Williams enters guilty plea
A guilty plea was accepted March 5 in the case of Travis Wayne Williams.
Williams, 25, of 1481 Lake O Pines St., NE Hartville, Ohio, is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver by unlawfully possessing marijuana. Williams originally pleaded not guilty on June 17, 2008. He was represented by Jacqueline Hallinan.
The incident occurred March 20, 2008, when Williams was on his way to a party. On the way he was pulled over for speeding by Tyler County Sheriff’s Department. Shannon Huffman. Huffman searched Williams’ vehicle with a K-9 unit and found three sandwich bags of marijuana totaling over 100 grams, digital scales, and $941 in cash.
“I got pulled over with the marijuana,” explained Williams. “I didn’t have any intentions on selling it; it was for personal use.”
“You understand there is a presumption that if it is more than 15 grams then it is more than for your personal use,” responded Judge Mark Karl. “It is my understanding from the plea agreement that there were at least three bags of marijuana. You understand that (the digital scale) is an indication of distribution? In other words, most people who smoke marijuana don’t weigh it. They just roll it up and smoke it.”
Williams was sentenced to one to five years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men with credit for time served. After six months of incarceration, Williams will be placed on two years of probation. Williams previously spent four months at North Central Regional Jail, leaving 60 days left on his jail sentence.
Also appearing in court were Michael Stevens and Harold Smith.
Michael Stevens, 39, of Rt. 1 Box 578B, Middlebourne, is charged with one felony count of manufacturing a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possessing a firearm by a prohibited person. Stevens was found to be growing and cultivating marijuana July 15. Seven weapons were found on the premises. Stevens had previously been convicted of the felony offense of grand larceny Feb. 14, 2006, and failure to meet an obligation to provide support for a minor July 20, 2006.
The state offered Stevens a plea agreement, but Stevens was advised by his attorney, Kevin Neiswonger, to decline the deal. Neiswonger is working on a case before the WV Supreme Court and was unable to attend the hearing.
Harold Smith, 53, of 100 S. Wells St., Sistersville, is charged with the felony offense of sexual abuse in the first degree, two felony offenses of sexual abuse by a custodian, and one felony charge of sexual abuse in the first degree.
Unconnected to the above mentioned charges, Smith is also charged with four counts of sexual assault in the first degree by subjecting a minor child to sexual contact who was incapable of consent because she was less than 11 years old and not married to the defendant to have occurred in 1977 and 1978. He was further charged with two counts of sexual assault in the third degree by engaging in sexual intercourse with the above mentioned minor to have occurred in 1982.
Smith is represented by George Cosenza. The state is represented by Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Haught, who was appointed as special prosecutor. Tyler County Prosecutor Luke Furbee recused himself due to a conflict of interest. The case was continued until March 11 at 10:30 a.m.