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Johnson heads to prison, others have day in Court

Braxton Citizens News of Sutton, West Virginia

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Ronald Lee Johnson appeared before Judge Richard A. Facemire in Braxton County Circuit Court on October 13 along with his attorney, Clinton Bischoff, and Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Hamon-McLaughlin representing the state for sentencing. Bischoff announced to the court that his client had been apprehended in another county after he left the drug rehabilitation facility which the court had permitted him to attend. Johnson stated he took full responsibility for his actions and was prepared to be sentenced. Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin recommended the court to impose the penitentiary sentence.

The court found the defendant had failed to benefit from prior opportunities of probation and drug rehabilitation and was in need of correctional treatment in a correctional setting. Therefore, Judge Facemire ordered the defendant to the state penitentiary for a period of not less than one year but not more than 10 years for his conviction, upon a plea for the felony offense of grand larceny and one year but not more than five years for his guilty plea to the felony offense of conspiracy. The court further ordered that the sentences would run consecutively to each other, for a total period of incarceration of not less than two years but not more than 15 years. Johnson would be given credit for time served of 257 days at the Central Regional Jail. The defendant was also ordered to pay any restitution determined due by the probation department to the victim.

Robert Benjamin Morgan along with attorney, Kevin Hughart, and Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin appeared before Judge Facemire for a plea hearing on October 8. Both parties informed the court that a plea agreement had been reached in which the defendant would plead guilty to the felony offense of delivery of a controlled substance-Heroin. The state agreed to dismiss all other charges that the defendant may have pending at the time, but reserves the right to argue at sentencing.

Judge Facemire declared Morgan guilty of the felony offense and ordered all other charges be dismissed with prejudice. The court also moved to delay the sentencing in order to have a pre-sentence investigation report completed. Morgan's sentencing will be on November 12 beginning at 10:15 am.

On October 8, Jesse King along with his attorney, Eric Wildman, and Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin, representing the state appeared before the court for a plea hearing. Both parties announced to the court a plea agreement had been reached. King will plead guilty to the felony count of delivery of a controlled substance-Hydrocodone. The state agreed to dismiss all other charges and would recommend probation at sentencing.

Judge Facemire declared guilty of the felony count and ordered all boundover matters related to King be dismissed with prejudice. The court also moved to delay sentencing until a pre-sentence investigation report can be completed. Sentencing is scheduled for November 12 beginning at 1:45 pm.

Danny Smallwood along with his attorney, Kevin Hughart and Prosecuting Attorney

McLaughlin representing the state, appeared before the court on October 8 for a plea hearing. A plea agreement had been reached by both parties in which Smallwood would plead guilty to the two felony counts of sexual assault in the third degree in the indictment. The state will remain silent at sentencing and will dismiss the remaining counts in the indictment. The defendant will have to register as a sex pffender fo.r life. Judge Facemire declared

Smallwood guilty on the two counts of sexual assault and ordered the remaining counts dismissed.

The court moved to delay the sentencing in order to have a sexual offender evaluation completed. Smallwood will appear before the court for sentencing on November 12 beginning at 10:00 am.

Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin representing the state and Eric Wildman, along with his client, Jason Ellison, appeared before Judge Facemire for a plea hearing on October 8. The court was informed by both parties that a plea agreement had been reached in which the defendant would plea guilty to one felony count of child neglect creating bodily injury and the state would dismiss the remaining counts of the indictment and remain silent at sentencing. Ellison also agreed to testify for the state against the co-defendant if necessary.

The court found the defendant guilty and moved to delay sentencing for the purpose of having, a presentence investigation report completed. Sentencing is scheduled for November 12 beginning at 1:45 pm.

On October 13, Vondellia Louise Rose appeared before the court along with court appointed attorney, Bemie Mauser, as her prior counsel, Jonathan Fritto had been relieved of any further action. The State was represented by Prosecuting Attorney of Braxton County, Kelly Hamon McLaughlin during this arraignment hearing. Rose entered a "not guilty" plea to the three counts listed in the indictment, including one felony count of DUI-3ld offense, one misdemeanor count of obstructing and one misdemeanor count of assault on an Emergency Service Personnel.

