BY ED PARSONS
Following arguments in Tyler County Circuit Court Feb. 12, Judge Mark A. Karl permitted monitored release for a defendant.
Howard P. Shriver, 34, is charged in an 11-count indictment handed down by the February 2013 grand jury. Shriver allegedly used an axe-like weapon Oct. 8, 2012, in an attempt to break into a home and attack his wife and two young children.
Shriver's case was set for jury trial on Jan. 21, but the court was unable to seat a jury from among the jury pool. As the term of court was expiring, Judge Mark. A. Karl declared a mistrial and an agreement was reached between the state and the defense to continue the case until the next term. A new trial date of March 31 through April 2 was set.
Defense attorney Jay Gerber argued for a reduction in bond to allow the defendant to be released on home confinement, with electronic monitoring. Gerber stated the defendant had been confined for 16 months. He said Shriver also is a veteran and has some physical problems of his own and his mother is also having problems. He would like to be home to help take care of her. Shriver's father was present and agreed to allow him to stay at his home. He said he does have land line phone service to his home for the home monitoring.
Prosecutor Luke Furbee said this has been heard a couple of times already and although he has been incarcerated for 16 months, he is facing a lot of charges. Furbee said if the court allows the release, he wants to make sure the home monitoring is in place.
Gerber asked the court who was responsible for making the arrangements to connect Shriver to monitoring equipment. Judge Karl said it is usually the prosecution. Furbee agreed to contact Marion County and make the arrangements.
Judge Karl gave a stern warning to Shriver. He said, "If I release you, am I going to have a problem with you?" Shriver said he would not.
Karl went on to tell Shriver to listen to his attorney. "That is what you hire him for, listen to his advice," said Karl. "You have a lot against you and as these charges pile up, you could end up doing a lot of time." Karl encouraged the two parties to work for a resolution to the case.
He then told Shriver he would release him on bond and home confinement. He is to appear back in court on March 31, prepared for trial. Prosecutor Furbee asked the judge to pull 50 jury prospects to insure being able to seat a jury.
Gerber did say he felt they were far apart on reaching a plea agreement, but they would work toward that end.
In other matters, Daniel S. Finley, 25, of 201 Dodd St., Middlebourne, appeared in court for a possible plea. Finley's attorney, Brent Clyburn, said even though his client has been found competent to stand trial, he still feels Finley has some mental difficulties understanding. He said they have reached a plea agreement and part of the agreement requires Finley be tested again. Also, he like to confer some more with his client.
Judge Karl ordered a return date of March 13; Finley's bond continues. He was told to remain in contact with his attorney and return at that date.
John K. Lively, 33, of 52176 Co. Rd, 425 Lot 44, Fresno, Ohio, entered a guilty plea on Jan. 21, to the felony offense of obtaining money under false pretenses. He was sentenced at that time to one to 10 years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men with credit for time served. As part of the plea agreement, he was to serve six months in prison and then, providing he had no write ups, he would be placed on two years supervised probation. He was also ordered to make restitution to the victim, Gary Davis.
Lively was back in court alongside his attorney, Public Defender John Gainer, for a Rule 35 motion of reduction in sentence. Judge Karl gave Lively credit for 159 days served and suspended the remainder of his time. He was then placed on two years supervised probation. He was ordered to abide by all the rules and regulations of probation and to report to Chief Probation Officer John Lantz. He was told to meet with Lantz before he left and to make an appointment with him at his office on the second floor of the Wetzel County Courthouse.
Timothy J. Channell, 49, of 3219 Braden Hill Rd. Jacksonburg, appeared before Judge Karl seeking a trial date for his two-count indictment. Channell was charged by the October 2013 Tyler County grand jury of felony malicious assault and misdemeanor domestic battery, second offense. Both are alleged to have occurred on Aug. 23.
Channel was last in court on Jan. 21, when he waived his term of court. His attorney, John Gainer, told the court he didn't believe the trial would last more than one day and Prosecutor Furbee agreed. Judge Karl encouraged the parties to try and reach a resolution to the case. With no objections, he allowed Channell to remain free on bond and ordered him to return to court on Feb. 27.
William B. Neff, 51, of Box 13 B, Middlebourne, was in court with his attorney, John Gainer, for a motion to determine voluntariness of statements. Prosecutor Furbee told Judge Karl the new indictments were out and Neff has new charges against him. He told the court he would like to consolidated the new indictment with the old. Karl passed the matter until Feb. 27. Neff was ordered to return on that date. He was remanded back to jail.
Matthew D. Witsoe, 49, of Rt. 1, Box 156-2, Beverly, W.Va., appeared for a possible plea. Witsoe is accused of three counts of one felony breaking and entering and two misdemeanor destruction of property charges.
Prosecutor Furbee told Judge Karl there are new charges against the defendant and he would like to continue this case until Witsoe has been served the new indictment. Karl passed the case until Feb. 27.
Witsoe was allowed to remain free on his bond of $30,000. He was ordered to stay in touch with his attorney and to return on Feb. 27.
Gary J. Willey Jr., 33, of Rt. 2 Box 230 A, New Martinsville, appeared alongside his attorney, Shane Mallett, for a possible plea. Mallett felt he needed a little more time to work on the case. Willey is facing two counts of embezzlement alleged to have occurred in 2012 in Tyler County. Judge Karl passed the case until Feb. 27. He was ordered to return on that date.
Seth Morris, 24, of Tyler County, appeared alongside his attorney, John Gainer, for a status hearing. Furbee told the court that the new indictments are out and Morris has new charges. He would like to have the case continued until Morris has been served. Karl passed the matter until Feb 27. Morris was allowed to remain free on $15,000 bond, he was ordered to stay in touch with his attorney and to return on Feb. 27.
Marvin E. Parrish, 51, of Middlebourne, was not in court as scheduled. Prosecutor Furbee said he had nothing further to add. Karl continued the case generally. With a new court date to be set.