Garcia sentenced in child abuse case

ELKINS – A mother who admitted to allowing her children to be beaten by her husband was sentenced to one to three years in prison Tuesday in Randolph County Circuit Court.

Loren J. Garcia, 31, of Dailey, will be required to undergo 10 years of intensive post-release supervision and must register as a child abuser for 10 years after being released from prison.

Garcia entered a guilty plea to one count of child abuse resulting in bodily injury, a felony, on April 4.

Garcia was indicted jointly with her partner, Raymond James Kale, Jr, 27, of Dailey, after accusations arose alleging that Kale had beaten his 9-year-old step-son and 7-year-old step-daughter – Garcia’s children – in a May 2013 incident.

Prior to sentencing at Tuesday’s hearing, Garcia’s attorney, Jeremy Cooper, and Randolph County Assistant Prosecutor Christina Harper both recommended a sentence of one year in the county jail. Matthew Fair, serving as guardian ad litem for the victims in the case, agreed with the recommendation, stating that by agreeing to a guilty plea, Garcia displayed an “acceptance of responsibility” for her actions.

Garcia read a statement to the court expressing remorse and regret that she was missing her children growing up.

“I pray that God protects them, because I have failed to,” she read. “The true victims (in this case) are my children… I want to say I am truly sorry to the court and to my children.”

Garcia asked the court for mercy and stated she “wants to be a productive member of society,” and has joined a church for support.

Senior Status Judge Thomas Steptoe sentenced Garcia to one to three years in prison, saying the incident was a “a pretty egregious example of child neglect… (involving) a metal pole” and the “number of blows appears to be extraordinary.”

Kale, whose sentencing is scheduled for June 3, was indicted in June on two felony counts of child abuse resulting in injury, child abuse or neglect creating risk of injury.

Garcia was indicted in June on one felony count of child neglect resulting in injury, child abuse or neglect creating risk of injury, and one count of child abuse resulting in injury, child abuse or neglect creating risk of


According to the criminal complaint written by Senior Trooper S.E. Hevener of the West Virginia State Police, Hevener and a Child Protective Services employee met with the boy at his school, where they observed multiple bruises on the boy’s body: a wound on his back was consistent with a straight line from a wound on his arm; a wound on his left leg was greenish-yellow in color; and his entire right buttock was discolored black and blue, according to the complaint.

The boy reportedly told Hevener that Kale had struck him with a metal pipe and a belt about 80 times and threw the pipe at him at one point, leaving a circular bruise with broken skin. The boy allegedly said Kale initially struck him about 10 times with the pipe, and then the boy tried to run away, but his mother, Garcia, grabbed him and held him. Kale then hit him with the pipe about 70 more times, the complaint states.

Hevener and the Child Protective Services employee spoke with the girl, according to the complaint. She said Kale also struck her and that she received about 100 “whacks” from the metal pipe. Hevener wrote that the girl had yellowish bruising on her buttocks and leg.

Within hours, Hevener obtained a search warrant for the home of Kale and Garcia. While searching the residence, Hevener found a black metal pipe about one inch in diameter and about two feet long “that was an extra piece to a shower organizer,” according to the complaint.

Also in Randolph County Circuit Court Tuesday:

  • The court granted a reconsideration for Franklin Bayard Gibson, Jr., 34, a former prison guard who was sentenced to one to 10 years in the state penitentiary on one felony count of bribery in official and political matters, and one to five years in the state penitentiary on one felony count of conspiracy to commit bribery in official and political matters.

Steptoe granted the reconsideration in favor of suspending Gibson’s remaining sentence and five years of supervised probation. Steptoe cited the fact that there were other parties involved in the incident, that the crime was non-violent in nature and that Gibson had no other criminal history as his motivation to grant the reconsideration.

Gibson admitted to bringing tobacco onto the grounds of the Huttonsville Correctional Center in exchange for money, pleading guilty to the two charges on March 8, 2013. He was sentenced on May 5, 2013.

Gibson, who was brought into the courtroom in shackles Tuesday, will be released and begin serving his probation immediately.

Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong originally ordered that Gibson’s sentences run consecutively, or back to back, for a maximum jail time of two to 15 years; however, she advised Gibson’s attorney, Timothy Prentice, to file a Rule 35 motion for


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