Judge OKs several plea agreements

BUCKHANNON – Judge Kurt Hall accepted several plea agreements – for charges ranging from grand larceny to fraudulent schemes – in Upshur County Circuit Court Tuesday.

James Alan Linville, 29, of Charleston, pleaded guilty to grand larceny and was placed on five years probation.

Linville appeared with his attorney, Kourtney Ryan. He was indicted in May on one felony count of grand larceny and a misdemeanor count of petit larceny. As part of the plea agreement, the misdemeanor charge was dropped. Hall read the indictment in court and said Linville stole a 1997 Dodge Ram with a value of $3,500.

Linville will have to pay $4,000 in restitution, including $3,500 for the vehicle and $500 for items inside the truck.

Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney Jake Reger recommended Linville’s possible sentence of 1-10 years in prison be suspended and he be placed on five years probation. Also as part of the agreement, Linville will have to serve 120 days in jail counting his time served. He will be released from jail on Aug. 25.

After accepting the plea, Hall asked Linville what he did.

“I took my aunt’s vehicle without her permission,” he said. “I was going to sneak it out and bring it back, but it broke down and got towed away.”

Reger said Linville took the vehicle without permission and it was reported stolen.

“They never got the truck back,” Reger said.

Hall asked Linville if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he took the truck. Linville said he was on heroin at the time.

Linville also waived his right to a pre-sentence investigation. Reger recommended sentencing according to the plea agreement. Ryan said Linville has a job waiting for him in Elkview, Kanawha County, when he is released. He said Linville’s wife and 7-month-old child also live in Elkview.

“I believe my client is very remorseful for what he has done,” Ryan said. “He said he will abide by the law.”

Hall said, “My initial thought was to not go through with this, but I understand. It is conditional of Kanawaha County accepting you.”

Linville will also have to pay court costs, probation fees and a Community Corrections program fee.

Terry Linn Norman, 56, appeared with his attorney, Ryan, and entered into a plea agreement. He was indicted in May on two counts of failure to provide notice of change in sex offender registry information, both felonies.

“He obtained a job and failed to notify the state police,” Ryan said. “It lasted just a few months and fell apart and he lost the job.”

Ryan said one count was for not notifying when he received the job and the second was for not notifying that he lost the position.

Norman entered a guilty plea to one of the counts, while the second was dismissed.

Hall ordered a pre-sentence investigation. Sentencing is slated for Sept. 10.

David L. Stewart, 50, of Buckhannon, appeared with his attorney, David Orndorff, and entered a plea agreement. He was indicted in May on one felony count of failure to provide notice of change in sex offender registry information, a felony. The charge carries a sentence of 1-5 years in a state prison.

Stewart pleaded guilty to the charge.

Hall ordered a pre-sentence investigation and slated sentencing for Sept. 10.

David Gay Ware, 46, appeared with his attorney, Orndorff, and agreed to plead guilty to first offense failure to provide notice of change in sex offender registry information and fraudulent schemes.

Ware was facing the same registry charge in Lewis County, where he was sentenced to home confinement.

Reger said the charge in both counties stem from the same incident. He said Ware moved from Upshur County to Lewis and did not inform the state police in either county to change the information in his registry.

Reger recommended Ware’s sentence on the registry charge run concurrently with the Lewis County charge. Hall accepted the plea and Reger’s recommendation.

“I just ask you to accept my apology,” Ware told the court. “Please let me be on home confinement so I can continue to work and take care of my three daughters.”

After Hall accepted the recommendation, he told Ware, “You are not likely to get another charge reduced.”

The fraudulent scheme charge stems from Ware using a check from a closed bank account to purchase a vehicle. Ware admitted he knew the account was closed and that it would not cover the $2,000 purchase.

Hall accepted the guilty plea and set sentencing on Sept. 10. He told Ware he had until that date to pay $2,000 in restitution to the victim. Ware told the court he had $500 ready to make a payment.

David Lee Gillis, 31, appeared with his attorney, Christine Flanigan, for a parole violation preliminary hearing. Flanigan asked to have the preliminary hearing waived and Hall agreed. Hall set a hearing for Aug. 7 on the matter.

Gillis was previously sentenced for second offense driving revoked and placed on home confinement.

Jason Michael Hamerick, 38, appeared with his attorney, Russel Stobbs, for a probation violation preliminary hearing. Reger said Hamerick has not paid his fees or his fines for delivery of a controlled substance charges and that is why there was a motion to revoke his parole.

Hamerick’s probation was slated to end in August. Stobbs asked for Hamerick to be placed on a personal recognizance bond and that he should be able to pay the fees and fines in the near future.

“He is disabled and he will be receiving $16,000,” Stobbs said. “He received $2,000, but he had to use it for rent.”

Hall waived the preliminary hearing and set another date for Sept. 10. Hall set a personal reconnaissance bond at $5,299, the same cost as the fine Hamerick owes.