phillip C. Dean Jr., 46, of Marlinton, defense council filed a notice of a defense of insanity. The court granted a motion for a criminal responsibility evaluation of the defendant. A motions hearing is set for January 15.

The state filed a motion for a criminal responsibility evaluation of Jesse Lee Blake, 35, of Marlinton. Defense asked that bond be reduced to $5,000 (90 % PR, 10% cash). The state objected, advising that Blake had six prior felony convictions and the state believes he is a danger to the community. The court reduced Blake’s bond to $5,000 (10% cash/surety) with the condition that the defendant is either in a residential substance treatment program monitored by Pocahontas County Home Confinement and that he remain in his home, only to leave to attend the substance abuse program. Blake was remanded to custody.

Joseph D. Friel, 24, of Cass, admitted to voluntarily giving a written statement, which will be used when the case goes to trial. A status conference is set for January 29, 2020.

A reduction of bail hearing was held in the case the State vs Julian Waddell, 35, of Cass, wherein the defense asked for a $5,000 blanket bond to cover all the charges. The state objected, advising that Waddell was twice found with a loaded gun in his vehicle, and the defendant has a history of violence. The court set a $10,000 blanket bond with monitoring by the Pocahontas County Home Incarceration Program. No firearms are to be present in the home or in Waddell’s possession at any time.

Trial is set for March 9, 2020 in the case the State vs Derek S. Hannah, 33, an inmate at Pruntytown Correctional Center. The court granted a motion to sever counts II and III of the indictment, but denied a motion to suppress.

A sentencing and disposition hearing was held in the case the State vs Amanda Bennett, 33, of Marlinton, wherein the court noted that Bennett had failed to complete the drug court program. She was sentenced to not less than one year nor more than five years in the state penitentiary and given 144 days’ credit for time served. The sentence will run concurrent with a sentence in Randolph County. Bennett is to participate in the RSAT program while she is incarcerated.

The following hearings were held December 18 before the Honorable Judge Jennifer P. Dent:

Sentencing and disposition hearings were held in the case the State vs Amanda Katherine Brewer-Long, 38, and Joshua Long, 39, both of Hillsboro, wherein the court received reports from the Day Report Center that showed, since November 6, 2019, all drug tests for the defendants have been negative. The court accepted plea agreements tendered September 4 wherein the defendants pleaded guilty to intent to deliver a Schedule II non-narcotic controlled substance, a felony, and to Count IV, manufacture of a Schedule I controlled non-narcotic substance, a felony. They were sentenced to no more than one year nor more than five years in the state penitentiary. Sentences were suspended and the defendants were placed on five years’ probation and any substance abuse issues are to be addressed.

An extradition hearing was held in the case the State vs Michael D. Bullock, 25, of Green Bank, wherein the defendant waived his right to a hearing and agreed to return to Caldwell County, North Carolina, to face charges of probation violation. North Carolina authorities are directed to pick up Bullock prior to December 23. If they fail to do so, a status conference will be held January 2, 2020.

A continuance of trial was granted in the case the State vs George Matthew Harmon, 27, of Marlinton, so the defendant can be referred to the drug court program.

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