Rock Cave man facing abuse charges heading to Grand Jury

A Rock Cave man facing sexual abuse charges waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Upshur County Magistrate Court Friday, and his case was bound over for future grand jury consideration.

Margel Tenney, 57, HC 32, Box 59, is being held at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond. A motion to reduce that bond was denied Wednesday by Upshur County Magistrate Mike Coffman.

Margel Tenney is facing three charges of sexual abuse by a parent or guardian. The first two charges were filed March 13 following Margel Tenney’s arrest in Jane Lew after an all-night manhunt.

The West Virginia State Police alleged that Margel Tenney inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl earlier in March. While investigators were questioning a family member on March 12 at the Buckhannon detachment, Margel Tenney reportedly left that office, drove to a southern Upshur County residence and left with 16-year-old Shaina Tenney and her 7-month-old daughter.

He then allegedly traveled to Webster County, where police said he picked up 18-year-old James Tenney. The group abandoned the 1999 Dodge pickup truck in which they were traveling at a Belington area gas station around 6:30 p.m., switching to a 2003 Ford Taurus and telling people they were headed to Texas. Margel Tenney was taken into custody around 9:45 a.m., March 13 after a patrolling state trooper spotted the car on Interstate 79 near Jane Lew.

The third sexual abuse by a parent or guardian charge was filed later in the week after State Police investigators learned that Margel Tenney allegedly had sexual relations with a 15-year-old female in November 2011 which resulted in her pregnancy, according to a criminal complaint filed in Upshur County Magistrate Court.

The complaint further stated that Margel Tenney allegedly arranged for the girl’s marriage when she was 16 and after having the baby.

The next term of the Upshur County grand jury is scheduled for May.

A grand jury only determines if there is enough evidence to warrant additional court proceedings.