Judge reduces bond in false emergency case
PARSONS – Tucker County Circuit Judge Lynn A. Nelson reduced the bond Wednesday of an Elkins man accused of allegedly reporting a false emergency and making false claims.
George Keihl, 28, who is currently lodged in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, was arrested in early February following an incident that occurred in Parsons.
Keihl’s attorney, Frank Bush Jr., said the incident happened after Keihl walked or hitchhiked from Elkins to Parsons.
“On a cold, snowy night, he got himself from Elkins to Parsons,” Bush told the court Wednesday. “The allegations are that he wanted a ride back to Elkins.”
Bush said his client saw two West Virginia State Police troopers at Sheetz in Parsons, and asked them to take him back to Elkins.
“They told him they could not do that, so he allegedly said he was going to call an ambulance, saying he had chest pain and was spitting up blood, so he could get a ride back to Elkins,” Bush said.
“First of all, Mr. Keihl did not hurt anybody and he did not damage any property,” Busch said. “I can appreciate that he used an ambulance when there could have been an emergency, but his bail is set at $21,000 cash only. I would submit that this is excessive.”
Tucker County Prosecuting Attorney Ray LaMora III said he objected to the reduction of bond. LaMora called on Trooper James Cornelius, who transported Keel to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
Cornelius said Keihl told him he planned to go to Kentucky.
“When I picked him up, he told me I was lucky to find him because he was headed to Kentucky,” Cornelius said.
Cornelius said he located Keihl in Central Towers in Elkins, where he lives.
Nelson reduced Keihl’s bond to $10,000 cash.
Also appearing in Tucker County Circuit Court Wednesday:
– Francesca Cortes, 26, of 45 Murlin Dr., Inwood, was indicted in February on two counts each of first degree sexual assault, sexual abuse by a parent or guardian and incest.
Cortes appeared with her attorney, Megan Allender. Nelson set a motion hearing for 9:30 a.m. July 10. He also set July 21 for her one-day trial. Jury selection is slated for July 21 before the trial.
– David A. Howell, 38, of 124 Long St., Hambleton, was indicted in February on two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. Howell appeared with his attorney, Bush. Nelson set a motion hearing for 9:30 a.m. April 15.
– Clifford S. Boyles, 46, of 222 Water St., Parsons, was indicted in February for failure to register or provide notice of registration changes in Feb. He appeared with his attorney, Bush. Nelson set a motion hearing for 9:30 a.m. April 15.
– Kandice Sponaugle, 24, of 401 Main St., Parsons, was indicted in February on third offense DUI. Nelson set a motion hearing for 9:30 a.m. April 15.
– April Miller, 29, of 914 S. Davis Ave., Elkins, was indicted on one count of child neglect resulting in serious bodily injury, two counts of child neglect resulting in death, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of permitting DUI in Feb. She appeared with her attorney, Timothy Prentice.
Prentice asked for the court to approve funding for a toxicologist, an accident reconstructionist and a forensic pathologist to determine the status of the driver.
Nelson approved up to $5,000 for Prentice’s request. He set the next hearing for 10:30 a.m. June 9.
– Philip A. Phillips Sr., 54, of 265 7th St., Davis, was indicted in February on 12 counts, including three counts of second degree sexual assault, one count of first degree sexual abuse, six counts of sexual abuse by a parent or guardian and two counts of third degree sexual abuse. Phillips appeared with his attorney, Pat A. Nichols.
LaMora asked that the case be dismissed and Phillips be released from bond.
– David Lee Close, 35, of 106 Thornwood Lane, Parsons, was indicted in February on one count of malicious wounding. Close appeared with attorney Tim Prentice.
LaMora said he was waiting on one item of disclosure. Nelson set the motion hearing for 9:30 a.m. April 15.
– Michael Hartzell, 47, of 676 Mulberry Ave., Clarksburg, was indicted in February on one count of bribery in an official matter. Nelson granted a continuance in the case and set a motion hearing for 9:30 a.m. April 15.
– Cody Lucas, 29, of 111 West Liberty, Oakland, Md., was indicted in February on one count of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. LaMora said Lucas failed to appear in court Wednesday and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
All individuals named are presumed innocent until proven guilty.