Mauser made a motion on behalf of his client for the trial be continued to the next term of court with no objections from the state. Judge Facemire ordered the trial be continued until the February 2016 term and for the jurv trial to be set on February 9, 2016 at 9:00 am. A final pre-trial hearing will be held by the court on January 11, 2016 at 10:00 am.

Judge Facemire also ordered a drug screening prior to Rose leaving the courthouse that day. Rose submitted to a drug screen and produced a positive sample. The defendant was then brought back before the court and denied using any substances. The court ordered that it would not in-carcerate Rose pending confirmation from the lab.

On October 13, Jeffery Eugene Agee with his attorney, Kevin Hughart and with Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin appeared before Judge Facemire for arraignment. Agee entered a "not guilty" plea to four counts of sexual assault in the first degree, three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, and ten counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian, or person in position of trust. Judge Facemire ordered a trial be set for December 8 beginning at 9:00 am with the pre-trial hearing on November 19 at 9:00 am.

Hughart requested Agee's bond to be reduced to $10,00.0 cash or surety as he cannot post bond as it is currently set. The state had no objection to the defendant's bond being lowered to $50,000 cash or 'surety. The court granted the motion to reduce the bond to. $50,000 cash or surety. The court further ordered that if Agee would post bond, he will be placed on home confinement.

On October 13, Eric Wildman, attorney for James D. Criner, who was not present, and Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin, appeared before the court for an arraignment hearing. Wildman stated he had not been in contact with Criner and did not know where he was when questioned by Judge Facemire. A bench warrant was issued for the arrest of Criner for the afternoon of October 14, in order to give the attorney time to attempt to contact his client.

On October 13, Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin and David M. Jarrell appeared before the court for arraignment. JarrelFs attorney, Jonathan Fritto was not present so therefore prior to the arraignment, the court appointed Daniel Armstrong to represent the defendant and removed Fritto from the case with no objections from the defendant.

Jarrell entered a plea of "not guilty" to the four counts contained in the indictment, which is a joint indictment, including one count, of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab, one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled sub-stance-Methamphetamine, one count of possession of precursors to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy.

Judge Facemire ordered the trial be set for December 8 beginning at 9:00 am with the pre-trial hearing on November 19 beginning at 9:30 am.

The court also ordered Jarrell to submit to a drug screening before leaving the courthouse that day. The defendant informed the court that he would fail for THC as he had recently smoked marijuana. Jarrell underwent the drug screen and his sample was positive for THC. The court ordered that he would not incarcerate the defendant as he had informed them prior to the ding screening he would be positive.

Tonya Haley along with her attorney, Andrew Chattin and, Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin appeared be Judge Facemire for arraignment on October 13. Haley entered a plea of "not guilty" to the four counts contained in the indictment, which is a joint indictment, including one count of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab, one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled sub-stance-Methamphetamine, one count of possession of precursors to be used in the manufacture of metham-phetamine and one count of conspiracy.

Judge Facemire ordered the trial be set for December 8 beginning at. 9:00 am with the pre-trial hearing on November 19 beginning at 9:30 am.

The court also ordered Haley to submit to a drug screening before leaving the courthouse that day. The defendant underwent the drug screen and her sample was negative.

Matthew Knight along with Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin appeared before the court oh October 13 for arraignment. Knight was being represented by attorney, Bernie Mauser, who was standing in for David Karickhoff.

Knight entered a plea of "not guilty" to the four counts contained in the indictment, which is a joint indictment, including one count of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab, one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled sub-stance-Methamphetamine, one count of possession of precursors to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy.

Judge Facemire ordered the trial be set. for December 8 beginning at 9:00 am with the pre-trial hearing on November 19 beginning at 9:30 am.

On October 13, Kristin Felicia Bender, appeared before the court for arraignment. Prior to arraignment, the court had appointed Daniel Armstrong to represent the defendant as her attorney' Jonathan Fritto was not present. Armstrong informed the court that he had represented the father in an abuse and neglect case involving the defendant, but felt he could still adequately represent Bender in this matter. Judge Facemire questioned Bender regarding the potential conflict and she waived any conflict. The state was represented by Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin in this matter.

