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Tyler County Grand Jury Hands Down Indictments

By Staff | Feb 17, 2016

MIDDLEBOURNE – A Tyler County Grand Jury indicted several people recently that included an alleged car thief and a couple charged with reckless endangerment resulting in death of a child.

When the Grand Jury convened last week, Joseph W. Rodgers, 37, of Graniteville, S.C., was indicted for grand larceny, fleeing in a vehicle with reckless indifference, attempted malicious assault with indifference, destruction of property and reckless driving.

According to court documents, Rodgers allegedly stole a 2013 Ford Explorer owned by Curtis and Tracy Heintzman and led multiple law enforcement agencies on a high speed pursuit Jan. 18 that ended in Paden City. Sgt. Alex Northcraft, Sistersville police, sustained a minor gunshot wound to his leg when the chase ended. While taking the Rodgers into custody, Northcraft’s firearm reportedly discharged.

According to court documents, Patrolman Mason Rine was investigating a report about Heintzman’s vehicle that was allegedly stolen from the Par Mar parking lot. Northcraft responded to the scene and, while reviewing the security video, the Ford Explorer drove past Rine, who tried to initiate a traffic stop.

Rodgers allegedly attempted to ram Rine’s police cruiser, court documents said.

Haught said police and the Tyler County Sheriff’s deputies pursued the vehicle as it allegedly sped through the city’s back streets.

Law enforcement officers followed the vehicle as it traveled at a high speed north on W.Va. 2 toward Paden City, Haught said.

Police pursued the vehicle until the chase ended on the south end of Paden City.

Police said there was a minor collision with a SPD cruiser, but no injuries. Rodgers allegedly struggled with officers, police said. During the struggle, Northcraft was attempting to reholster his sidearm and it discharged into his upper leg, police said.

Northcraft and Rogers were taken to Sisterville General Hospital. Northcraft was released.

Police Chief Rob Haught said recently that Northcraft has returned to duty and he thanked people for the outpouring of support for the officer.

Rodgers’ bond was set at $100,000 cash and he remains in North Central Regional Jail.

According to court documents, the incident caused more than $2,500 in damage to Heintzman’s vehicle, estimated to be worth nearly $22,000.

In other court news, the Grand Jury indicted Ezra Aberegg, 29, of Pine Grove, and Hope Morgan, 25, of Burton, for child neglect resulting in injury, child neglect resulting in death of a minor in relation to an incident that occurred July 14, 2014.

Tyler County Prosecutor D. Luke Furbee said this case was presented directly to the Grand Jury, so there would be no police report or other related documents available to the public until March when discovery phase of the legal proceedings begins. Furbee did not comment as to the specifics arising from the charges.

The State Fire Marshall and the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department conducted an investigation into this matter.

Tyler County Sheriff Bob Kendle said in a news release issued July 14, 2014 that Tyler 911 received a call around 1:05 a.m. of a camper fire with child trapped inside on Big Run Road July 14 near Alma.

Deputies from the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene along with fire units from Middlebourne and Shirley volunteer fire departments. Alma EMS also responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, the camper was fully engulfed and witnesses told responders there was a child still in the camper. A child’s body was found in the burned rubble, according to the sheriff’s department’s release after the fire.

According to the news release, it was discovered that a man, woman, and another child had left the scene, traveled to Pine Grove, and sought help. They were being transported by Wetzel County EMS to Wetzel County Hospital. Later all three were sent to West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.

According to Tyler Star News archives, 2-year-old Ethan Kane Aberegg died July 14, 2014 the same date as was cited in the charges listed by the grand jury.

Among other Grand Jury activity:

– Gavin H. Hisom, 29, of Friendly was indicted for destruction of property as well as breaking and entering after he allegedly broke into Rosie’s Store in Friendly Nov. 13. According to court documents, Hisom allegedly stole $175 in cash, boots, drills, work clothes, 34 packs of cigarettes and a $10 cloth bag.

– John Wesley Thomas, age and address not available, was indicted for malicious wounding after he allegedly struck Robert E. Martin with a jack hammer on July 3 in Tyler County.

– Jeri Lynn Galloway, no age and address provided, was indicted for obtaining money by false pretenses. According to court documents, Galloway allegedly obtained $10,000 in funds from the Middlebourne United Methodist Church.

– Sam Bruce Warner, 62, of Alma, Timothy James Lasure, 38, of West Union, Shelby Jean Fetty and Brock Allen Ice, ages and addresses not provided, were indicted for conspiracy to commit a felony against the state allegedly for drug related activity.

– Susanne Mavety, 30, of New Martinsville was indicted for eight felony counts of uttering allegedly writing $3,300 in bad checks from Ira E. Ruble’s bank account.

– Maika McIntyre, 23, no address provided, was indicted for Medicaid Fraud and delivery of a controlled substance narcotics. According to court documents, McIntyre allegedly submitted health progress reports for services that were not provided.