Buckhannon man facing felony charge


BUCKHANNON — A Buckhannon man was arrested Sunday for allegedly trying to steal a vehicle by the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department.

Joseph Brian Kelley, 27, who was listed as homeless, was arrested for attempt to commit grand larceny, a felony.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., a caller informed Upshur County E-911 Center that a man was attempting to get into a tan Ford Explorer in Donald’s Auto Repair parking lot and drive away in it but was spinning gravel everywhere, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office.

Deputy Joseph Barcus and Deputy Tyler Gordon arrived on scene and found Kelley getting out of the driver’s seat of the Explorer which belonged to Joe or Gloria Warner in Buckhannon.

Barcus said Kelley was detained but stated that “Frankie” gave him keys to the vehicle and told him the vehicle was his and Kelley could borrow it to go to his mother’s house.


“Contact was made with the owner of the above listed vehicle who notified us that the vehicle was indeed theirs and that they had no family members by the name of Frankie and that they did not give the defendant the keys to the vehicle,” Barcus wrote in the criminal complaint.

The Ford Explorer was valued at $2,600.

Magistrate Kay Hurst set bond at $10,000 cash or surety and ordered Kelley to have no contact with the Warners.

If convicted, Kelley faces either imprisonment of one to three years, or confinement in jail for 6 to 12 months and fined up to $500.

• In a separate case, a man arrested for shoplifting charges on Sunday was found to have outstanding warrants for several other offenses.

Christian Tyler Jarrell, 21, of Buckhannon, was arrested for shoplifting second offense, a misdemeanor. Sgt. Tom Posey with the Buckhannon Police Department responded to Walmart for a shoplifting incident and stated Jarrell had allegedly concealed three items in a backpack and another individual attempted to leave with the backpack. The merchandise was valued at approximately $8. Jarrell has a prior shoplifting conviction from March 31, 2017.

Jarrell also faces an attempt to commit grand larceny charge, a felony, and fleeing on foot, a misdemeanor, following an investigation by Sgt. Marshall Powers with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department. On Jan. 12, 2019, Powers was patrolling east on Island Avenue when he turned into a parking lot to check on a Jeep Cherokee parked there. Powers saw the dome light come on inside the jeep and witnessed two males running away from the jeep valued at $3,500.

Powers ordered the individuals to stop but they did not and he and other officers tracked the subjects and made contact with Jarrell who was wearing the shoes with a distinguished tread pattern they had been tracking. A wet pair of shoes was matched to Khori Wayne Simmons by residents at 9 ¢ Cleveland Avenue where officers tracked the pair.

Powers noted that the passenger side rear window had been removed, the steering column busted off and the wires to the ignition had been cut to the jeep. At a later date, Powers interviewed both Jarrell and Simmons who admitted to attempting to steal the Jeep Cherokee and then fleeing the scene.

“They advised they continued to flee from this officer after being told to stop because they didn’t want to go to jail,” Powers wrote in the criminal complaint.

Simmons was arrested for attempt to commit grand larceny, a felony, and fleeing from an officer – no vehicle, a misdemeanor, shortly after the incident in 2019.

In another case, Cpl. B.K. Wright with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police charged Jarrell with receiving/transferring stolen property, a property, on Nov. 25, 2018. Wright obtained a grand larceny complaint from the victim, Shelby Jones who stated she had a 2019 Honda CRF motorcycle stolen from her residence the evening prior, according to the criminal complaint. On Dec. 5, 2018, Wright learned the victim had been informed by another individual that he believed he had traded a larger motorcycle for the stolen motorcycle. That individual provided Wright a statement indicating that Jarrell had traded him the stolen motorcycle. On Jan. 14, 2019, Wright obtained a statement from Jarrell who allegedly confessed to possessing and trading the motorcycle and that he believed the motorcycle may have been stolen.

Hurst set bond at $25,000 for all the charges.


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