Burglary case heads to circuit court

ELKINS — The case of a Randolph County man allegedly found inside an area residence not belonging to him will be heading to Randolph County Circuit Court.

Jeffrey Scott Cooper, 27, of Elkins, is charged with one felony count of daytime burglary. Cooper remains incarcerated at Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $50,000 cash or surety bond, which was set by Randolph County Magistrate Ben Shepler.

The case will be bound over following a ruling that probable cause for his arrest had been met during a preliminary hearing in Randolph County Magistrate Court. The finding means the case will go before a grand jury for possible indictment.

Cooper’s attorney, Brent Easton, made a motion to have his bond reduced, which was denied by Shepler.

Randolph County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Leckta Poling represented the state while Shupp appeared with Easton as defense counsel. Shepler presided.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Randolph County Magistrate Court, on Feb. 3, Elkins Police Department Sgt. G.L. Brown was dispatched to a Lincoln Avenue residence regarding an active burglary.

Once on scene, Brown spoke with a female homeowner who said her husband “had him trapped in a room.”

Brown observed a male individual standing at the door of the bedroom holding a baseball bat.

Brown entered the room and spoke with Cooper, who said he thought a friend of his lived at the residence and he was looking for him, the complaint states.

The owners told Brown that Cooper’s friend did live at the residence previously but had been gone for “some time.”

When asked how he got into the residence, Cooper said he came in the front door; however, the homeowners said all the doors were locked.

Upon further investigation, Brown discovered footprints on the roof of the residence leading to the bathroom window. The police report indicates the prints matched the shoes that were worn by Cooper.

In both the bedroom and bathroom, drawers were open and appeared to have been “gone through.” Additionally, bags were found stacked in the garage as if Cooper was “planning on getting everything he wanted together and leave the residence,” according to the complaint.

Also located in the room with Cooper was a clear glass smoking device “known to be a meth pipe” and a crystal-like substance broken up on the dresser, which appeared to be methamphetamine. On the dresser next to the substance was a pack of Marlboro Special Blend cigarettes, the same brand that was found in Cooper’s jacket pocket.

Brown was provided a written statement from the female owner that said her dogs woke her up, and she observed a man “going through her stuff and had a lot of stuff in the garage bagged up and ready to go,” according to the complaint.

If convicted, Cooper could be sentenced to not less than one nor more than 10 years in the state penitentiary.