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Teen pleads not guilty

March 7, 2013
The Inter-Mountain

By Katie Kuba

Senior Staff Writer

The 17-year-old accused of fatally stabbing a fellow Tygarts Valley High School classmate at a football game last year pleaded not guilty to murder charges during arraignments Wednesday in Randolph County Circuit Court.

Article Photos

Vas

Thomas Chevy Vas, of Dailey, pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, a felony, for allegedly stabbing Dustin "Dusty" White, 17, another Tygarts Valley student, outside the TVHS stadium Oct. 26, 2012.

White died from injuries he suffered during the incident.

Vas' case was transferred from the juvenile docket to the adult criminal docket in January - Vas won't turn 18 until August. At a bond hearing in February, Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong ordered that Vas be held without bond.

On Wednesday, Vas' attorneys, James Hawkins and Timothy Prentice, asked for a court-appointed psychiatrist to evaluate Vas at a cost of $5,000 to explore possible defenses, such as competency to stand trial and diminished capacity.

"I don't know that we've ever exceeded $3,000," Wilfong responded. "Who did you have in mind?"

Hawkins said he didn't want to disclose that information yet.

"I'll make it $3,000, and if you need it to exceed that, you'll need to file a written motion," Wilfong said. The judge also granted a defense motion to hire a private investigator for $10,000.

Hawkins said he and Prentice would need to hire "other private experts." However, Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker requested that the attorneys be required to file written motions so he would have an opportunity to respond.

"This is a murder case," Parker said.

Wilfong ordered Hawkins and Prentice to file written motions.

Also on Wednesday:

- Derek Jason Shifflett, 30, of Elkins, pleaded not guilty to 50 counts of first-degree sexual assault, a felony; 50 count of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian, a felony; and 50 counts of incest, a felony.

Hawkins had originally been set to represent Shifflett in the case but recused himself due to a conflict of interest; attorney Christopher Cooper was assigned to the case by Wilfong Wednesday.

Shifflett is being held on a $360,000 cash-only bond for which Cooper requested a reduction or modification. Wilfong denied the motion, saying that if he's convicted, Shifflett will serve life in prison.

"He's facing much more than a murder charge," the judge said. "On the short end, his sentence would be 1,250 years to 5,000 years just on the (first) 50 counts. These are very serious charges."

The indictment alleges that Shifflett had sexual intercourse with a family member under the age of 12 on numerous occasions between Oct. 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2012.

- Robin Georgetta Moore, 34, of Belington, pleaded not guilty to 22 counts of a parent, guardian or custodian allowing sexual abuse, a felony; four counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian, a felony; four counts of employment or use of a minor to produce obscene matter, a felony; three counts of use of minors in filming sexually explicit conduct, a felony; three counts of display of obscene material to a minor, a felony; one count of exhibiting of material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a felony; one count of displaying material by a parent, guardian or custodian depicting a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a felony; four counts of possession of material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a felony; and four counts of possession of material by a parent, guardian or custodian depicting a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a felony.

Moore also pleaded not guilty to three misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse in the third degree.

The victim in the case, who was under 16 at the time, was allegedly forced to participate in group sex and to engage in sexual acts with Moore's boyfriend and another individual, among other lewd acts.

Parker asked that Moore be held on a $250,000 cash-only bond in order to "maintain some parity" between Shifflett's bond and Moore's bond.

Moore's attorney,Prentice, questioned the correlation between the cases - which are not directly related - and asked that bond be modified to $250,000 cash, surety, property and personal recognizance.

Wilfong granted Parker's motion.

"These charges are very serious," she said. "If she's convicted, we're talking about a sentence of multiple lifetimes."

Moore was remanded to the custody of the Randolph County Sheriff's Office.

- Tina Marie Carver, 37, and Larry Neil Carver, 41, both of Elkins, were named in a joint two-count indictment. Tina Marie Carver pleaded not guilty to one count of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, a felony. Larry Neil Carver pleaded not guilty to one count of child neglect result in serious bodily injury, a felony.

- Corcia Michelle Smith, 33, of Elkins, pleaded not guilty to one count of kidnapping or concealing a child, a felony; one count of forgery, a felony; one count of uttering, a felony; one count of fraudulent schemes, a misdemeanor; one count of contributing to delinquency or neglect of a child, a misdemeanor; and one count of obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.

- Earl Casey Woods, 22, and Johnetta Marin Murin, 23, both of Elkins, were named in the same four-count indictment. They each pleaded not guilty to one count of child abuse resulting in bodily injury, a felony, and one count of child neglect resulting in serious bodily injury, a felony.

- Michael Joseph Corney, 26, an inmate at Mt. Olive Correctional Facility; Stephen Keith Waggoner, 24, an inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center; and Justin Wayne Lundell, 28, of Clarksburg, were named in the same six-count indictment.

Corney pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony conspiracy and one count of attempted possession of a controlled substance by an inmate of a state correctional facility, a felony.

Waggoner pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony conspiracy and one count of attempt of possession of controlled substance by an inmate of a state correctional facility, a felony.

Lundell pleaded not guilty to one count of transportation of contraband onto the grounds of a prison facility; two counts of felony conspiracy; and one count of attempted delivery of contraband to an inmate, a felony.

- Ralph Richard Morgan, 37, an inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center; Paul Edward Bibbee, 47, an inmate at Mt. Olive Correctional Facility; and Randall Beatty, 26, of Mineral Wells, and a former inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center, were named in the same 19-count indictment.

Morgan pleaded not guilty to one count of bribery in official and political matters, a felony.

Bibbee pleaded not guilty to five counts of bribery in official and political matters, a felony, and five counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, a felony.

Wilfong issued a capias for Beatty, who failed to appear in court.

- Paul Grant Himes Jr., 28, of Elkins, pleaded not guilty to two counts of third-degree sexual assault, a felony, and one count of felony conspiracy.

- Gregory Wayne Bryant, 26, an inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center, pleaded not guilty to four counts of felony conspiracy; one count of possession of a controlled substance by an inmate of a state correctional facility, a felony; and one count of attempt of possession of a controlled substance by an inmate of a state correctional facility, a felony.

Wilfong issued a capias for Bryant's co-defendant, Shana Olivia Hudnall, 29, of Charleston, who failed to appear in court. Hudnall was indicted on two counts of transportation of contraband onto the grounds of a prison facility, a felony; four counts of felony conspiracy; one count of delivery of contraband to an inmate, a felony; and one count of attempt of delivery of contraband to an inmate, a felony.

- Joshua Alan Blosser, 20, of Elkins, pleaded not guilty to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, a felony.

Due to a North Central Community Corrections-related violation, Wilfong increased Blosser's bond from $50,000 cash, surety or property to $75,000 - $50,000 being cash or property and $25,000 being surety.

- Tammy M. Summerfield, 36, of Belington, pleaded not guilty to one count of shoplifting, third offense, a felony.

- Rebecca Lou Blankenship, 38, of Huttonsville, pleaded not guilty to one count of driving while license was revoked for DUI, third or subsequent offense, a felony; one count of no insurance, a misdemeanor; and one count of no registration, a misdemeanor.

- Constance Nicole Moore, 32, of Elkins, pleaded not guilty to two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, a felony-

 
 

 

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