Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kanawha County Man Indicted On Murder Charge

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...A Kanawha County grand jury returned an indictment Friday charging 37 year old Charles Darren Roberts of Alum Creek with first-degree murder and 3rd and 4th degree arson after a December 3rd fire near Alum Creek resulted in the death of Davis Creek Volunteer Fire Dept. firefighter 61 year old Joey King. Roberts was originally charged with third-degree arson. He allegedly used cardboard and a tire to set some railroad ties on fire underneath the Steven Wayne Smith Bridge on U.S. 119, and King fell from the bridge and died while looking for the blaze. Roberts is scheduled to be arraigned April 11th before Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman.

Fugitive Caught In West Virginia

  • {Philippi, West Virginia}...U.S. Marshals were closing in on 31 year old Larry Murry of Labadieville, Louisiana, a fugitive wanted on a charge of aggravated incest, Thursday afternoon when Murry fled and eventually jumped into the Tygart River near Philippi, West Virginia. About one-third of the way across the river, Murry announced, "I can't swim," and he returned to shore, where State Police arrested him.

Hundreds Mourn Fire Victims

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Hundreds attended a service Saturday to mourn six of the nine victims killed in a two-story house fire on Arlington Avenue in Charleston on Saturday morning, March 24th. Those attending the funeral crowded into Maranatha Fellowship Church to remember 26 year old Alisha Carter-Camp and her children, 8 year old Keahana, 7 year old Bryan Timothy, 3 year old Jeremiah, along with two of Carter-Camp's nephews, 3 year Elijah Scott and 18 month old Emanuel Jones. The fire is the deadliest in Charleston since seven firefighters perished while battling a fire at a Woolworth department store in 1949.

Milton Flea Market Shooting Goes To Grand Jury

  • {Milton, West Virginia}...Edward Perry, a vendor at the Milton Flea Market, was in court Friday, where he identified 31 year old Brett Allen Newman as the man who robbed him at gunpoint and shot him three times about 8:00 A.M. on March 16th as he arrived for work at his shop, Perry's Coin & Jewelry Repair. Perry testified that he was preparing to enter the flea market when Newman approached from around the building's side, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, pointed a handgun at his face and ordered him to the ground. Perry testified he believes that gunman then was joined by an accomplice, and the two sat on him and bound his wrists with plastic tie straps. A few moments later, there was a shot, and Perry says he went down. The bullet had struck Perry in the right leg. That testimony was enough for Cabell County Magistrate Johnny McCallister to keep Newman behind bars on a $755,000 bond and send his case to a grand jury.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Jury Acquits Charleston Teen

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...James Daughtery, 17, of Charleston, walked out of the Kanawha County Judicial Annex a free man Friday afternoon after a 12-member jury acquitted him of murder in the February 2010 shooting deaths of Bruce Duling and Carrie Pontier whose bodies were found in a parked car in Kanawha City. Prosecutors alleged Daughtery had killed them to earn his stripes as a drug dealer. Daughtery's attorney told the jury the prosecution had no physical evidence linking his client to the crime, and the state's key witness, Artez "Ace" Johnson, lied to detectives during the investigation.

Rahall Introduces Postal Legislation

{Washington, D.C.}...U.S. Representative Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., introduced legislation Thursday to help prevent post office closures in southern West Virginia. The Postal Service Accountability Act would strengthen the Postal Regulatory Commission. Rahall says it would give the PRC a binding authority to block a post office or sorting facility closure, and would increase, from two to three, the number of Commissioners needed to affirm a closure. Rahall says the bill aims to help ensure that our small, rural postal facilities are not made to bear the brunt of the Postal Service's nationwide budgetary challenges. The U.S. Postal Service has implemented a moratorium on postal closures through May 15th.

Transit Authority Gets State Funds

{Charleston, West Virginia}...The Kanawha County Commission has approved the use of public funds to allow the Kanawha County Regional Transit Authority to continue the bus service between Charleston and Huntington running for the next three years. Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper says the bus route's operators will have to kick in some of their own money. The bus service is a joint operation of the Kanawha County Transit Agency and the Tri-State Transit Authority. Its federal funding expires in June. Carper says the state Division of Public Transit has offered to provide $250,050 over the next three years. The transit agencies will have to contribute $27,784 each per year.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Avengers Motorcycle Gang Members Arrested

{Charleston, West Virginia}...WV State Police were in the Harper Heights area of Raleigh County around 3:00 P.M. Wednesday afternoon conducing surveillance on members of the Avengers Motorcycle Gang. At some point during the surveillance, four of the gang members ended up getting behind the troopers vehicle and started making gestures like they had guns. One member, Thomas Speck, 34, of Lapier, Michigan, displayed a gun as he pulled alongside the troopers' vehicle. The officers sped ahead of the bikers and pulled onto the side of the road, got out of the vehicle and displayed their badges as the bikers drove by. As the gang members went by them, one of them turned around and fired a shot at the troopers. Speck was found at a nearby residence and charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, unlawful possession of a firearm, fleeing and being a fugitive from justice. Delmer Lee Cozart, 51, of Beckley, was charged as an accessory in the crime, wanton endangerment and unlawful possession of a firearm. Clyde Frank, 55, of Harper, West Virginia, was charged as an accessory, and with wanton endangerment. James Morris, 33, of Eckles, West Virginia, was charged as an accessory, wanton endangerment, unlawful possession of a concealed weapon and fleeing.

Police Investigating Attempted Abductions

{Charleston, West Virginia}...West Virginia State Police are working to identify suspects believed to be involved in three attempted abductions involving teenage girls within the past two weeks. About 7:00 A.M. March 22nd, a 17 year old girl in Williamson was walking to catch a school bus when a man began following her, grabbed her and held a gun to her head, but ran off when a car drove by. Later on March 22nd, in neighboring Wayne County, a 13 year old girl was heading to practice with her volleyball team at the Buffalo Kindergarten Complex in Kenova when a man in a white van tried to abduct her. Tuesday of this week, Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies were called to the 200 block of Winfield Road about 6:45 A.M. after an 18 year old female said a man in a white cargo van pulled up while she was waiting for the school bus, jumped out and tried to grab her.

Boy Dies After Being Struck By Car

{Red House, West Virginia}...Eight year old Dale Danberry, a student at George Washington Elementary School in Eleanor, in Putnam County, was pronounced dead at Charleston Area Medical Center's Teays Valley Hospital Wednesday afternoon after he ran into the path of an oncoming vehicle in Red House and was struck, leaving him unconscious.

Former UBB Superintendent Helping With Investigation

{Beckley, West Virginia}...Boone County resident Gary May, of Bloomingrose, a former superintendent at the Upper Big Branch mine, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Beckley to defrauding the federal government by impeding MSHA in carrying out its inspections at UBB. May admitted to giving advance warning of MSHA inspections by using code phrases to avoid detection, hiding violations when inspections were about ready to happen and falsifying the mine examination book and telling miners to rewire a methane gas detector on a piece of mining equipment. The violations concealed included poor airflow in the mine, piles of loose, combustible coal and scarcities of rock dust, which prevents mine explosions. May faces up to five years in federal prison when sentenced August 9th. U.S. Attorney Goodwin says a federal information was filed against May because he continues to help with the investigation.

Nitro Man Leads Police Chase

{St. Albans, West Virginia}...A Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputy stopped Justin Ray Hall, 19, of Nitro, about 2:30 A.M. Thursday near Smiley's Motel on Route 60 in St. Albans for swerving all over the road, but Hall quickly took off, leading a police chase through St. Albans, where Hall fled on foot. Deputies later caught up with him. They say Hall failed all field sobriety tests, but he refused to submit a breath sample.

No Luck In Lunsford Disappearance

{Weston, West Virginia}...The FBI held a press conference Thursday morning in Weston to mark six months since 3 year old Aliayah Lunsford went missing from her home in Lewis County on September 24th. FBI agent John Hambrick didn't say whether he believes Aliayah Lunsford is still alive, but he did say there's no evidence to support a break-in as a theory. Officials said they've received about 150 tips, and that two FBI agents and two state troopers work on the case everyday, but despite that, investigators did not have much new to report. FBI investigators encouraged people to call the W.Va. Fusion Center at 866-WV-WATCH if they have any information about the case. The FBI has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of Aliayah Lunsford or the arrest and conviction of those responsible for her disappearance.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Former UBB Superintendent To Enter Plea

{Beckley, West Virginia}...Upper Big Branch mine's former superintendent Gary May will enter a plea Thursday in Beckley on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the federal government. May is accused of disabling a methane monitor and falsifying records at the Massey Energy mine where 29 men died in 2010. Prosecutors say May also manipulated the ventilation system to fool inspectors. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says anyone who conspires to undermine the integrity of the government is guilty of fraud, and he doesn't have to prove May's acts were crimes on their own or that the government suffered any monetary loss. He just needs to prove the conspiracy used deceit or trickery to interfere with government functions.

