Competency evaluation ordered for jailed man

PHILIPPI – A Belington man accused of attempting to beat the devil out of a former girlfriend he believed was possessed will undergo a competency evaluation.

William Lee Marsh III, 43, entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment Friday in Barbour County Circuit Court. Marsh is also accused of mutilating and photographing three dogs over the course of several months, according to previous reports.

Circuit Judge Alan Moats granted a motion Friday filed by Marsh’s attorney, Chaelyn Casteel, requesting that criminal competency and responsibility evaluations be conducted on Marsh by Dr. Thomas Adamski. If possible, Adamski is to conduct the evaluations at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail – where Marsh remains incarcerated – to avoid Marsh’s transportation to a hospital.

Because of the seriousness of the allegations made against Marsh, Moats increased the overall bond in the case from $50,000 to $500,000 and added terms and conditions that must be met should Marsh be able to post bond.

If his bond is posted, Marsh must not have any contact with the alleged victims, including his former girlfriend, the owners of the dogs he allegedly mutilated or the owner of the credit card he allegedly used to purchase a form of ammunition that Moats said could have been used to harm the dogs.

Marsh was indicted during the February term of the Barbour County Grand Jury on one felony count of first-degree sexual abuse, three felony counts of animal cruelty, one felony count of forgery of a credit card, one felony count of violation of a protective order and one misdemeanor count of domestic battery.

The alleged sexual abuse charge, according to the original criminal complaint, occurred on Jan. 14 during a domestic incident when Marsh allegedly forced a female victim to engage in sexual acts. The complaint states the alleged victim asked him to stop, but he did not do so.

That same day, Marsh allegedly attempted to “beat a demon” from his then-girlfriend after grabbing her by the hair and pushing her face against a mirror. He allegedly screamed at her and told her that he could see in her eyes that she was possessed, according to the criminal complaint that charges him with domestic battery.

The complaint states that Marsh allegedly grabbed the woman by her throat, attempting to “get the demon out” and demanding that she look him in the eye. The complaint alleges that he threw her on the toilet and hit her in the chest, saying, “Demon be gone.”

On Jan. 16, Marsh allegedly tried to make contact with a victim who had filed a protective order against him by having his mother and a friend leave telephone messages on the alleged victim’s voicemail.

Marsh also is accused of committing violent acts against various dogs, according to three complaints on file at the Barbour County Magistrate Court.

One complaint alleges that on on Dec. 24, 2013, he shot a neighbor’s dog with a rifle and it ran away yelping. He allegedly returned afterward to take it away then wrap it in Christmas decorations and take pictures of it.

Another complaint alleges that he mutilated a dog on April 12, 2013, also taking photos of that dog – this time including himself in the photos. The photos allegedly are taken of Marsh wearing the dog’s skin and biting its tongue.

The third complaint alleges that he recorded a video of a dead dog that had been shot in the neck on Aug. 17, 2013. The video also allegedly depicts Marsh using what appeared to be a machete to mutilate the dog.

Three other arraignments were held Friday, including:

  • Brian Lee Brookover, 42, of Moundsville, pleaded not guilty to eight felony counts of third-degree sexual assault, one felony count of incest and one felony count of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian.

Moats set his bond for $150,000 and ordered that he have no contact with any child under the age of 18. Moats also ordered that his living arrangement must be approved prior to his potential release on bond and that he is not to have any contact with the alleged 7-year-old victim or that child’s mother, whether that contact be direct or indirect.

  • Beth Ann Bolyard, 47, of Buckhannon, pleaded not guilty to one felony count of first-degree arson. She posted her $20,000 bond on Feb. 14. Her attorney, Trena Williams, said that she also was indicted for an arson charge in Upshur County and the charge there is still pending.
  • Matthew Rion Streets, 29, of Philippi, pleaded not guilty to one felony count of driving while under the influence, third or subsequent offense. His driver’s license was confiscated during his arraignment and Moats ordered that he not drive for any reason. He was placed on bond supervision with the Barbour County Community Corrections program.

A total of 12 people were indicted during the February term of the Barbour County Grand Jury, but the original arraignment day scheduled for Monday was postponed due to inclement weather. The rescheduled arraignments were divided up among three different dates, which will include 9 a.m. Monday and 9 a.m. March 26.