Wegman sentenced to penitentiary time

ELKINS — A Randolph County man convicted by jury of attempting to kill a West Virginia State Police trooper was sentenced to the penitentiary Wednesday morning in Randolph County Circuit Court.

Nathaniel Ray Wegman, 29, of Elkins, was sentenced to three to 15 years in the state penitentiary on one felony count of attempted first-degree murder, three to 15 years in the state penitentiary on one felony count of malicious assault upon a governmental representative and one year in jail on one misdemeanor count of fleeing from an officer by any means other than the use of a vehicle.

The three sentences were ordered to run consecutively with one another — for a total of seven to 31 years — by Randolph County Circuit Judge David Wilmoth.

Specially appointed Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney David Godwin represented the state while Wegman appeared with Brian Bailey and Steve Nanners as defense counsel. Wilmoth presided.

Following two hours and 15 minutes of deliberations, a 12-person jury found Wegman guilty on all three counts against him on July 13.

According to a press release from Lt. Michael Baylous of the West Virginia State Police, at approximately 12:30 p.m. March 16, 2016, Trooper 1st Class J.J. Cornelius, of the Elkins detachment, attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Wegman at Pond Street in Mill Creek. Wegman was wanted for a burglary charge in Indiana.

Wegman then fled from the officer on foot, the press release states.

After a foot pursuit, Cornelius was able to catch up with Wegman in a stream, known as Mill Creek. Wegman resisted arrest and assaulted Cornelius, causing him to fall and hit his head on the creek bottom, police said.

Cornelius was unable to reach his handgun because it was pinned on the ground, under the water, the complaint states.

However, Cornelius was able to reach his knife, which he used to stop Wegman’s violent assault. As a result, Wegman received multiple wounds to his torso and chin, police said.

An onlooker, later identified as Joseph Austin, noticed Cornelius in the water after Wegman ran off, according to the complaint. Austin helped Cornelius out of the water and placed a call for emergency assistance.

While Cornelius was pursuing Wegman, Laura Gail Weaver, of Mooresville, Indiana, allegedly told witnesses she was going to pick up Wegman in her vehicle, which she did a short while later on Tygart Avenue in Mill Creek, the complaint states.

Wegman left with Weaver in a black Infiniti I30t and continued to a wooded area along Becky’s Creek Road, police said.

Weaver was discovered in the vehicle, which was in a ditch and out of gas, on an unnamed gravel road at about 4:30 p.m. by Cpl. K.A. Corley of the West Virginia State Police, according to court documents.

At about 6:30 p.m. the same day, Wegman was located further in the woods by several law enforcement officers, police said. He was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown to receive treatment for his wounds. Cornelius was taken to the hospital to receive treatment for a head injury.

Weaver, 34, was sentenced to one year in Tygart Valley Regional Jail, which was suspended for one year of supervised probation on Nov. 7.

Weaver pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of being an accessory after the fact to fleeing from an officer by any means other than the use of a vehicle, as part of a plea agreement, on Sept. 12, 2016.