Federal Judge Rejects Massey Motion

  • {Beckley, West Virginia}...U.S. District Judge Irene Berger issued a ruling Wednesday in Beckley, rejecting Massey Energy's motion to dismiss a lawsuit by shareholders who say they were misled about the company's safety record before the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster. Berger's ruling allows the case led by the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust to proceed. The investors say Massey repeatedly claimed to be one of the safest operators in the industry, regularly touting safety achievements and leading them to believe safety was a corporate priority. They learned otherwise in April 2010, when the mine exploded, killing 29 men. Massey sought last year to have the case thrown out.

Former Mingo County Doctor Sentenced

{Williamson, West Virginia}...Sixty-six year old William Ryckman, a former Mingo County doctor, has been sentenced to six months in prison and fined $5,000 for fraudulently prescribing painkillers and other medications. Ryckman pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to misuse a Drug Enforcement Administration registration number. Prosecutors say Ryckman signed paperwork sent to his Pennsylvania home by his office in Williamson allowing individuals he did not evaluate or see as patients to gain prescriptions for Hydrocodone and other medications, including Xanax. He admitted that individuals paid workers in his office to be directed to pharmacies for the medications.

Murder Trial Delayed

{Fayetteville, West Virginia}...Fayette County Magistrate Sharon McGraw has granted a request to continue the hearing for 83 year old Howard Junior Curry of Fayetteville while he undergoes a mental examination. Curry has been at William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston since March 21st after being charged with three counts of murder. Police allege he fatally shot his wife, 47 year old Rexanna Curry, her father, 82 year old Charles Treadway, and her sister, 57 year old Sheila Fay Miller, on March 17th.

Tomblin Bashes EPA Plan

{Charleston, West Virginia}...West Virginia's congressional delegation joined Governor Earl Ray Tomblin Wednesday in bashing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a plan to limit heat-trapping pollution from new power plants. Tomblin says it's clear the Obama administration is trying to end the use of coal with proposed guidelines that would eliminate jobs and drive up electricity costs in West Virginia, and he won't stand for it. Tomblin says his latest announcement is yet another example of the EPA's inappropriate use of its regulatory authority to set policy for our country, and those decisions reside within the Congress, not an unelected bureaucracy. Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin called the proposal "wrong-headed" and said it effectively prevents construction of any new coal-fired plants.

Murder Trial Continues

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Prosecutors in the case against James Daughtery called several teenagers to the witness stand Wednesday. Sarah Burgess, Lacy Fowler and Sierra Holstein testified that a lot of drinking was going on at the Kanawha City home of Mark Artez Johnson, or "Ace," the night of February 9, 2010, and they saw Daughtery, who was 14 at the time, with a silver revolver and red bandana in his pants, and they saw him go out the front door and return around daybreak. The bodies of Bruce Duling and Carrie Pontier were found in a car on Chesterfield Avenue about 5:30 A.M. on February 10th. Maryanne Coon testified she regularly smoked crack with Duling and Pontier, including on the night they died. She said the victims engaged in multiple phone calls to a man named "Ace," who they said had sold them fake drugs. Prosecutor Mark Plants reminded Coon she told police she was not sure who they were talking to. Detective Eric Smith with the Charleston Police Department said he analyzed records and calls from a cellphone registered to Daughtery and Duling's phone found in Pontier's hand, and about 50 calls were placed between the two phones in the hours preceding the murders.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Charleston Murder Trial Underway

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Mark Artez Johnson, 21, of Charleston was the first witness to testify in James Daughtery's trial. Daughtery is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for shooting Bruce Duling, 53, of Charleston, and Carrier Pontier, 33, of Marmet, while they sat in a vehicle on Chesterfield Avenue on February 10, 2010. Johnson, a friend of Johnson, told a jury Johnson bragged about the killing shortly after it occurred, saying he had "earned his stripes." Johnson asked several times if he could plead the fifth, but Circuit Judge James Stucky ordered him to respond, except for once when he was asked about his activities as a drug dealer. Johnson testified that Daughtery came to his house shortly after the murders and  gave details, including that it was done with a silver revolver and that a red bandana was wrapped around it to prevent gunshot residue, and he shot them with a .22 inside the car, then got out the car and started to leave and then shot again. Johnson said Daughtery had sold Duling and Pontier fake crack, composed of candle wax and powder.

Georgia Man Pleads Guilty

  • {Huntington, West Virginia}...John Weathers, 26, of Macon, Georgia, has pleaded guilty to distribution of crack cocaine, admitting that on December 9 and 10, 2010, he stopped by Smokin' Aces in Huntington and sold crack cocaine to an undercover agent working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He admitted to to selling two Oxycodone pills, three guns and 124.5 grams of crack cocaine to undercover agents. Weathers faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when sentenced in July.

Main Criticized On Capitol Hill

{Washington, D.C.}...During a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, members of the House Committee on Education and Workforce grilled federal Mine Safety and Health Administration chief Joe Main on the internal problems at his agency identified by an internal review in connection with the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine. Republicans repeatedly cited an internal review that found MSHA could have done more to prevent the disaster that killed 29 men. Main said during testimony that Massey caused the disaster, and problems,  including retirements of experienced mine inspectors and a lack of experienced inspectors and specialists to replace them, hampered his agency in the months and years leading up to the explosion. Main said, since UBB, he has ordered a complete retooling of the agency's policy manual and is working to create a system, which all inspectors follow, and while MSHA has changed and is changing, he still needs protection for whistleblowers, subpoena power for investigations and stiffer criminal penalties for bad operators. U.S. Representative Nick Rahall and other House Democrats say it's time for Congress to pass stalled legislation that would give MSHA more power to prevent mine disasters. Rahall argues Congress shouldn't punish MSHA by withholding lifesaving legal powers because only miners would suffer.

Man Charged With Attempted Murder

{Huntington, West Virginia}...Police say Robert Lee Taylor, 31, and William H. Legrand III, 35, both of Huntington, got involved in an argument on 16th Street Road near Huntington Tuesday afternoon. Taylor fired a round at Legrand's vehicle, which had people inside at the time. Taylor has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and wanton endangerment. LeGrand is charged with assault.

Woman Charged With Prescription Fraud

{Barboursville, West Virginia}...Elizabeth Rayment, 49, of Barboursville, is facing charges for allegedly obtaining the DEA number of a Barboursville doctor and calling in prescriptions at different pharmacies in multiple names. Police had been investigating prescription fraud at the Walgreen's and RiteAid stores in Barboursville and determined Rayment was behind both cases.

Man Pleads Guilty To Distributing Opana

{Huntington, West Virginia}...Jacob Hatfield, 26, of Huntington, has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the distribution of Opana, admitting that, on November 18, 2011, he sold 25 Opana pills to an informant with the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team. Officers approached Hatfield after the sale, and he allowed them to search him and his vehicle. They found a backpack in the vehicle which had 1185 Opana pills and more than 40 Oxycodone pills. They also found 15 Opana pills, 30 Oxycodone pills, 2 Suboxone pills and $33,165 in cash on Hatfield. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when sentenced in July.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Final Brief In EPA Lawsuit Filed

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman have filed a final brief in a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lawsuit, which began two years ago while Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was governor, looks at federal policies that have hindered new mining permits in the Appalachian region. Tomblin says the lawsuit is about the rights of the state to regulate itself within the scope of the existing state and federal laws, and the EPA has overstepped its bounds and taken that right away, and the state is simply fighting to get it back.

Man Sentenced To Life With Mercy

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Joshua Brian Long, 28, of Chesapeake, was sentenced Monday in Kanawha Circuit Court to life in prison with mercy after admitting he fatally stabbed 30 year old William Arthur Proctor of Witcher Creek in Chesapeake last May. The stabbing occurred in the East End of Charleston. Proctor died at the hospital from a wound to his neck. The murder occurred at the intersection of 116th Street and MacCorkle Avenue. Long, who has been incarcerated since the murder, entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors last week, agreeing to a sentence of life behind bars with no chance of parole until he has served at least 15 years. Long will get credit for the 313 days he has spent incarcerated.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Benefits In Logan County

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WorkForce West Virginia Acting Executive Director Russell Fry announced Monday that federal disaster unemployment assistance benefits are available to Logan County residents or those working in Logan County that meet the qualifications, including self-employed workers not usually entitled to unemployment insurance. The Logan County area was declared a disaster area by President Barack Obama on March 22nd. The disaster aid is for those affected by severe storms that occurred beginning March 15th. All claims need to be filed by April 25th. Those applying need to provide proof of past earnings, such as business records or bank statements and their most recent income tax form, at the time they file their claim.  Any WorkForce West Virginia One Stop Office can accept DUA claims, including the Logan office which serves the affected county.

