Burglary case to be considered by grand jury

ELKINS – The case of an Elkins man who allegedly forced his way into a residence and brawled with several people will be bound over to Randolph County Circuit Court.

Branden D. McBee, of Box 110, Elkins, is charged with one count of burglary, a felony, and is currently housed at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $50,000 cash only bond.

McBee was arrested after the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office responded on May 26 to a Reed Street residence in Elkins where McBee and a woman were allegedly involved in a physical altercation. The woman said from the witness stand Thursday her cell phone was destroyed in the incident.

Emily McCauley, the alleged victim in the case, said in Randolph County Magistrate Court Thursday that on the day in question she, McBee, her daughter and two other people had a cookout in Coalton at her grandmother’s home. McCauley said everyone traveled back to her home on Reed Street, where the argument began.

McCauley said McBee was upset about a post on Facebook and took her cell phone from her.

“He snatched my phone from my hands,” McCauley said. “I took his phone and told him when he was done being a child, he could have it back.”

McCauley said she left the room and sat down in the living room.

“He followed me into the living room, reached down and punched my mouth, took his phone from my hands and fishhooked my face,” McCauley said.

Assistant Prosecutor Richard Shryock asked McCauley to explain “fishhooked.”

“He put his finger in my mouth and pulled my jaw back,” McCauley said. “There was a remote on the side of the chair, and I picked it up when he had my jaw and I hit him twice in the head to get him off of me.”

McCauley said she asked McBee to leave her home, and when he was out, she held the door closed.

“That is when he began kicking the door,” McCauley said. “I asked the two people in the room with me to help hold the door.”

McCauley said McBee left her porch, came around the trailer and came in the kitchen window.

“He pushed me up against the wall” and then one of her friends attempted to help her, McCauley said. McBee then pushed her through the sliding door in her kitchen, breaking the glass, and punched her friend repeatedly in the face, she said.

“Then Branden left the house,” she said, adding that he came back two more times trying to get into her residence. She said she told McBee’s ride not to bring him back.

“He said I will walk if I have to,” McCauley said. “He told me ‘you will be dead tonight, bitch.'”

McBee’s attorney, James Hawkins, argued that McBee was spending nights at McCauley’s house and he had property in her home.

“It was clear my client was trying to get his property,” Hawkins said. “There is an old doctrine that goes way back called ‘recapture of the chattel.’ He was trying to get his property. There is no evidence that he was breaking and entering. He was there and he was invited.”

Randolph County Magistrate Rob Elbon denied Hawkins’ motion for reduction of McBee’s bond.

“I find the state has demonstrated probable cause and ordered that the case be bound over to the Randolph County Circuit Court for possible presentation to the grand jury,” Elbon said.

Also in Randolph County Magistrate Court Thursday, charges against Billy Lee Isenhart, 29, of 114 Henry Ave., Elkins, who was accused of failing to register as a sex offender, were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they can be brought up again.