Husband arrested for drugging prosecutor

The husband of Barbour County’s prosecuting attorney is free on bond after being arrested for allegedly drugging her so he could look at her cellphone and email messages.

William Francis “Frank” Poling Jr., 42, of Moatsville, was arrested for domestic battery, a misdemeanor, on March 21. He is free on $5.000 bond.

His wife, Leckta Poling, is the Barbour County prosecuting attorney.

According to the criminal complaint in Barbour County Magistrate Court, prepared by Sgt. G.S. Petsko of the West Virginia State Police, the Polings have been married for about 19 years and have four children.

“During 2012, the defendent had developed a suspicion about the victim’s marital fidelity, and desired unfettered access to the victim’s cellphone and emails,” the complaint states.

After dinner at the Polings’ Moatsville home on Sept. 2, 2012, Frank Poling allegedly crushed a tablet of the sedative Ambien and dissolved it in his wife’s drink, which she then consumed, according to the complaint.

Once his wife was asleep, Frank Poling allegedly went through her cellphone attempting to find out about her cellphone activity, messages and emails, the complaint states.

Petsko states that he interviewed Frank Poling during his investigation. Frank Poling allegedly admitted during the interview to drugging his wife, Petsko wrote in the complaint.

Monongalia County Magistrate Hershel Mullins has been appointed to hear the case. His clerk said Tuesday no hearing date has been set.

Leckta Poling did not immediately respond to a message Tuesday about the charge.

Calls to the Poling home went unanswered, and it was not immediately clear whether Frank Poling has an attorney. He is the son of Delegate Mary Poling, D-Barbour, who also lives in Moatsville.

The domestic battery charge carries a possible sentence of as much as a year in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Authorities could have charged Frank Poling with a felony count of attempting to injure by poisoning, which carries a possible sentence of three to 18 years in prison upon conviction.

He also could have been charged with unlawful restraint, a misdemeanor that also could result in a year in jail time for conviction.

Special prosecutor Lea Anne Hawkins of Marion County has been appointed to handle the case. She didn’t immediately return a telephone message about whether additional charges will be filed.