Woman Dies After Fall

{Huntington, West Virginia}...Thirty-nine year old Patricia King from Bancroft died at the Cabell Huntington Hospital Monday afternoon after falling from one floor to another in the Central Huntington Garage on 5th Avenue Friday morning. King worked in the financial aid office at the Huntington Junior College, located in the same block as the garage.

Woman Sentenced For Stealing From Elderly

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Susan Webb, 42, of Chesapeake, was sentenced Monday in Kanawha Circuit Court to ten years in prison for stealing the purse of 85 year old Lauren Johnson from her cart while she was shopping at the Kanawha City Foodland last December and stealing the wallet of 90 year old Charles Overbaugh. One of  Webb's son's became so agitated and disruptive he had to be escorted from the courtroom. Webb's attorney, Zoe Shavers, asked Circuit Judge Louis "Duke" Bloom, to consider probation, home confinement and/or drug rehabilitation and counseling for her instead of prison, saying his client turned to drugs to cope, and unfortunately, she won't be able to overcome these problems in prison. Overbaugh's daughter, Janet Armentrout, asked Judge Bloom to incarcerate Webb, saying she has a history of preying on the elderly and has no respect for the law. Webb will be eligible for parole in two and a half years.

Child Pornography Trial Postponed

{Charleston, West Virginia}...The trial for Robert Lutsy, 42, of Chesapeake, has been postponed until July 30th. Lutsy was scheduled for trial this week on charges of sexual abuse of a family member and possession of child pornography. Lutsy was first indicted on the sexual abuse charge, and, after detectives discovered more than 400 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit acts on his computer, he was indicted on those charges. His attorney indicated in a hearing Monday that Lutsy will make a motion requesting the cases be held separately.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Deadly Fire In Charleston

{Charleston, West Virginia}...A fire at a home on Arlington Avenue in Charleston around 3:30 A.M. Saturday morning initially killed eight people. Seven year old Brian Timothy Camp, the only original surviving child of the fire, died Sunday morning at CAMC Women and Children's Hospital, bringing the total number of fatalities to nine, seven children and two adults. Alex Seals and his two children KiKi and GiGi, both three years old, 18 months old Emmanuel Jones and 3 year old Elijah Scott, the children of Seals' girlfriend, Latasha Jones Isabell, Isabell's sister, Alisha Carter Camp, 26, and her 3 year old son Jeremiah Camp and her daughter Kehanna Camp, 8, were all killed in the fire. Latasha Jones Isabell survived the fire. She woke up early to smoke and realized the house was on fire. Investigators say this is the worst fire in Charleston's history.

Pagans Sign Plea Deals

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Two former members of the Pagans motorcycle club signed agreements Thursday afternoon, marking the last convictions in a massive federal inquiry of Pagans activities in West Virginia. Elmer Luke Moore, son of Pagan national vice president Floyd Moore, struck a deal with prosecutors in which he would admit to gun-possession charges. Minutes after Moore accepted the plea, Richard "Lucky" Weaver pleaded guilty to one count of bodyguarding. Both men were on trial on bodyguarding charges after prosecutors said they participated in a conspiracy to act as Floyd Moore's gun-wielding protectors. In 2009, authorities unsealed a 44-count federal indictment that named 55 Pagan members and associates. Floyd Moore, 65, from St. Albans, one of the main defendants in the indictment, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in February 2011 and is serving a five year prison sentence. David Keith "Bart" Barbeito, who spent 20 years as the club's national president, received more than two years in prison in December 2010 after admitting to having possessed a .45-caliber Colt with an obliterated serial number and an unregistered shotgun known as a "streetsweeper." Barbeito and Floyd Moore were two of 16 Pagans to receive prison time for the charges in the 2009 federal sweep. Many of the 55 defendants pleaded guilty to vastly reduced charges. Some pleaded to gambling misdemeanors in state court, paid a $5 fine, and had their federal charges dismissed.

National Guard Warning About Scam

{Charleston, West Virginia}...West Virginia National Guard officials are warning people about a scammer who allegedly calls, identifying themselves as "Sgt. Kelly," soliciting donations from businesses to purchase calling cards for overseas West Virginia soldiers and airmen. The scammer directs callers to a website with a Beckley phone number and address, but the phone goes unanswered and the address is a vacant building. Officials say there are many legitimate organizations out there working on behalf of veterans but this is not one of them. Anyone concerned about the validity of people or organizations collecting money for military affairs can call the West Virginia National Guard Family Programs Office at 304-561-6380.

Manchin Loses Anti-Abortion Group's Support

{Charleston, West Virginia}...U.S. Senator Joe Manchin has lost the support of the anti-abortion group West Virginians for Life. The group which has supported Manchin throughout his political career, says it's profoundly disappointed with his voting record, and it has endorsed Sheirl Fletcher in the May Democratic primary. Fletcher, a former legislator, lost to Manchin in the 2010 U.S. Senate primary. The group says Manchin has failed to support a complete repeal of the federal health care overhaul. The group also criticizes Manchin for voting against cutting funding both for that law and Planned Parenthood. Manchin wrote the group in February to explain his votes. In the letter, Manchin said that no evidence supports allegations that Planned Parenthood spent federal funds on abortions. Manchin wrote that he remains a lifelong abortion foe and cited measures he's co-sponsored in support of that position.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Deadly Fire In Charleston

(Charleston, WV) Alisha Carter-Camp had a new job, a wedding to plan and a 26th birthday to celebrate with a family cookout and toasts to the birthday girl in a yard full of children. By the end of the night, she was among eight dead, including six children, in one of this West Virginia city's deadliest house fires in decades.
The blaze tore through the two-story home while the family slept early Saturday, hours after the last guest had left Carter-Camp's party, authorities said. The dead children ranged from 18 months to 8. A seventh child, a 7-year-old boy, was hospitalized on life support.
The cause was under investigation, although arson wasn't suspected, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said. The fire started about 3:30 a.m. on the first floor. Jones said the home had just one working smoke detector; the city requires several. A building inspection that had been scheduled for last month didn't happen because only children were home at the time.
A children's picnic table, chairs and an umbrella were overturned in the yard of the home, roped off by police tape on a corner in a neighborhood tightly packed with small houses in north Charleston. Flames and smoke blackened the front of the house Two huge front windows were shattered, and what appeared to be an opening for an upstairs air conditioner was stuffed shut with clothes.
Alisha Carter-Camp, who would have been 26 Saturday, was among those killed, Jones said. She had been working as a hotel clerk for six months and told neighbors she planned to get married in June and move to Pittsburgh.
Four of the victims were 3 years old: Jeremiah Camp, Elijah Scott and two children who were only identified by their first names. Also killed were Keahna Camp, 8, Emanuel Jones, 18 months, and an adult, Alex Seal.
Bryan Timothy Camp, 7, was hospitalized in critical condition. One adult survivor, Latasha Jones Isabell, went to the hospital but it wasn't clear if she was treated. Authorities said all the victims were related, but they weren't sure how and didn't know how many lived full-time in the home.
Carter-Camp and her two children were staying with her sister at the home, said Roxie Means, who lives down the street.
The party started Friday afternoon with a cookout and toasts of wine.
"They were nice people drinking a glass of wine," Roxie Means said. "They weren't drunk. They weren't overdoing anything."
Roxie's daughter, 14-year-old Cassie Means, said she noticed lit candles inside the home when she attended the party Friday night.
The home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. When they went inside, they immediately came across five victims and "started realizing there were a lot of people in this house, a lot of children."
Jones said he was devastated by the news of the fire - the deadliest in the state capital since seven firefighters perished while battling a fire at a Woolworth department store in 1949.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sissonville Man Sentenced

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Friday, Kanawha County Judge Duke Bloom sentenced John Beane to ten years on two charges of armed robbery. Beane attempted to rob Hussons Pizza and then tried to rob Linda's Sports Bar in Sissonville in November 2011. Beane told investigators he did it to get drug money.

Boone County Women Arrested

{Jeffrey, West Virginia}...State Police in Boone County arrested Connie Williams and Jessica Dotson Friday after they allegedly picked up a shipment of synthetic drugs at the post office in Jeffrey. Within the last several weeks, police have found shipments coming into Logan County, which led them to Friday's bust in Boone County.

Judge Rules In Favor Of Arch Coal

{Washington, D.C.}...In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., ruled in favor of St. Louis-based Arch Coal, declaring a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water pollution permit for the Spruce No. 1 mine in Logan County is "valid and in full force." The EPA vetoed the corps' permit for the mine in January 2011, saying it would cause irreparable damage to the environment.

