A 71-year-old inmate at Mt. Olive Correctional Complex charged with attempted murder will stand trial later this month.
Whorley Jack Ayers' case will go to trial April 16-17 after the prosecution and defense failed to reach a plea agreement during a pre-trial conference in Randolph County Circuit Court Wednesday. A pre-trial conference is a defendant's final opportunity to enter into a plea deal.
"I believe we're proceeding to trial," Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker informed Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong.
In November 2012, Ayers was indicted on one felony count of attempted murder, one felony count of malicious assault and one felony count of offense committed by an inmate. According to the indictment, Ayers allegedly attacked another inmate, Phillip J. Frye, on Feb. 6, 2012 at Huttonsville Correctional Center.
Also in Circuit Court Wednesday:
McCamey's attorney, James Hawkins, requested that Wilfong suspend the imposition of a prison sentence and place McCamey on probation "with a very rigid set of rules and requirements."
"I've seen a change in attitude from the time we started this case (in 2010) to the person we see here. He has children he has taken responsibility for and provides financially for," Hawkins said. "He's tired of this lifestyle."
Hawkins argued that there was "no practical benefit and no long-term benefit" to be gleaned from sending McCamey to prison.
"When people pick up The Inter-Mountain tomorrow and see this young man has been sentenced to one to 15 years, it won't have the effect of stopping them from doing drugs," the defense attorney said. "If that was true, drugs would have stopped long ago."
Parker countered that McCamey had tested positive "for a significant amount of controlled substances" at his pre-trial conference in March. When he was arrested on drug charges in 2010, McCamey had merely come to Randolph County to party and had no salient connections to the local community, Parker added.
"He has demonstrated an inability to follow the terms and conditions of his bond in Ohio and the terms and conditions of his bond here, so I don't believe he's going to be able to follow the terms and conditions of any probation this court would order," the prosecuting attorney said. "Clearly from his criminal history, Mr. McCamey is a drug dealer, and I don't see an appropriate sentence other than one to 15 years."
Wilfong sided with Parker.
"I don't believe I'm dealing with a young man who wants to change his life," Wilfong said, noting that McCamey tested positive for suboxone, marijuana, cocaine and K2 at his March pre-trial conference.
Wilfong was also unhappy that McCamey lied to adult probation officer Jason Elmore in his presentence investigation interview, telling Elmore he didn't have a drug problem.
"The dishonesty and disrespect of a probation officer, who is an officer of this court, is the same as dishonesty and disrespect to me," Wilfong said. "He's a drug dealer of cocaine. He's either in denial or flagrantly dishonest about his drug problem."
Wilfong is requiring McCauley to complete the Kanawha County Community Corrections program as a condition of her probation.
"I made a mistake," McCauley said. "I understand that there were lives at risk, and I would have never done that intentionally. It won't happen again."
"How do you know it won't happen again?" Wilfong asked.
"Jail scared me," McCauley replied.
"I think this was just a really freak bad decision quite honestly," the judge said, adding that at the time McCauley fled from police she wasn't under the influence of any controlled substance and did not possess any firearms.
"He has a low risk to reoffend, he has made significant strides since he was released from incarceration and understands what he's required to do to not make the same mistake again," Wilfong said.
Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. May 3.