Bond reduced in gun case

ELKINS – Bond was reduced Wednesday for an Elkins man who allegedly caused a disturbance while illegally armed in Randolph County Magistrate Court.

Daniel Paige Stutler, 81, of Elkins, was arrested April 8 by the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office and charged with one count of possessing a deadly weapon on court premises and one count of possession of a concealed weapon without a license, both misdemeanors. His bond was previously set at $100,000 cash only by Randolph County Magistrate Rob Elbon.

Stutler appeared in Court Wednesday with his attorney, Dwight Hall, who argued for a reduction in bond, saying the reason Stutler was in the Magistrate’s Office on April 8 was to attempt to resolve a property dispute with his neighbors.

Hall argued the neighbors were antagonizing Stutler, who went to the office to file a protective order. Hall said Stutler had been incarcerated since the incident four weeks ago.

“This is an 80-year-old man who has absolutely no criminal history,” Hall said. “This whole thing stems from a property dispute that has gotten very heated. An 80-year-old man doesn’t need to be in jail.”

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Lori Haynes said the state agreed with a modification of bond, saying while Stutler was in possession of a gun at the Magistrate’s Office, he wasn’t “waving it around or threatening to use it in anyway.” Haynes also raised a concern regarding Stutler’s alleged history of depression, and recommended to the court that Stutler seek help with regard to his mental health.

Senior Status Judge Thomas Steptoe granted the motion, reducing the bond from $100,000 cash only to $10,000 cash or surety.

Also in Randolph County Circuit Court Wednesday:

  • A jury was selected for the trial of Rebecca Blankenship, 39, of Huttonsville, which is scheduled for May 15.

Blankenship is facing one count of driving while license revoked for DUI, third or subsequent offense, a felony, as well as one count of having no insurance and one count of having no registration, both misdemeanors. The case centers around an incident that occurred on Nov. 23, 2012.

  • Gary Cool, 30, of Monterville, pleaded not guilty to one count of driving while his driver’s license was revoked for DUI, third offense, a felony and one count of giving false information to a member of the Department of Public Safety, a misdemeanor.

His jury selection was set for June 4 and the trial was scheduled for June 10.

The case was continued previously due to a conflict of interest for Randolph County Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong, who said Cool was a client of hers several years ago. Cool was indicted on Feb. 25.

Contact Chad Clem by email at cclem@theintermountain.com.