Meth Lab Bust In Kanawha County

{Diamond, West Virginia}...State Police went to a home on Kanawha Avenue in the Diamond area about 6:30 P.M. Thursday after receiving a tip about drug activity. Troopers searched an outbuilding at the home and found 50 year old Melvin Butcher of Winifrede and Amanda Fassnacht of Shrewsbury making a shake-and-bake style meth lab. Butcher and Fassnacht have both been charged with conspiracy to make meth, attempting to operate a meth lab, unlawful storage of anhydrous ammonia and possession of pseudoephedrine in an altered state.

Three Charged With Robbery

{Dunbar, West Virginia}...Three out-of-state men face felony charges after an alleged armed robbery at an apartment complex in Dunbar. Brandon Aaron Davis, 21, of Covington Virginia, Keith Isah Glenn, 28, of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Darrell E. Gillespie, 25, of Smyrna, Georgia, all face felony kidnapping and armed robbery charges. Police say a man was walking out of his apartment at the Roxalana Hills Apartment Comple along Roxalana Hills Drive in Dunbar around 9:00 P.M. Thursday, when the three men grabbed him and began to tie his wrists together with heavy-duty black zip ties, and one of the men kicked him in the ribs before they forced him back into the common area of the apartment complex and pushed him to his knees at his front door while holding a gun to his head while demanding he open the door to the apartment. The victim's wife refused to open the door and called 911. One of the men took the victim's wallet and the keys to his vehicle, while the other two men fled the scene on foot. A Nitro Police officer stopped the vehicle on Old Goff Mountain Road and found the alleged victim's wallet and a handgun under the front passenger seat.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Disaster Recovery Center Opens In Logan County

  • {Dunlow, West Virginia}...The Federal Emergency Management Agency opened a disaster recovery center in Dunlow, in Logan County, Thursday. The center, located at 1475 Left Fork Dunlow Bypass Road, is scheduled to be open from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Monday through Sunday. Those affected by recent flooding may apply for federal disaster assistance at the center. 

AEP Announces Coal-Fired Plant Shutdowns

  • American Electric Power officially announced Thursday it will retire parts of 11 coal-fired plants, including one in the Tri-State area. Big Sandy Plant Unit 1, in Louisa, Kentucky, is on the list, which includes plants in Ohio, Virginia, Indiana and Texas. Two units of the Glen Lyn, West Virginia Plant, three units of Moundsville's Kammer Plant and two units of Glasgow's Kanawha River Plant also are on the list. AEP officially notified the Southwest Power Pool of its plans to retire more than 4,600 megawatts of power. AEP officials say the move is partially related to new environmental regulations coal-fired plants must meet.

Man Charged With Setting Fire At CAMC General

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Bradley Isaac Hill, 48, of Charleston, was arrested and charged with first-degree arson early Thursday morning after police say he set a fire in a bathroom at CAMC General, where he was staying with a patient. CAMC spokesman Dale Witte said Bradley Hill set fire to a linens cart parked inside the bathroom. According to the criminal complaint, police interviewed Hill and his wife Janis, and it was determined he has dementia.

Former Kanawha County Lawmaker Dies

{Charleston, West Virginia}...George B. "Brud" Warner, Sr. of Charleston, a former member of the Kanawha County House of Delegates and member of the West Virginia Republican Executive Committee, passed away Wednesday at the age of 85. His public life also included time as a justice of the peace and county magistrate. His sons. Buffy Warner was a member of the state Senate. He preceded his father in death. Kris Warner was the chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party. Casey Warner was at one time the U.S. Attorney for southern West Virginia and Monty Warner was a distinguished member of the military and ran for governor. Mac Warner ran for U.S. Senate. George Warner, a World War II veteran who was a member of the Eisenhower Honor Guard, graduated from Charleston High School and West Virginia University. Visitation services are scheduled for noon until 2:00 P.M. Saturday at Elizabeth United Methodist Church in Charleston. The funeral service will begin at 2:00 P.M.

Alpha Presents Check For UBB Memorial

{Whitesville, West Virginia}...Delays in getting granite needed in the construction of the Upper Big Branch Mine Memorial in Whitesville will keep it from being completed by the second anniversary of the tragedy on April 5th. Memorial spokesman Mike Gwinn says, once they get the granite in and it passes inspection, the actual etching and delivery won't take long. The massive granite monument will feature silhouettes of the 29 miners who lost their lives in the UBB explosion. Gwinn is hopeful the plaza part of the memorial will be ready by the anniversary. Representatives of Alpha Natural Resources were at the site Thursday for the first of two $125,000 check presentations. The company, which became the owner of UBB last year, promised to match all the memorial group raised. Gwinn says the project should cost around $500,000.

WV State University Seeks Tuition Increase

{Charleston, West Virginia}...West Virginia State University officials say layoffs won't be needed to balance next year's budget if a proposed 8 percent tuition increase is approved. Enrollment has dropped by 6 percent since 2006. The school's Board of Governors discussed the tuition increase Wednesday and will vote on the proposal at its April meeting. It also must be approved by the Higher Education Policy Commission. Board chairman Larry Rowe says the university will be able to balance the upcoming budget with the tuition increase, continuing program reductions and an additional $750,000 in state funds. Earlier, the board cut $1.5 million from the current budget and imposed a hiring freeze.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

KY Man Arrested After Accident

  • {Cedar Grove, West Virginia}...Sgt. L.G. O'Bryan of the West Virginia State Police detachment at Quincy says Troy Stumpler, 32, of Louisville, Kentucky was driving on U.S. 60 near Cedar Grove at about 10:30 A.M. Wednesday morning when he apparently lost control of his pickup truck, flipped the vehicle three times and landed on the CSX railroad tracks not far from the Twin Hills Restaurant on East Dupont Avenue. Dispatchers were in the process of warning railroad officials the truck was blocking a portion of the tracks, when a train hit the truck. While questioning Stumpler, troopers found a loaded .45 caliber pistol, a 9mm assault-style carbine and large amounts of prescription drugs in the the truck. Stumpler was charged with being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and was taken to Montgomery General Hospital for drug testing.

Woman Pleads Guilty To DUI Causing Death

  • {Winfield, West Virginia}...Susanne Hamon Thomas, 51, of Hurricane, pleaded guilty Wednesday to DUI causing death. Police say Thomas was driving on W.Va. 34 near Buff Creek in June 2011 when her SUV traveled left of the center line and struck Rodney Thomas' motorcycle head on. Rodney Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene. Susanne Thomas denied drinking alcohol before the crash, but she registered a 0.118 on an Intoximeter test after her arrest. Thomas faces two to 10 years in prison when sentenced May 25th.

Man Charged With Attempted Murder

{Huntington, West Virginia}...Thirty-one year old Brett Newman was arrested in the Guyandotte section of Huntington about 4:30 A.M. Wednesday morning and charged with first degree robbery, attempted first degree murder and conspiracy after Edward Perry, a coin vendor, was shot multiple times Friday morning at the Milton Flea Market. Newman's bond was set at $750,000, and a preliminary hearing is set for March 30th. Romel Lee Green, 20, and Tiffany Brook Whittenburg, 33, of Huntington, were arrested earlier and have been charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and conspiracy.

Roane County Parents Attempt To Sell Child

{Spencer, West Virginia}...WV State Police in Spencer, in Roane County, arrested 20 year old Tyler Toler and his wife, 19 year old Katelyn Toler, Wednesday after they allegedly tried to sell their parental rights of their 2 year old son for $2,500. Police say Toler and his wife met with the little boy's maternal grandmother in the Roane County Courthouse square, not knowing the grandmother was working with police. As soon as Tyler Toler got the cash and agreed to give the grandmother the boy, he and his wife were arrested. Police say Toler told them he wasn't fit to be a dad and didn't know making money off of his son was illegal. The Tolers are each charged with the prohibited sale of a child and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Elderly Man In Critical Condition

{Clendenin, West Virginia}...Seventy-two year old Dannie Withrow was listed in critical condition and on a ventilator Wednesday after over 20 percent of his body was burned while he and several neighbors were battling a 20-acre brush fire along Jordan Creek Road in Clendenin Tuesday afternoon.

Man Attempts To Kidnap Elementary Student

{Kenova, West Virginia}...West Virginia State Police are searching for a heavyset white man with short hair and discolored teeth who was driving a beat up white van with a tinted left rear window when he tried to kidnap a female child Tuesday afternoon at Buffalo Elementary School in Kenova. Anyone with information is asked to contact the nearest West Virginia State Police detachment.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Loans Available For Storm Victims

  • {Washington, D.C.}...Congressman Nick Rahall, D-West Virginia, announced Tuesday that homeowners, renters and businesses affected during severe storms and tornadoes that struck Lincoln and Wayne counties between February 29th and March 2nd could be eligible for low-interest federal loans administered by the Small Business Administration. Loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace property destroyed during the storms. Businesses can borrow up to $2 million. To be considered for any disaster assistance, people should call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-621-FEMA.

