Circuit Court News

According to Pocahontas County Circuit Court Clerk Connie Carr, the following cases were heard August 20 before the Honorable Judge Robert E. Richardson:

In a sentencing and disposition hearing in the case the State vs Steven K. Bennett, 39, of Marlinton, defense council asked for alternative sentencing on Home Confinement/Day Report or Drug Court. The state will refer Bennett to Drug Court and the matter is continued to September 17 at 9:45 a.m.

In a change of plea hearing in the case the state vs Stephanie R. Long, 31, of Marlinton, the defendant was prepared to plead guilty to a charge of grand larceny. The court found that there was no indictment or formal charge in the matter and it was continued until information could be prepared. The state filed a new felony charge. Defense counsel corrected the plea agreement concerning restitution amounts and the court accepted the defendant’s plea of guilty to grand larceny but will withhold adjudication of the defendant until she completes the Drug Court program. Long remains on bond and under the supervision of the Drug Court program.

In a change of plea hearing in the case the state vs Tammy M. Akers Shearer, defense counsel tendered a written plea agreement. The defendant agreed to plead to a lesser misdemeanor offense of transferring stolen goods in exchange for dismissal of the felony counts in the indictment of two counts breaking and entering, two counts grand larceny and one count entry of a building other than a dwelling. The state related that the matter stems from an eight-year-old case and the stolen property cannot be found. The court accepted the defendant’s plea of guilty to the misdemeanor offense and granted the state’s motion to dismiss all felony counts in the indictment. The matter was referred to the probation department for a presentencing investigation and sentencing and disposition is set for October 1 at 9:30 a.m.

The following cases were heard August 22 before the Honorable Judge James J. Rowe:

In a status hearing in the case the state vs Megan Josephine Stewart, 23, of Oceana. The court stated that there is no Drug Court program in Wyoming County and the defendant has not been drug tested since the last hearing. Defense counsel stated that the defendant has come off the suboxone program pursuant to the court’s request. The court continued the matter and the defendant is to have regular drug screens through Day Report and enroll in that program in Wyoming County.

A reconsideration of sentencing hearing was held in the case the state vs Travis Shane Dean, 37, of Marlinton. The defendant addressed the court and the court denied the request for alternative sentencing.

In a hearing on a petition for expungement on a magistrate court charge of aggravated DUI in the case the state vs Ashley McNabb, aged unknown, of Slaty Fork, the magistrate could not find records as to a dismissal. The court deferred the matter pending a review of magistrate records. The state will not oppose a dismissal. Defense counsel later tendered a dismissal order to the court and the magistrate charge was expunged.

A change of plea hearing was held in the case the state vs Carolyn McMillion, 59, of Hillsboro. A written plea of guilty was tendered to the court. The indictment contains the offense of shoplifting, third offense. Under sworn testimony, the defendant did not admit to shoplifting and the court set the matter for trial October 28 at 9 a.m. The defendant remains on bond.

In a sentencing and disposition hearing in the case the state vs Andrea D. Woody, defense council and the state had spoken with regards to a positive drug screen. Defense counsel asked for drug screens for the defendant and asked for a continuance of 30 days in the matter. The court had basis to revoke bond and did so. The defendant had until 4 p.m. August 22 to be hooked up on Greenbrier County Home Confinement or be remanded to custody. The matter is set for sentencing and disposition in Greenbrier County for September 29 at 2:45 p.m.

A show cause hearing was held in the case Sheriff David Jonese vs Howard Shinaberry and Jeffrey Barlow. The case involves a petition filed by Sheriff Jonese seeking the removal of Howard Shinaberry and Jeffrey Barlow from the Pocahontas County Deputy Sheriff’s Civil Service Commission. According to the petition, “no commissioner may hold any other office (other than the office of notary public) under the United States, this state or any municipality, county or other political subdivision thereof…”

The petition states that Commissioner Howard Shinaberry holds office as a law enforcement officer in the Division of Natural Resources for the State of West Virginia, and Commissioner Jeffrey Barlow holds office as an employee of the Pocahontas County Commission as the Case Manager for the day report program. The petition asks the Court to issue a Rule to Show Cause directing Shinaberry and Barlow to show cause why they should not be removed as commissioners and further asks the Court “to declare all acts done by the Civil Service Commission while they were holding office without lawful appointments to be null and void.”

The matter was continued to September 12 at 10:30 a.m. due to the absence of the plaintiff’s attorney.

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