Elkins man pleads guilty to drug charges
The Elkins man caught with 7 pounds of marijuana in his van last year pleaded guilty in Randolph County Circuit Court Friday.
Kenneth Wayne Hatfield, 59, pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, marijuana, in front of Randolph County Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong. In exchange, Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker agreed to drop the remaining charges in the indictment.
As part of the plea agreement, Parker also agreed not to file any additional charges against Hatfield “that may have come to light based on the suppression hearing.”
At a Feb. 28 evidence suppression hearing in Circuit Court, Wilfong ruled that a traffic stop and search that preceded Hatfield’s June 21, 2012, arrest was legal. According to testimony at the hearing, officers pulled Hatfield over after he failed to use his turn signal and subsequently found 7 pounds of marijuana in his van.
Against the advice of his attorney, Matthew Fair, Hatfield took the witness stand during the suppression hearing.
His testimony revealed that he had lied to police officers and also possessed a concealed weapon in the vehicle – a “sword cane,” which is a sword hidden inside a walking cane.
Fair said after he’d received a letter from Parker notifying him of the prosecuting attorney’s intent to file further charges, his client had decided to plead guilty.
Hatfield admitted Friday that he’d intended to sell the 7 pounds of marijuana police uncovered in his van.
Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. May 3.
Also in Circuit Court Friday:
— Wilfong granted a defense motion for continuance in the case of 62-year-old Richard Clive Devine, of Elkins, who was previously indicted on first-degree sexual assault, among other charges, as part of a 16-count indictment.
Devine’s trial had been set for March 20-22; however, his attorneys, James Hawkins and Russell Stobbs, asked the court for additional time so that Devine could be evaluated for competency to stand trial. Hawkins said psychologist Dr. Robert Rush had recommended further evaluation.
“The issue of competency is of paramount concern,” Hawkins told Wilfong. “I feel compelled to ask the court to permit us a neuropsychologist to evaluate him before going forward.” Parker said that although the state was interested in resolving the case as soon as possible, “the safest thing would be to allow additional evaluation.”
Wilfong gave the defense permission to employ neuropsychologist Dr. Steven Cody to evaluate Devine.
Wilfong also granted a joint state and defense motion for continuance in the case of Bradley Reed, 53, of Beverly. Reed is accused of causing the Nov. 5, 2011, accident that killed 63-year-old Martha Rose of Beverly. According to police, Reed was allegedly was driving a red Dodge Neon hauling a trailer, which was carrying unsecured stolen vehicle rotors. One of the rotors fell off the trailer near Dotson Run Road and smashed through the windshield of a Dodge Caravan occupied by Roger and Martha Rose. The rotor struck Martha Rose, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
“This is a very serious case involving the death of an individual, which requires the testimony of experts,” Reed’s attorney, Hawkins, told the judge. The case has been scheduled for trial July 18-19.
— Samuel Lee Parrish, 25, of Beverly, pleaded guilty to failure to register as a sexual offender or provide notice of registration changes. In exchange, Parker agreed to dismiss two charges of failure to register as a sex offender currently pending in Randolph County Magistrate Court.
Sentencing is set for 1:15 p.m. April 3.
— Robert William Wamsley III, 24, of Elkins, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.
Sentencing will be at 9 a.m. on May 3.
— Travis Hammonds, 22, of Elkins, was sentenced to one year in the regional jail for misdemeanor conspiracy and one year in the regional jail for petit larceny, a misdemeanor; these sentences are to run consecutively. Wilfong instructed Hammonds’ attorney, Dwight Hall, to file a motion for reconsideration within 90 days.
Hammonds and Tonya Nichole Bender, 24, of Elkins, were named in the same indictment, which accuses them of breaking into Haney’s Bar in Mill Creek on April 28, 2012, and stealing two bottles of liquor and money.
Wilfong granted a state motion to dismiss charges pending against Bender. The charges will be dismissed without prejudice, meaning the state has the option of bringing the charges back up in court.
— Olan Earl McCauley, 27, of Dunbar, pleaded guilty to obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor, and misdemeanor conspiracy in exchange for the state dismissing the remaining charges pending against him. Sentencing is set for 1:15 p.m. April 3.
— Ashley Nichole McCauley, also known as Ashley Nichole Ord, of Nitro, pleaded guilty to fleeing from an officer in a vehicle, a felony. The state dismissed all remaining charges pending against McCauley and agreed to stand silent at McCauley’s sentencing, which is set for 1:15 p.m. April 3.
— Jesse Tolson, 26, of Harman, pleaded guilty to one count of wanton endangerment involving a firearm, a felony, and in exchange, the state agreed to drop all remaining charges pending against Tolson, including misdemeanor offenses. Sentencing is set for 10:30 a.m. May 3.
— James Eddy, 33, of Elkins, pleaded guilty to one count of failure to register as a sexual offender or provide notice of registration changes, first offense, a felony. Parker moved to dismiss any additional charges and agreed to stand silent at Eddy’s sentencing hearing, which is set for 10:30 a.m. May 3.
— Justin Pete Short, 29, of Elkins, pleaded guilty to two counts of failure to register as a sexual offender or provide notice of registration changes, a felony. Remaining charges will be dismissed, and sentencing is set for 1:15 p.m. May 3.
— Franklin Bayard Gibson Jr., 33, of Mill Creek, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery in official and political matters, a felony, and felony conspiracy. Remaining charges will be dismissed and the state will stand silent at Gibson’s sentencing hearing, set for 10:30 a.m. May 3.
— Kenneth James McCauley II, an inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center, pleaded guilty to one count of felony conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery in official and political matters, a felony. Sentencing is set for 1:15 p.m. May 3.
— Joshua Shane Howes, of Windham, Ohio, entered into a 24-month pre-trial diversion agreement, meaning if Howes does not violate any laws, attends school or work regularly, remains in contact with his attorney and does not enter the grounds of any state or regional correctional facility, charges pending against him will be dismissed. Howes was named in the same indictment as Gibson and McCauley; however, Parker said it would be difficult for the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Howes was involved in a plot in which inmates bribed Huttonsville Correctional Center employees to deliver contraband to the facility.
— James Francis Harris, 64, an inmate at Mt. Olive Correctional Facility, was sentenced to one to five years in the state penitentiary on a felony charge of unlawful assault; this sentence is to run consecutive to the sentence Harris is currently serving.
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