Mercer County Man Charged With Murder

  • {Princeton, West Virginia}...Mercer County Magistrate Rick Fowler found 57 year old Jerry Buckner, the brother of former Mercer County Sheriff and magistrate Harold Buckner, stabbed to death inside his home in Princeton on March 1st. Tuesday, 59 year old Gerald Wayne Little was charged with first-degree murder, and Mercer County Circuit Court Judge Omar Aboulhosn revoked Little's bond eligibility after he was arrested last week by State Police Troopers for failing to list his address with the sex offender registry. Princeton Police Sgt. J.W. Howell says Jerry Buckner hired Little to do odd jobs around his house when Little was staying in one of his rental properties, and Howell says he believes Buckner's killing might have been a failed robbery attempt. Little spent time in prison after being convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the beating death of his brother in September 2005 in Wyoming County. Shortly after being released, he plead guilty to unlawful wounding and first-degree sexual abuse in an attack on his girlfriend in September 2007 in Raleigh County. He was released from Denmar Correctional Center on those charges last year.

Gutter Thieves Get Jail Time

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Forty-one year old Robert S. Foster and 44 year old Ronald Taylor have each been sentenced to spend one year at the South Central Regional Jail after pleading guilty to stealing copper gutters from homes in Kanawha City and Edgewood last summer. Kanawha Circuit Judge Carrie Webster ordered Foster and Taylor to report to the jail on March 30th. Police say the men removed copper rain gutters from homes in at least two neighborhoods and one church and took the material to local recycling centers. Webster ordered them to pay restitution and said the men would be released from jail sooner if they could provide verification of employment and begin making those payments.

High-Ranking Pagans On Trial

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Trial is continuing for Elmer Luke "Tramp" Moore and Richard Timothy "Lucky" Weaver, two high-ranking members of local chapters of the Pagans Motorcycle Club accused of acting as armed bodyguards for Pagans National Vice President Floyd "Jesse" Moore, who is also Elmer Moore's father. Sixty-five year old Floyd Moore, one of the main defendants in a 44-count federal indictment, unsealed in 2009, against 55 Pagan members and associates, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in February 2011 and is serving a five-year sentence. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Loew told the jury that, when Moore moved to St. Albans, where he is originally from, he ordered Weaver, president of the Charleston Pagan chapter, to serve as his bodyguard. Elmer Moore was the president of the Pagans' Buckhannon-Weston chapter, and is alleged to have organized bodyguards to help escort his father to a "mandatory" Pagan meeting in Virginia, where Floyd Moore was expected to be the target of a fellow club member. Weaver's lawyer, Deirdre Purdy, said Weaver and his tiny, 20-member chapter were targeted by federal investigators simply because Floyd Moore decided to move back to St. Albans.

Former Houston Receiver And Marshall University Settle Lawsuit

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Former Houston receiver Patrick Edwards has settled his lawsuit after suing Marshall University, Conference USA and a referee after breaking his leg during a 2008 game at Marshall. Edwards suffered a compound fracture and had to have a rod inserted in his lower right leg. He alleged the playing field was unsafe when he ran into a metal service cart while going for a pass. Edwards missed the remainder of the 2008 season but returned to catch 85 passes for 1,021 yards in 2009. In December, Edwards was named Conference USA offensive player of the year.

Environmentalists Suing Mining Operations

{Charleston, West Virginia}...The Sierra Club, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and Ohio Valley Environmental Council are suing Elk Run Coal Co. and Alex Energy claiming they have contaminated headwater streams with sulfate and other dissolved solids from mining operations in Boone and Nicholas counties. The case in U.S. District Court in Charleston says runoff affects the Laurel Creek and Twentymile Creek watersheds in violation of the federal Clean Water Act, while Elk Run's White Castle No. 1 is polluting Mudlick and Stolling Forks, and Alex's Robinson North Surface Mine is polluting Robinson Fork. The groups argue state and federal regulators have failed to address the problem.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mistrial In Charleston Murder Trial

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Kenneth Carter went on trial March 12th for the beating death of Ronald Forton, but after two days of deliberations, the jury could not come up with a unanimous decision. Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jim Stucky declared a mistrial Monday and scheduled a new trial for May 7th. Carter was arrested last summer. Police say, in July, he beat Ronald Forton to death with a baseball bat and injured Brady Dunlap in an apartment on Charleston’s West Side.

Man Sentenced In Girlfriend's Death

  • {Huntington, West Virginia}...Jesse Blevins was sentenced Monday to15 years on involuntary manslaughter charges and one to five years on concealment of a deceased human body in the July 2009 fatal stabbing his girlfriend, Elizabeth Cotton. Cotton's body was found wrapped in plastic under Blevins' father's home on Jackson Avenue in Huntington. Blevins is eligible for parole in four years and nine months. There is no credit for time served on home confinement. 

Tomblin Seeks Additional Federal Disaster Assistance

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Monday, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin asked President Barack Obama to add Logan, Lincoln and Mingo counties to the federal disaster declaration issued last Friday. Tomblin says some areas in those counties received over three inches of rain in a two hour period last Thursday, and, while the damage is still being assessed, the cost of repairs is already estimated to be in the millions. Last week's disaster declaration covers counties impacted by the tornado and storms from the first week of March. Tornado victims in Wayne and Lincoln and flood victims in Marion County are eligible for individual assistance from FEMA. While the other eight counties, Doddridge, Harrison, Mingo, Monongalia, Preston, Ritchie, Roane and Taylor counties are eligible for public assistance.

Berkeley County Circuit Judge Confirmed Federal Judge

{Charleston, West Virginia}...West Virginia's newest federal judge has created a vacancy on the state's circuit court bench after Berkeley County Circuit Judge Gina Groh resigned Monday. The U.S. Senate confirmed Groh on Thursday as President Barack Obama's nominee as a judge for West Virginia's northern federal court district. Groh presided in the state's 23rd Judicial Circuit, which also includes Jefferson and Morgan counties. The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission is expected to seek applicants to recommend candidates to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to fill the vacancy.

Senate Leader Backs GOP Chairman

{Cross Lanes, West Virginia}...State GOP Chairman Mike Stuart has been criticized by fellow Republicans and others after calling on voters to repeal table games at Mardi Gras Casino and Resort. Stuart's claim that Mardi Gras should be held accountable for not providing promised jobs and development caught some GOP lawmakers by surprise, and prompted a meeting between Stuart and Senate Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall says he later received a negative text message sent from Stuart's phone about the meeting. Hall says he's letting the matter drop after Stuart denied sending it. Hall says he remains confident in the state GOP chairman.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Victims Of Triple Murder Identified

{Fayetteville, West Virginia}...Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler said Sunday that Howard Curry is being held at the Southern Regional Jail pending a preliminary hearing after fatally shooting his wife, 47 year old Rexanna Curry, 82 year-old Charles Fitzwater and  57 year old Sheila Fay Miller, both of New Cumberland. Miller was Rexanna Curry's sister, and Fitzwater was their father.

Man Charged In Hit And Run

{Uneeda, West Virginia}...Boone County Deputies say Kayla Hughes and Amelia Spears were arguing when they were hit by a vehicle driven by Spear's boyfriend, Michael Green, while in their front yard along Route 85 in Uneeda around 8:30 P.M. Saturday night. Green, who fled from the scene, was caught in the Charleston area and charged with two counts of malicious assault.

Stabbing In Huntington

{Huntington, West Virginia}...Huntington Police are investigating after a man was found stabbed just behind the Huntington Police Department building around 3:30 A.M. Sunday morning. The victim was taken to the Cabell Huntington Hosptal.

National Guard Shifts Forces To Respond To Logan Flooding

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia National Guard crews that were wrapping up
recovery efforts in Wayne County are now deploying to Logan and Lincoln
counties because of flooding and flash flooding caused by heavy rains.

Military teams have been sent into the affected areas to work with local and
state authorities to assess the damage and coordinate the response of the
WVNG. They are assessing the situation from the air and the ground.

The WVNG responded by deploying Liaison Officer Teams and Health and Welfare
assessment teams.  The primary role an LNO team is to have a presence in the
local community, conduct reconnaissance of affected areas, and forward
information back to the WVNG Joint Operations Center.  The Health and Welfare
assessment teams go door to door checking on local residents and assessing
their immediate needs for food, water, medical care, etc...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Elderly Man Charged In Triple Murder

{Oak Hill, West Virginia}...Fayette County Deputies are investigating a triple murder that occurred at a mobile home on Toney Hollow Road in Oak Hill around 5:00 A.M. Saturday morning. Deputies arrested 83 year old Howard Curry of Fayetteville and charged him with three counts of murder. Deputies say Curry shot two women who were found inside the home and a man who crawled to a neighbor's home for help before he was declared dead at Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill.

