Magistrate modifies bond in marijuana case

ELKINS – A Mill Creek man accused of allegedly growing and distributing marijuana waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday in exchange for a bond modification in Randolph County Magistrate Court.

Terry J. Sutter, 51, was arraigned on one felony count of possession with intent to deliver on June 20. His bond was set at $75,000 cash or surety.

Sutter, along with his defense attorney, Phillip Isner, made a motion to reduce Sutter’s bond to $25,000 cash or surety.

Isner said he didn’t believe Sutter to be a flight risk because he has lived and worked in Randolph County his entire adult life. Isner said Sutter works at, but is not a direct employee of, Davis Medical Center.

“He has been there in the neighborhood of 20 or more years. He is the senior bio-med tech there, which effectively means that he repairs a lot of the hospital’s technical equipment,” Isner said. “He is not directly an employee at Davis Memorial, I don’t think, at this time. He has worked for various contracting services but he has been in that facility the whole time, just whoever had the contract to make those repairs over the course of the last 20 years.

“He’s got no meaningful criminal record. I think there was one charge of larceny of some nature when he was 19 or 20 years old. That’s obviously been a very long time ago,” Isner said. “I don’t think he is any kind of flight risk. He owns his own home here in Randolph County.”

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Lori Haynes made no objection to the bond being modified but requested a term that requires Sutter to report to North Central Community Corrections for random drug screenings five days a week.

Chief Magistrate Ben Shepler ruled the bond would be modified to $25,000 cash or surety, with Sutter required to report to North Central Community Corrections for the random drug screenings.

According to the criminal complaint, Sutter waived his Miranda Rights on June 20 and provided a statement to police, saying he had “grown approximately 18 marijuana plants in the past in the grow room.” He also allegedly said he would “buy one pound of marijuana from Pennsylvania two times a year and he would occasionally sell the marijuana to his friends.”

Upon searching the home, officers found a “scale with a green substance on it, $408 in cash, and a half mason jar of a green leafy substance.” They also found two baggies containing what appeared to be marijuana, as well as a grow room in the garage, the complaint states.