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Quinn, Smith, Pachuta appear in Karl’s court

By Staff | Apr 29, 2009

DEAL BREAKERS — Judge Mark Karl heard cases and handed down verdicts in circuit court April 23.

Felonies were reduced to misdemeanors in a plea deal April 23 when James N. Quinn appeared before Judge Mark Karl in Tyler County Circuit Court.

Quinn, 23, of 409 1/2 South Third St., Paden City, was originally indicted Feb. 10, 2008, on one felony count of grand larceny and one felony count of leaving the scene of an accident with personal injuries.

On Oct. 6, 2008, the Tyler County 911 Center received a call concerning an auto accident on W.Va. 2 between Paden City and Sistersville in Tyler County. Another call came into the 911 Center shortly afterward that reported the driver had fled the scene.

Deputy J.K. Maston responded to the auto accident and ascertained that the owner of the vehicle was Jack Pethel.

Maston was able to contact Pethel and was advised that Sam White was using the car. Later that evening Maston was able to speak with White. According to White, he and Quinn had been at the Eagles drinking. Afterward Quinn got in the car and took off.

“I took it without his consent and crashed it,” stated Quinn. “I thought I (had permission).”

Due to plea negotiations between the state and Quinn’s attorney, John Gainer, the felony charges were dismissed. Quinn pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges of joy riding and destruction of property. He was sentenced to two consecutive six month terms in the North Central Regional Jail in West Union. The jail sentence was suspended and Quinn was placed on probation for one year. Quinn was also ordered to pay restitution to the Wetzel-Valley Agencies in the amount of $4,027.

While going over the plea deal, Judge Karl made note that Quinn was not requesting alcohol or drug treatment.

“You do understand that if you’re on probation three or four months from now and you have a problem, you can’t come back here and say ‘Judge, I have a drinking problem. I need help,'” asked Karl. “You’re telling me here under oath that you don’t have a problem.”

Jason E. Smith appeared before Judge Karl for a probation revocation.

Smith, 38, of 403 Fair St., Middlebourne, was convicted Jan 30, 2009, of two misdemeanor counts of domestic battery in Tyler County Magistrate Court and placed on probation for one year. In violation of his probation, Smith did not attend alcohol treatment and was found drunk.

Judge Karl moved to continue the case until an attorney with the Public Defender Corporation could be retained to represent Smith. Smith then asked to serve out his sentence.

“Could I have it revoked and serve my sentence?” asked Smith.

“I’d suggest you have an attorney to represent you,” responded Karl.

“The state’s position would be that counsel be afforded to this defendant in order the he might adequately be advised on how to exercise his rights,” agreed Tyler County Prosecutor Luke Furbee.

The case was continued until May 18 at 1:30 p.m.

After reading interview transcripts, Judge Karl chose not to reduce the bond of Joseph M. Pachuta.

Pachuta, 48, of H.C. 60 Box 116, Lima, was arrested and charged with one felony count of kidnapping or holding hostage and one misdemeanor count of domestic assault. Pachuta appeared in court April 2 to get a reduction on his $75,000 bond. Currently Pachuta is on home confinement. Karl asked for time to review transcripts from interviews collected during the investigation and continued the case until April 23. Karl decided not to reduce the bond.

All other cases were continued until May 18 at 1:30 p.m.