Man Killed In Cabell County Accident

{Lesage, West Virginia}...Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas says 26 year old Bryan Buckle was driving on Route 2 near the Cabell-Mason County line about 5:45 P.M. Friday when he  lost control of his pick-up, crossed the center line and hit a tractor trailer head-on. The impact of the crash killed Buckle instantly.

Manchin Sponsoring Nationwide Concealed Weapons Permit

{Washington, D.C.}...Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is sponsoring legislation that would allow citizens with a valid concealed weapons permit to carry a gun in any state that has a concealed-carry law. Manchin says this commonsense legislation would cut down on the layers of regulations facing law-abiding Americans who have the right to own guns and use them responsibly. West Virginia currently has concealed-carry reciprocity agreements with about 30 states, and 65,000 West Virginians hold concealed-carry permits. Manchin says the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012, endorsed by the National Rifle Association, would allow any citizen with a valid carry permit to carry in any state that also recognizes a concealed weapons permit. The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Mark Begich, D-Alaska. Manchin says the bill would prohibit a resident who is ineligible for a concealed weapons permit in their own state to go to another state with less-restrictive rules to get a permit. A similar bill passed the House of Representatives last year with a vote of 272-164.

Widow Sues Charleston Businesses

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Holiday Inn Express Hotels Suites in South Charleston and Premier Pools of Charleston are being sued by the widow of William Moran, a Warwick, Rhode Island man who was killed by a carbon monoxide leak on January 31st. Investigators say an exhaust pipe became dislodged due to improper installation of a heating unit for the hotel's swimming pool. The lawsuit claims the hotel and the swimming pool company acted in reckless disregard for public health and safety.

Friday, March 16, 2012

State Of Emergency Extended

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Eleven West Virginia counties are now under a state of emergency, including Mingo and Logan Counties which were added after Thursday's flooding.  They join Lincoln, Wayne, Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Ritchie and Taylor. During a special session Friday, the Senate voted 31-0 and the House of Delegates voted  79-0 to move money from the Governor's Civil Contingency Fund to the General Revenue Fund for help in responding to natural disasters. The Legislature has set aside $10 million to help with clean up efforts after heavy thunderstorms in parts of West Virginia earlier this month.

Mother Charged With Son's Death

{Sissonville, West Virginia}...Crystal Jordan, 28, of Sissonville, was arrested Friday on charges of child neglect resulting in death. Investigators say Jordan admitted to using methamphetamine and falling asleep while her 16 month old son Kolton was in his crib. Police say the boy's father, Joshua Jordan, arrived home Thursday and found Kolton unresponsive in the bathtub, with the water still running. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 26th.

Shooting At Milton Flea Market

{Milton, West Virginia}...Tiffany Whittenburg, 33, and Romel Green, 20, have been arrested and charged with attempted first degree murder, first degree robbery and conspiracy. Police say they shot Edward Perry, a coin shop owner at the Milton Flea Market, Friday morning. Perry was in stable condition Friday night at St. Mary's Medical Center after being shot twice with a .38-caliber gun. A third suspect, Brett Newman, remains on the run. Police believe he's the man who pulled the trigger.

Bond Revoked For Mother Awaiting Sentencing

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Leslie Boggs, a mother waiting to be sentenced in April for the death of her daughter, Raynna, was in court Friday accused of violating her home confinement. During the hearing, the judge revoked Boggs' bond and set a new one at $15,000 cash only. If she bonds out, the judge ordered her to home confinement until she is sentenced. According to court records, Boggs violated her home confinement by going to a restaurant without permission. She later admitted to drinking alcohol. A field test was taken and Boggs tested positive for marijuana and alcohol.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Flooding Pounds Lincoln And Logan Counties

  • {Logan, West Virginia}...Thursday, thunderstorms carrying heavy rains and hail pounded parts of Lincoln and Logan counties, including areas that suffered storm damage and flooding two weeks ago. A storm system that produced up to five inches of rain caused the Mud Fork to swell over its banks and roll toward downtown Logan. Flooding also hit the roads and homes in the Mount Gay area. The water rose so quickly it turned several areas into streams, while flooding blocked roadways, forcing drivers to take detours. Homes, businesses and schools were flodded. Water receded from roadways as the day progressed, and drivers were later traveling on roads that were flooded earlier in the day. Emergency workers from at least six different fire departments dispatched boats for rescues in Logan. Logan County emergency dispatchers say mudslides trapped several people in their vehicles and homes in the Mud Fork area. Multiple crews were sent from Kanawha County to assist with swift water rescues. Among the towns hardest hit in Lincoln County were Griffithsville and Yawkey. Floodwaters stranded parents who couldn't reach Duvall Middle School to pick up their children who were stuck at the school. The Duval Volunteer Fire Department also had at least a foot of muddy water inside the building. As of 5:00 P.M. Thursday afternoon, all major roadways in Lincoln County reopened. The storms prompted Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to head to Logan County to assess the damage. Tomblin is a Logan native.

Man Allegedly Threatens to Kill FBI...Pleads Not Guilty

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Thursday, James Matheny, 61, of Midkiff, in Lincoln County, appeared in federal court for an arraignment hearing where he pleaded not guilty to two charges, including assault of a federal officer conducting an investigation and brandishing a deadly weapon. Matheny was arrested at his residence on February 28th after he allegedly brandished a handgun and threatened to kill a Special FBI Agent and an investigator with the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office who were attempting to interview him in connection with the investigation of voter fraud relating to the 2010 primary election in Lincoln County. His trial was set for May 8th. Matheny will remain in jail without bond. If convicted, he faces life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Jurors Deliberating Murder Case

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Thursday, jurors began deliberating a case against a man accused of the brutal, baseball-bat slaying of one man and the injuring of another. Kenneth Eugene Carter, 51, has denied that he killed Ron Forton and injured Bradie Dunlap, the men he lived with on Beuhring Avenue in Charleston. In her closing statements to the jury, Assistant Prosecutor Tera Salango called Carter a cold-blooded killer. Salango said Carter took several whacks at his roommate with a baseball bat in a jealous rage, then turned on Forton. Carter's court-appointed public defender, Charles Hamilton, told the jury that police did an incomplete investigation and made many errors, resulting in Forton's body not being found for 24 hours. Hamilton said police did not look to see if there was another weapon, or another person there, and they didn't look for fingerprints.

Bomb Scare In Charleston

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Charleston Police closed several streets on the West Side Thursday morning after an employee at the One Main Financial Building in the 200 block of Virginia Street West called police after noticing a vehicle that had a "suspicious" sign  in a parking lot. The employee indicated there might be some sort of device inside but they weren't sure if it was a booby trap or practical joke. Charleston Police responded to the scene, and, after reading the note inside the vehicle, thought it would be best to call the Kanawha County Bomb Squad. Kanawha County technicians and bomb squad dogs searched the area, but gave the 'all-clear' shortly after arriving on the scene.

Convenience Store Remains Closed

{Huntington, West Virginia}...Cabell Circuit Judge Paul Farrell ruled Thursday that the All In One convenience store on 9th Avenue in Huntington will remain closed under a temporary restraining order. The store was shut down last month amid a federal investigation that involved defrauding the federal food stamp program. Farrell granted the city of Huntington’s request for the order on February 10th after store owner Abderahamane Eloirzazi was indicted by a federal grand jury. Eloirzazi’s attorney, Troy Giatras, says he will submit a plan to reopen the store at a hearing scheduled for April 3rd.

Cross Lanes Man Sentenced

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Brandon Justin Long, 25, of Cross Lanes, has been sentenced to at least 40 years in prison for sexually abusing his 6 year old niece. He asked for a 15 year prison sentence instead of the maximum, but Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib gave Long a sentence that extends to a possible 145 years instead and said his actions stole the innocence of a little girl. Long was arrested in October 2010 and also charged with possession of child pornography. Those charges were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea to the sexual abuse charges. His original charges related to several victims, all family members. He was sentenced to 25 to 100 years, 5 to 25 years and 10 to 20 years on three charges. Zakaib ordered those sentences to be served consecutively. Long also will be under additional court supervision for 50 years after his release and must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Former Airline Service Worker Sentenced

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Twenty-four-year-old Jared R. Phillips of Charleston has been sentenced to one year in federal prison on a wire fraud charge. He also was ordered to pay restitution. Prosecutors say Phillips, who worked for Regional Elite Airline Services, a company which provides airport ground handling and customer services for airlines nationwide, admitted using an airline reservation system at Yeager Airport to create vouchers using fake passenger names, passport numbers and dates of birth. He would then rebate the tickets' costs to credit and debit cards for himself and an associate. Prosecutor say the amount rebated totaled more than $110,000.

