Bridgeport man waives right to preliminary hearing

ELKINS – A Bridgeport man – who is awaiting a psychological evaluation to be administered after allegedly attacking a woman with a hammer and then allegedly brawling with another inmate in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail – waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Randolph County Magistrate Court.

Larry Kent Arbogast, 38, is charged with one felony count of malicious assault after allegedly choking another inmate in June.

According to the criminal complaint, Randolph County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sheriff A.M. Channell was dispatched on June 5 to Tygart Valley Regional Jail to speak with the evening shift supervisor about items that had been found in the jail.

While inside the jail, Channell was informed “one inmate had choked another inmate until he was unconscious in holding cell H5 in the booking section of the jail.” Channell collected statements from jail staff as well as a written statement from the alleged victim, Jason Chewning, the complaint states.

Chewning said in his statement he was sleeping on the floor when he felt something tap him on the shoulder and he woke up. Chewning told police Arbogast said to him, “How bout (sic) I just do this,” while grabbing Chewning in a headlock. Chewning said he and Arbogast “began wrestling around on the floor” and Arbogast “informed him he was going to die,” according to the complaint.

Chewning said Arbogast then grabbed him with both hands and began choking him, telling police it only took “two or three seconds before he started to go unconscious.” Chewning stated the “next thing he remembered was that he lost his bladder and he remembered seeing his wife give him a kiss,” and then he “saw his wife and kids standing on the porch waving at him,” the complaint states.

Chewing said he woke up unsure of his surroundings and what was going on, until seeing Arbogast being restrained, police said.

Chewning was taken to the Medical Unit of Tygart Valley Regional Jail and was then transported to Davis Medical Center, where he was held overnight and treated for his injuries, the complaint states.

Arbogast was arrested June 4 on one felony count of malicious wounding, after allegedly striking a woman in the head with a hammer. The woman was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for medical treatment, police said.

Arbogast’s defense attorney, Timothy Prentice, made a motion in Randolph County Magistrate Court June 10 for Arbogast to undergo a psychological evaluation

Also in Randolph County Magistrate Court Thursday:

  • Amber S. Ketterman, 26, of Elkins, waived her right to a preliminary hearing. Ketterman was arrested June 16, after it was reported to police, by a CVS Pharmacy regional loss prevention manager, that Ketterman had allegedly stolen nearly 2,500 Alprazolam pills while she was employed with CVS Pharmacy from April 2013 through March.

Ketterman is currently free on a $15,000 personal recognizance bond.