Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong denied a request to modify bond for a man accused of exposing his two young children to the manufacture of methamphetamine during a hearing Friday in Randolph County Circuit Court.
Gary Loy, 39, of Belington, appeared with his attorney, Dwight Hall, to ask that Loy's bond - set at $150,000 cash only - be altered in form and amount. Loy is charged with two counts of exposure of children to the manufacture of methamphetamine, unlawful assault on an official, two counts of child neglect causing injury, and operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab, all felonies.
Hall asked for a bond reduction and said Loy would be willing to live with his mother until he was indicted.
"These are some pretty serious charges, but we think that Loy's (drug) problem could be taken care of by adding a number of restrictions and conditions to his bond and by him living with his mother," Hall said.
Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker objected to the request, noting that although $150,000 was a high bond amount, he thought it was "very appropriate" in Loy's case.
"These are some very serious felony charges," Parker said. "This is a situation where the defendant attempted to flee from police when they found he had a meth lab in a van near Bob's Hotdogs and had an altercation with a law enforcement officer."
Parker added Loy had failed to appear in Barbour County Magistrate Court when previously summoned.
"He's clearly a risk to the public," the prosecuting attorney said.
Wilfong denied the motion to modify bond in Loy's case, as well as in the case of Velair Collins, 41, of Elkins.
Collins was charged with operating a clandestine meth lab, possession with intent to deliver and manufacturing marijuana after police found a large marijuana plant growing in a bucket in Collins' backyard Sept. 4. They allegedly discovered precursors to make methamphetamine and at least one active meth lab, according to the criminal complaint.
Collins appeared with his attorney, James Hawkins, to request that Collins' bond - currently set at $75,000 cash only - be changed to $25,000 cash, surety or property.
"Our position is that $75,000 cash only is oppressive and excessive and essentially amounts to no bail," Hawkins said. "The purpose of bond is to guarantee appearance in court and protect public safety, and I'm not aware of any circumstance in the past or any reason why Mr. Collins would fail to show up."
Parker countered that Collins was indeed a risk to public safety, noting that police allegedly discovered two active meth labs and two guns - a 12-gauge shotgun and .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle - when they searched Collins' residence.
Hawkins pointed out that those weapons had been seized; however, Wilfong denied Hawkins' motion to modify bond.
All defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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