Plea Bargain Considered In Fatal Shooting

  • {Huntington, West Virginia}...Prosecutors could soon offer 56 year old Teresa Baker of Huntington a plea bargain. Baker is charged with killing her daughter's boyfriend, 25 year old Jeffrey D. Sadler, on February 4, 2008, more than an hour after Baker called 911 wanting police to stop Sadler from abusing her daughter. Police never arrived and Baker shot Sadler at the couple's Cedar St. home. Claims of prosecutorial misconduct and audio problems have led to years of delay, and now the court is faced with Baker's need for a new attorney because hers died in January. Both sides appeared Tuesday before Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson. Baker stood with her late attorney's son, Chad Hatcher, who asked the court for 30 days, while Baker's family works out details concerning her defense. Their side is contemplating the hiring of an Ohio attorney to assist Hatcher. Cabell County Prosecutor Chris Chris assured the court that he anticipates being able to offer Baker a plea bargain to a reduced charge.

Huntington Man Arrested For Allegedly Stabbing Girlfriend

  • {Huntington, West Virginia}...Nathan Graybeal, 32, of Huntington, was arrested Tuesday night and charged with malicious wounding and brandishing. Huntington Police responded to a call about a fight on Prospect Street, but Graybeal had left the scene by the time police arrived. Several hours later, police received a call about a stabbing at the same address. After returning to the scene, they arrested Graybeal, who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend in the torso.

Young Boy Killed...Case Sent To Circuit Court

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Kanawha County Magistrate Pete Lopez has refused to lower the $100,000 cash-only bond for 21 year old Ethan Chic-Colbert, the man accused in a domestic violence incident along Interstate 77 in Charleston that led to the death of 11 year old Jahlil Clements. Tuesday afternoon, Lopez heard testimony from a witness and the Charleston officer who led the investigation. Mary Crist of Fayette County said she was driving home just after midnight March 4th when she came upon a vehicle rolling backward on the interstate and thought there had been an accident and stopped. Crist testified that, when she and a friend got out of her vehicle to see if they could help, they discovered a man on top of a woman beating her with both fists. Crist identified that man as Chic-Colbert. Police have identified the woman as Lynitrah Woodson, Chic-Colbert's girlfriend and mother of Jahlil Clements. Police say the boy was trying to flag down help for his mother when a passing car struck him. Jahlil suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital where he died several hours later. Magistrate Lopez found probable cause to send the felony child neglect case against Chic-Colbert to Kanawha Circuit Court.

Case For Michigan Man Sent To Grand Jury

{Buffalo, West Virginia}...Ashlee Liebert, 33, of Whitmore Lake, Michigan, was in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing after being charged with sex abuse by a parent or guardian and third-degree sexual assault. Police say he traveled to Putnam County to meet a 12-year-old girl he met on the Internet. He was found in a car along Cross Creek Road in Buffalo with the young girl early Sunday morning. Liebert's attorney asked for a bond reduction, but prosecutors argued that Liebert has three felony convictions for drugs that date back to 2002 and that he could be dangerous and a flight risk. The magistrate denied the motion to reduce his bond and found probable cause to send the case to the grand jury.

Former UBB Security Chief Appealing Conviction

{Beckley, West Virginia}...An attorney for Hughie Elbert Stover, the former security chief found guilty of lying to investigators about the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine, says he's taking the case to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. A filing in U.S. District Court in Beckley says Judge Irene Berger wrongly denied a request for certain instructions to the jury, as well as Stover's request for a new trial. That motion also alleged prosecutorial misconduct. Stover was convicted in October of ordering security-related documents be destroyed following the disaster. He was sentenced to three years in prison on February 29th. It's one of the stiffest punishments ever issued in a mine safety case.

Huntington Police Arrest Detroit Man On Drug Charges

{Huntington, West Virginia}...Gerald Height, 36, of Detroit, has been charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver. Monday members of the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force were conducting surveillance at the bus station in Huntington when they observed a man carrying a suitcase to a car. Officers then followed that car, and ended up stopping it after they say the driver ran a red light. During a search of the car officers found 62 bags of heroin wrapped in a pair of jeans in the suitcase, along with several bags of marijuana in a jacket pocket.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pre-Trial Set In Cabell County Deadly Shooting

  • {Barboursville, West Virginia}...Prosecutors say 66 year old Harry Smith killed his wife Constance, 62, at their home on Birkewood Road in the East Pea Ridge area of Barboursville last July. Police say Smith shot his wife in the head with a .38 caliber revolver, but Smith told deputies the shooting was an accident. During his arraignment Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge, a pretrial date was set for April 9th. Also during the arraignment, his attorney asked for Smith's financial records to be checked because his funds are frozen.

Charleston Police Investigating Shooting

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Charleston Police are investigating after a person with gunshot wounds to the hand and hip walked into Charleston Area Medical Center Memorial Hospital around 6:30 A.M. Tuesday morning. The man identified himself as Jamal Jenkins, but upon further investigation, police determined his real name to be Isaiah M. Jones, 22, of New York. Jones refused to cooperate with the police investigation and would not say who shot him or where the shooting occurred. Police determined that the shooting occurred somewhere in Cross Lanes before Jones was driven to the hospital in Charleston.

Charleston Murder Trial Continues

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Bradie Dunlap, who was beaten with a baseball bat and in a hospital for nearly a week, took the stand Tuesday in the murder trial of Kenneth Carter. Carter is accused of killing Ronald Forton in July in an apartment on Charleston's West Side. Dunlap testified he saw Carter pick up the bat and attack his roommate, but defense attorney Chris Hamilton accused Dunlap of wavering from his earlier testimony. Dunlap said he and Forton were lovers. Prosecutors say Carter believed Forton was hitting on his wife, leading him to attack his roommates. Dunlap also described himself as a paranoid schizophrenic who has hallucinations and admitted the roommates routinely drank too much and fought with each other. During cross examination, Dunlap admitted it was possible someone else may have been responsible for the beatings. He also pointed out the three roommates were the only ones home at the time everything happened, and Carter was not injured like the other two.

Missing Mason County Brothers Found

{Glenwood, West Virginia}...Tuesday afternoon, Mason County Sheriff's Deputies, along with West Virginia State Police and the FBI, found 15 year old Daniel Tucker and his brother, 9 year old Jeremiah Austin, two boys reported missing in Mason County about 8;00 P.M. Monday night. They were found at a home a few ridges away from their own home. The brothers had last been seen at about 6:00 P.M. at their home on Old River Road in Glenwood. Their mother was unable to find them a short time later. Police say their disappearance was no accident, instead they ran away. Mason County Sheriff Mike Roach says they will either be placed in foster care or possibly with a family member.

WV Man To Stand Trial In Deputy's Death

{Waynesburg, Pennsylvania}...A southwestern Pennsylvania district judge has ordered that 35 year old Jerod Green, of Morgantown, West Virginia be held to stand trial on charges including murder of a law enforcement officer, homicide by vehicle while driving drunk and criminal homicide. On February 18th, officers were chasing Green after a hit-and-run accident when he crashed into a patrol car which was stopped in the median of Interstate 79 in Pennsylvania, killing 41 year old Sgt. Michael May, a deputy with the Monongalia County, West Virginia Sheriff's Office.

Storm Victims Get Tax Break

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has signed an executive order providing tax relief to residents in counties currently under a state of emergency from major flooding and extensive wind damage caused by recent storms. The order suspends sales, service and use taxes on purchase of certain building construction supplies, mobile homes, house trailers and modular homes to help restore and reconstruct storm-damaged properties. The order is extended to residents in Doddridge, Harrison, Lincoln, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Ritchie, Taylor and Wayne counties. Tomblin's office says tax exempt purchases can be made between March 12th and June 12th. Those seeking to make a tax exempt purchase must file an exemption certificate.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Charleston Murder Trial Underway

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...A murder trial got underway Monday afternoon for 51 year old Kenneth Eugene Carter. Carter is charged with murder and malicious wounding in the July 2011 beating death of 51 year old Ronald Forton. Police say Carter used a baseball bat to bludgeon his two roommates, killing Forton and seriously injuring 60 year old Bradie Dunlap while in a Buehring Avenue apartment on Charleston's West Side. Police found the body of Forton on July 21, 2011after Dunlap alerted them.

Attorney Seeks Delay For Former UBB Official

  • {Beckley, West Virginia}...Monday, defense attorney Tim Carrico asked for a postponement of a hearing for Gary May, a former superintendent of the Upper Big Branch mine. May is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Irene Berger in Beckley on March 22nd to enter a plea after being accused, among other things, of disabling a methane gas monitor, falsifying safety records and using code words to tip off miners underground about surprise inspections. May has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government and is apparently cooperating with prosecutors in a continuing criminal investigation of the 2010 explosion. Last week, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin asked Berger to schedule a hearing for May.

