Bond modified in Randolph County obscene material case

The bond of a Valley Bend man accused of sending sexually explicit letters and pictures to a female minor was modified Wednesday in Randolph County Magistrate Court.

Magistrate Rob Elbon altered 22-year-old Shawn D. Shields’ bond from $140,000 cash or surety to $50,000 personal recognizance at the request of Shields’ attorney, Jim Hawkins. Shields also waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

In 2010, Shields was charged with 14 felony counts of distribution of obscene material to a minor, but his charges were dismissed pursuant to a pretrial diversion agreement. However, Cpl. A.S. Loudin with the West Virginia State Police’s Crime Against Children Unit filed the charges again in magistrate court April 24 after discovering that Shields had allegedly violated the terms of the agreement by having unsupervised contact with minors under the age of 18.

Assistant Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Lori Gray did not oppose the bond modification, noting that Randolph County Circuit Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong had set bond at $50,000 personal recognizance when the case was previously litigated in Circuit Court.

At Gray’s request, however, Elbon attached to the bond the condition that Shields not have any contact with anyone under the age of 18 – either supervised or unsupervised.

“Do you understand?” Elbon asked Shields.

“Yes, sir, I do,” Shields replied.

Hawkins said that Shields was waiving his preliminary hearing because he believed Circuit Court would be a more appropriate venue in which to contest the charges.