Former inmate pleads not guilty

A former inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center was arraigned for allegedly bribing a correctional officer to smuggle tobacco into the prison Wednesday in Randolph County Circuit Court.

Randall Beatty, 26, of Mineral Wells, pleaded not guilty to two felonies – bribery in official and political matters and conspiracy to commit bribery in front of Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong. After being indicted in February, Beatty was scheduled to appear for bond return March 6 in Circuit Court, but when he failed to do so, Wilfong issued a capias.

On Wednesday, however, Beatty appeared voluntarily with his attorney, Matthew Fair.

“He did not receive information about the arraignments until after the arraignments appeared in the paper,” Fair told Wilfong, who ordered that the capias be vacated.

Beatty was named in two counts of a 19-count indictment also involving Paul Edward Bibbee, 47, an inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center, Alston W. Jackson, 49, of Buckhannon, and Ralph Richard Morgan, 37, an inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center.

The indictment alleges that Beatty bribed Jackson – who, at the time, was employed as a Huttonsville correctional officer – to smuggle tobacco into the prison on April 12, 2012.

Also in Circuit Court Wednesday, Wilfong granted a defense motion for continuance in the case of 32-year-old Kristie Dawn Martin of Harman. Wilfong issued a capias for Martin after she failed to appear at a Jan. 30 sentencing hearing on third-offense shoplifting charges.

Martin was taken into custody March 7. Martin’s attorney, Matthew Fair, asked for a continuance in light of the fact that his client is facing more serious charges in Upshur County that could result in a sentence of three to 15 years in the state penitentiary, he said.

“To be frank, your honor, if she’s sentenced to three to 15 years, I’m going to ask that this sentence (from Randolph County Circuit Court) run concurrent to that sentence,” Fair asked.

Wilfong said he could make the same request in Upshur County Circuit Court should Martin be sentenced in Randolph County first.

“Let’s just set it for the next available date,” the judge set.

Deeming her a flight risk, Wilfong revoked Martin’s bond and set a sentencing hearing for 9 a.m. April 16.

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