Man Charged In 7-Eleven Robbery

  • {South Charleston, West Virginia}...Police say 54 year old Gary Wayne Jeffrey went into the 7-Eleven on Rocklake Drive in South Charleston just after 10:00 P.M. Sunday night, pulled out a knife and demanded money. Police say Jeffrey then forced the clerk to go outside with him but ran when a customer arrived. Police found him at a home on MacCorkle Avenue in St. Albans.

Hatcher Convicted Of Involuntary Manslaughter

  • {Huntington, West Virginia}...Monday, a Cabell County jury convicted Rhamel Hatcher on a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter in the May 2010 beating death of Jeremy Cook, who died a few days after he was beaten outside Peckers Bar in Huntington. Hatcher took the stand Friday in his own defense and testified that he acted in self-defense and that he did not deliver a "fatal blow" to Cook. The jury had the case for two and a half hours on Friday and reconvened for about two hours Monday morning before reaching a decision. Hatcher is set to be sentenced on April 26th. He could serve up to 1 year in jail. Dwain Foster and Clyde Cooper were also charged in Cook’s death. Foster was sentenced to one to five years in prison, while Cooper was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Tomblin Submits Request For Federal Disaster

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Friday, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin submitted a request for a federal disaster declaration for residents of Marion, Lincoln, and Wayne counties. State Homeland Security Secretary Jimmy Gianato says there is about $5 million in highway damage alone, while more than 150 homes were damaged, about 70 of those either heavily damaged or destroyed. Several additional counties, most in northern West Virginia, are seeking assistance to repair public infrastructure outlets like water and sewer plants. Marion County was hardest hit by flooding. Wayne and Lincoln counties were ravaged by a tornado which blew through days later and caused widespread property damage.

Clay County Teen Shot To Death

{Nebo, West Virginia}...Troopers say Dillon Dawson, a freshman at Clay High School, was shot to death Saturday in by his 79 year old great uncle, Alfred Dawson. Investigators say it appears either the boy or his dog was mistaken for a coyote. Natural Resources Police have taken over the investigation that troopers say appears to be a tragic accident.

Michigan Man Arrested

{Buffalo, West Virginia}...Putnam County Deputies say 33 year old Ashlee Liebert from Whitmore Lake, Michigan came to West Virginia with plans to return to Detroit with a 12 year old Putnam County girl he met over the Internet while playing an online game called "World of Warcraft" about five months ago. A friend of the girl told a parent about her plans to leave with Liebert and police were notified. Putnam County Deputies were getting ready to issue an Amber Alert early Sunday morning when a call came in about a suspicious car along Cross Creek Road in Buffalo. Liebert, who was found in the backseat of the vehicle with the girl, is now facing charges of third degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Teenager Leads Police On Chase

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Charleston Police arrested 18 year old Larry Gaynor Saturday night. Police say Gaynor was driving drunk and going 86 miles per hour in a 50-mph speed zone on Corridor G when the officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but then Gaynor took off, leading police on a chase. Gaynor eventually crashed into another car near 50th Street and MacCorkle Avenue in Kanawha City. He then took off on foot, and police had to tase him before arresting him. Police charged Gaynor with grand larceny, felony fleeing, obstructing and resisting arrest and DUI under 21.

Bill Limits Purchases Of Cold Medicines

  • {Charleston, West Virginia}...Saturday, the West Virginia Senate unanimously approved the final version of a bill which would prevent individuals from buying more than 48 grams of -pseudoephedrine in one year. The bill would also cap purchases at 3.6 grams per day and 7.2 grams per month. It also endorses a multistate tracking system for these sales, steps up scrutiny of pain drug prescriptions and clinics that dispense them and increases oversight of methadone treatment centers.

Fatal Mining Accident

{Scarboro, West Virginia}...Jeremy Sigler of Nicholas County died in an accident at Alpha Natural Resources' Kingston 1 Mine in Scarboro, in Fayette County, Saturday night. A spokesperson with the Mine Safety and Health Administration says the foreman died when a rib rolled while he was running a continuous mining machine. The mine has been closed while MSHA investigates.

Hospital Administrator Denies Allegations

{Madison, West Virginia}...Rusty Felty, a clerk at the Little General Convenience Store in Madison, says he saw Tommy Mullins, the Administrator at Boone Memorial Hospital, having trouble using his credit card at the gas pump, so he came inside the store to use his card, and when that didn't work Rusty says Mullins became irate, went back outside, got a big metal object and began tossing it up in the air and acting like he was going to throw it through the window of the store. Rusty says he ran outside to see what the problem was and that's when Mullins pulled out a knife and came at him. Mullins tells a different story. He admits that there was trouble at the pump and says he got his pocket knife out to separate two things that were stuck together, and, when the attendant came around the building and spoke to him, he had the knife in his hand, but he strongly denies that he walked toward Felty or threatened him.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pedestrian Killed In Fayette County

{Dothan, West Virginia}...Fayette County Deputies say 21 year old Stephen Nichols was killed when he walked into the middle of WV 612 in Dothan around 1:00 A.M. Saturday morning and was hit by a small SUV. Deputies say the driver couldn't see Nichols because he was dressed in dark colored clothing. No charges are expected to be filed.

Arrests Made In Southside Burglaries

{Huntington, West Virginia}...John Anderson and Brittany Guthrie were arrested Friday in connection with more than a half dozen burglaries in the Southside area of Huntington. Huntington Police say the pair stole plasma TVs, laptops, jewelry, coins and a few pairs of shoes at eight homes. Guthrie is also charged with smuggling Lortab pills into the Western Regional Jail.

West Virginia State Police Scam Warning

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Sgt. Michael Baylous, spokesperson for the West Virginia State Police, says scammers are pretending to be from their organization, and they're asking for money through both email and telephone. Baylous says a woman from Parkersburg contacted him claiming she received an email, which appeared to be from state police, asking her to wire them $3,000 to post bond for her fiance who was allegedly being detained by immigrations and customs officials. Sgt. Baylous says he has gotten other complaints, but the West Virginia State Police is not, for any reason, going to request that you send or wire money to them.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hatcher Murder Trial Recesses

  • {Huntington, West Virginia}...The jury in the murder trial of 26 year old Rhamel Hatcher of South Point is set to resume at 9:30 A.M. Monday. Hatcher took the stand Friday in his own defense, testifying he acted in self-defense and that he did not deliver a "fatal blow" to Jeremy Cook. Cook, from Hurricane, was found beaten and unconscious in an alley behind a Huntington nightclub in May 2010. He died several days later at a hospital in Huntington. The case was handed over to the jury about 3:20 P.M. Friday.

Putnam County Man Charged With DUI Causing Death

  • {Winfield, West Virginia}...Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies say Caleb Beckner, 24, of Red House, was intoxicated when he lost control of his car on Poca River Road about 12:45 A.M. Friday morning, causing the car to land on its top in a ditch. Twenty-two year old Ashley Brooks of Poca, a passenger in the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. Beckner was charged with second offense aggravated DUI and DUI causing death.

Judge Denies Request For UBB Documents

{Washington, D.C.}...The Mine Safety and Health Administration doesn't have to turn over some information it gathered during the investigation of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion to the mine's former operator. Shortly after the 2010 blast that killed 29 men, Massey Energy subsidiary Performance Coal Co. filed Freedom of Information Act requests for what it called "potentially critical" material. Performance claimed the information could keep MSHA from prematurely assigning blame or deflecting attention from itself. In an opinion filed March 8th, U.S. Judge Richard J. Leon in Washington, D.C. denied Performance's request for relief and granted summary judgment to the Department of Labor and MSHA. Items that Performance was denied include "key testimony" from MSHA district manager Bob Hardman that could compromise integrity of the investigation. Judge Leon determined the defendants withheld the information to protect the inspectors, government employees, and miners from harassment, intimidation and the possibility of physical harm and to prevent an unwarranted invasion of their personal privacy.

Convicted Murderer Asking For New Trial

{Charleston, West Virginia}...In 2008, Desmond Clark chased his girlfriend, Nalisha Gravely, through a crowd of customers inside the Taco Bell on Charleston's West Side and into a storage closet where he fatally shot her at point-blank range. One year later, Clark took a plea deal and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Friday, Clark appeared in court with a new attorney, seeking a new trial. Clark took the stand Friday in his own defense, saying what he did that day was just a mistake, and, if he had not been intoxicated, it would have never happened. Defense attorney Sherman Lambert says Clark's lawyer at the time of sentencing failed to argue the drug use and the alcohol use as a factor. Prosecutors say Clark's killing of Gravely was premeditated, and now he has to face the consequences. The judge will have 30 days to make a decision.