Pachuta, Long, Winter appear before Judge Karl
Two defendants charged in separate felony kidnapping cases and a former fugitive from justice appeared before Tyler County Circuit Judge Mark Karl April 2.
Joseph M. Pachuta was the first defendant to face Judge Karl. Pachuta, 48, of H.C. 60 Box 116, Lima, W.Va, was arrested and charged with one felony count of kidnapping or holding hostage and one misdemeanor count of domestic assault.
The events occurred Feb. 25 with Pachuta barring the victim from leaving his residence. The victim called a friend for help the next morning.
Pachuta was in court to get a reduction on his $75,000 bond. Currently Pachuta is on home confinement.
Attorney Roger Weese, representing Pachuta, said the charges against his client were nonsense. Statements made by the victim during a hearing may work in Pachuta’s favor and Weese is still going through the transcript.
“He is charged with kidnapping, which we believe to be without any merit,” said Weese. “The state has also failed to even contact the other witnesses in regards to this case, although we have given them the names and addresses. We’ve had a domestic violence hearing in regards to that incident. I’m getting a transcript of it prepared, which I will submit to the state.”
Pachuta’s home confinement is preventing him from maintaining his employment. Weese said no harm will come from lowering Pachuta’s bond.
“He has a good job with the railroad and if he can’t return to work shortly he’s going to lose his job,” said Weese. “He poses no risk to society and won’t leave the area. He has property in Tyler County and his sister lives in Ohio County. We ask that the bond be reduced to the point to at least allow him to continue with his job.”
Assistant Tyler County Prosecutor Gary Rymer disputed Weese’s motion, pointing out Pachuta was a convicted felon, having been convicted of third offense driving under the influence. Rymer stated reducing the bond would put the victim at risk.
“The state opposes the motion,” stated Rymer. “This man is charged with kidnapping, a felony that carries a possible life without parole penalty. The domestic violence hearing Mr. Weese spoke about the civil order was issued. The estranged wife is afraid for her life in this case. A reduced bond at any point would be a miscarriage. He’s from the Michigan area and we feel he might be a flight risk.”
Charges are currently pending against Pachuta for possessing a firearm, which is illegal for a felon to possess.
“In a search of his residence on the day he was arrested a gun was found,” explained Rymer. “He’s about to be served with a warrant for that charge. The federal authorities are looking at possible charges against him based upon the gun.”
Weese retaliated by attacking the victim’s mental health.
Judge Karl continued the case until April 23 at 10 a.m. while Weese prepares the interview transcripts.
Shawn W. Long was formally arraigned and pleaded not guilty on a four-count indictment.
Long, 38, of 503 Dodd Street, Middlebourne, is charged with felony kidnapping, malicious assault, assault during commission of a felony, and one misdemeanor charge of second-offense domestic battery after allegedly holding his girlfriend against her will at his home in Middlebourne.
Long was already facing three misdemeanor counts of battery on an officer second offense, and was scheduled for trial May 4 when the alleged incident occurred.
Long will return to court April 23 at 10 a.m.
Also appearing before Judge Karl was Terry Winter.
Winter, 43, of 2130 Oil Ridge Road, Sistersville, was indicted in 2006 on three felony counts of sexual abuse by a parent in Tyler County. However, he was summoned on a bond revocation on March 15, 2007, and a capias was issued for his arrest after he was found to have had non-sexual contact with a minor child. When Winter failed to appear for his April and June court dates, a second capias was issued for additional charges.
Winter was indicted on two felony counts of failure to appear in October 2007. Winter was picked up on his capias warrant March 8, over two years later.
Attorney Roger Weese was appointed to represent Winter due to a conflict of interest with the public defender’s office.
Winter will return to court April 23 at 10 a.m.