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Additional evaluations put Newlon case on hold

Kerens man accused of fatally shooting wife

September 26, 2012
By Anthony Gaynor - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

The case of an 81-year-old Kerens man accused of shooting his wife was continued again Tuesday in Randolph County Circuit Court.

Theodore Yeager Newlon was indicted on one count of murder and one count of wanton endangerment in the fatal shooting of 69-year-old Dora Lee Newlon in his home on Feb. 6.

Tuesday's hearing was put on hold until mental evaluations are complete.

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"At this point in time, I don't feel we can move forward," Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker said. "The case is not ready to proceed."

Parker said both his office and the defense need more time for mental evaluations of Newlon to be conducted. Newlon's attorney, James Hawkins, said he wants the court to find Newlon not competent and understand that he will will not regain competency.

Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong granted a continuance to allow more time for the evaluations to be completed. She set a status hearing for Nov. 14 and preliminary trail dates for Jan. 8-11, 2013.

Wilfong also accepted several plea agreements on Tuesday.

Justin Fortney, 26, of Elkins, plead guilty to grand larceny. As part of the plea agreement, a felony count of burglary was dropped.

"I took my dad's coins out of his safe and sold them," Fortney told the court.

His attorney, Dwight Hall, said that the agreement was in the best interest of his client.

"We had a good chance of beating the burglary charge," he said. "He lived there at the time. Justin confessed to his parents that he took the coins."

Fortney is facing one to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

"I'm guilty, there is no doubt about that," Fortney said. "I took the coins."

Wilfong ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for Oct. 24.

Kristie Dawn Martin, represented by attorney Matthew Fair, entered a plea agreement and plead guilty to one count of felony third offense shoplifting. Martin is facing one to 10 years in prison and a mandatory fine of $500 to $5,000.

"I went to Walmart and paid for some items and didn't have enough money to pay for my coat," Martin told the court. "I just put it in a bag and left. I really messed up."

Wilfong set sentencing for Oct. 31.

Michael Jay Moore, 19, of Elkins, and his attorney, Christopher Cooper, were set to enter a plea agreement, but Wilfong continued the matter because she was not satisfied with the agreement.

Moore was indicted on seven felony counts of forgery, seven felony counts of uttering, and one felony count of fraudulent use of an access device. Moore was going to plead guilty to one felony count of forgery as part of the agreement.

"He has continued to perform community service even though it is not required," Parker told the court.

Wilfong called Parker and Cooper to the bench and after a short discussion announced she was going to continue the case.

"Your attorney will meet with you," she told Moore. "I am not satisfied with your plea and I think your attorney agrees."

Wilfong set the matter for consideration on Oct. 17.

Contact Anthony Gaynor by email at



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