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Ex-prison guard sentenced

May 6, 2013
By Katie Kuba - Senior Staff Writer (kkuba@theintermountain.com) , The Inter-Mountain

A former prison guard who has admitted to bringing tobacco onto the grounds of the Huttonsville Correctional Center in exchange for money was sentenced in Randolph County Circuit Court Friday.

Franklin Bayard Gibson Jr., 33, was sentenced to one to 10 years in the state penitentiary on one felony count of bribery in official and political matters and one to five years in the state penitentiary on one felony count of conspiracy to commit bribery in official and political matters.

Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong ordered that Gibson's sentences run consecutively, or back to back, for a maximum jail time of two to 15 years; however, she advised Gibson's attorney, Timothy Prentice, to file a Rule 35 motion for reconsideration.

Gibson pleaded guilty to the two charges on March 8.

Prior to Wilfong announcing her decision, Prentice asked for an alternate form of sentencing, saying the debacle has been "devastating" for Gibson.

"Regardless of what the court does to him today," Prentice said, "I believe he is a broken man. He's a good man that did something that was wrong."

Gibson revealed that he'd made $600 to $700 by agreeing to transport tobacco into the Huttonsville Correctional Center on several occasions for his cousin, Kenneth James McCauley II, who is an inmate there. McCauley was also sentenced Friday.

Prentice pointed out that Gibson had no criminal record "whatsoever" and had fallen prey to the manipulations of McCauley, who "might be psychotic and is, at the very least, extremely manipulative."

"It's not as if it were heroin," Prentice said, noting a recent policy change that outlaws tobacco on the grounds of state Division of Corrections facilities.

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

Also on Friday in Circuit Court:

-- McCauley, Gibson's cousin and an inmate at Huttonsville Correctional Center, was sentenced to one to 10 years in the state penitentiary on one felony count of bribery in official and political matters and one to five years in the state penitentiary on one felony count of conspiracy to commit bribery in official and political matters. Wilfong ordered that McCauley's sentences run consecutively and consecutive to the sentence he is currently serving.

--Justin Pete Short, 29, of Elkins, was sentenced to one to five years on each of two felony counts of failure to register as a sexual offender or provide notice of registration changes. These sentences are to run consecutively; however, Wilfong suspended the imposition of the second one-to-five-year sentence in favor of requiring Short to complete five years of supervised probation.

Short told Wilfong he wanted her and the public to know that he had not authored a menacing letter addressed to Wilfong that threatened her, her entire family and Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker. Wilfong reported receiving the letter at a July 2012 hearing in Circuit Court.

"It was in The Inter-Mountain and people think I did it," Short said. "I'd like to know who did it."

Wilfong replied, "I'd like to know who did it, too. It just doesn't make sense that you would do it. You've always been respectful to me I don't believe you're the one who committed the crime."

--Brandon Ramsey, 29, was sentenced to one to five years in the state penitentiary on each of two felony counts of failure to register as a sexual offender or provide notice of registration changes. These sentences are to run consecutively; however, Wilfong suspended the imposition of the second sentence and instead gave Ramsey five years supervised probation with the specific requirement that he receive education about timely registration as a sexual offender with the West Virginia State Police.

--James Eddy, 33, of Elkins, was sentenced to one to five years in the state penitentiary on one felony count of failure to register as a sexual offender or provide notice of registration. Wilfong suspended the prison time, instead ordering Eddy to serve five years of supervised probation. Eddy's attorney, Prentice, said Eddy was arrested after failing to register a TracPhone he believed was no longer in service upon moving to West Virginia from New York.

--Jesse Tolson, 26, of Harman, was sentenced to one to five years in the state penitentiary on one felony count of wanton endangerment involving a firearm. However, because of the fact that Eddy has sought treatment for addiction and has displayed exemplary behavior while on the North Central Community Corrections program, Wilfong suspended the imposition of that sentence, instead placing Tolson on five years of supervised probation with the requirement that he complete the community corrections program.

"These are serious charges," Wilfong said. "The reason you're getting this opportunity is because you've done everything right you've done everything to show me you will not be a risk to society. But I have to warn you that any violations (of probation or the community corrections program) are not likely to be taken lightly."

--Paul Bibbee Jr., 47, an inmate at Mt. Olive Correctional Center, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of bribery in official and political matters. Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. June 12.

--Robert William Wamsley III, 24, of Elkins, was sentenced to six months in the regional jail on each of two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana. Wilfong suspended the imposition of the sentence, instead placing Wamsley on two years of supervised probation with the condition that he successfully completes the North Central Community Corrections program.

 
 

 

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