The defendant entered the plea of "not guilty" to the two counts of delivery of a controlled substance-Morphine.

Judge Facemire ordered a pre-trial hearing for November 19 beginning at 10:15 am with the trial for this case to be held on December 15 beginning at9:00 am.

Bernard Mauser along with his client Jeffrey J. Flint and Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin came before the court on October 13 for arraignment. The defendant entered the plea of "not guilty" to the one count of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory. Hint also requested the trial be continued until the next term in February 2016. The court then ordered the jury trial be set for February 9 at 9:00 am.

On October 13, Clinton Bischoff, representing Christina Diane Cutlip and Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin came before Judge Facemire for arraignment. The defendant entered a plea of "not guilty" to the three counts listed in the indictment including, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance-Methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy. The pre-trial hearing will be set for November 9 beginning at 9:00 am and the trial will be set for December 8 beginning at 9:00 am.

Daniel Rose along with Bernie Mauser, standing in for David Karickoff, appeared before the court on October 13 for arraignment. The state was represented by Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin.

Rose entered a plea of "not guilty" to one count of grand larceny. The case will go to trial on December 8 beginning at 9:00 am and a pre-trial hearing is set for November 19 beginning at 10:00 am.

Attorney David Karickhoff, representing his client, Sedona Knoff, along with Prosecuting Attorney McLaughlin appeared before the court on October 15 for the purpose of a plea hearing. Both parties announced to the court that a plea agreement had been reached in which Knoff would plead guilty to the felony charge of possession of a controlled substance in a Regional Jail. McLaughlin recommended the sentence in this matter run concurrent to any sentence Knoff is currently serving out of another jurisdiction and would dismiss any remarrying charges pending in Braxton County. The court agreed to the plea agreement and found the defendant guilty of the felony offense and ordered the other-charges dismissed with prejudice.

Judge Facemire then moved to delay the sentencing in order to have a presentence investigation report completed. The sentencing hearing will be held on November 16 at 1:30 pm.

Dylan Lamar

Stalnaker and his lawyer, Jonathan Fritto, appeared in Braxton County Circuit Court on October 27 for a sentencing hearing. The State of West Virginia was represented by Jasmine Morton, Braxton County's Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Fritto requested a diagnostic and classification evaluation for his client with no objection from the State.

After reviewing the pre-sentence investigation report and the defendant's criminal history, Judge Richard A. Facemire found there was insufficient information to determine sentencing at the time and therefore ordered Stalnaker to be delivered to the Department of Corrections to undergo a Diagnostic and Classification Evaluation and to be kept separate from the general inmate population. Stalnaker will remain in the custody of the Central Regional Jail until availability at the North Correctional Facility. Once transferred, Stalnaker will be evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist with an emphasis on alcohol and substance abuse. After completion of the evaluation, the defendant will be transported back the Central Regional Jail to remain pending sentencing hearing ordered for January 11, 2016 beginning at 9:30 am.

On October 19, Christina Ann Marks with the assistance of her attorney, Bryan Hinkle, fried a motion for reconsideration/modification of sentence. Marks was sentenced to home confinement and probation on June 22, 2015 and only three days later, violated the terms and conditions of her home confinement by testing positive for controlled substances. She was ordered to serve 60 days at the Central Regional Jail and then would be placed on home confinement for one year as long as she resided with L.G. Marks. In the motion for reconsideration/modification, Marks stated she was not able to reside with Marks and asked to be released and placed on probation. The court denied the defendant's motion based on her serious problem with controlled substances and not meeting prior conditions to the home confinement.

Robin Lynn Tonkin, acting on her own behalf, filed a motion for reconsideration of sentence before Judge Facemire on October 20. This was her third motion for reconsideration and it was once again denied by the court. The court cited Tonkin's serious drug problem and believed it would be in her best interest to complete her sentence.



Copyright 2015 Braxton Citizens' News, Sutton, West Virginia. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 3, 2015



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