Family speaks to defendant
There was not a dry eye in the court room on April 1 as Judge Mark A. Karl heard dispositions from the family members of Paul Lyttle III who drowned as the result of an accident that occurred on Nov. 23, 2008.
The vehicle involved in the accident was driven by Michael S. Walker, 37, of 142 Pine Lake Drive, Scott Depot, W.Va. Walker and Lyttle were traveling southbound on W.Va. 18 going toward the Tyler County Fairgrounds when the accident occurred. Lyttle was pronounced dead at the scene; Walker was transported to Sistersville General Hospital for the treatment of his injuries.
On Feb. 18, Walker pleaded guilty to the the felony charge of driving under the influence of alcohol causing death.
Debbie Lyttle, mother of the deceased, was the first to speak in open court.
“I am here today to tell you, Michael, that you took my son away from me forever. You left him in the cold water to drown and you did nothing,” she said.
“You are a coward. You say that he was your best friend, but you did nothing to help him,” Lyttle said, sobbing. “You say that you are sorry but I will never forgive you for what you have done.”
Nicki Lyttle-McIlwain, Lyttle’s sister, said. “My brother was killed right before my son’s first birthday. He is now almost two years old and he will never know him because of you. You took him away from him and us. The only time we can see him is when we visit his grave, I want you to think of that for the rest of your life.”
Lyttle’s aunt, Becky Radford, then had her chance to speak to Walker. “Paul was my only nephew and my best friend and you took him away from me. I don’t sleep at night cause of what you did. My heart is gone now.”
Karl agreed to let Walker speak. “I read their statements prior to coming in here”, Walker said to Karl.
Looking at Paul’s mother, Walker said, “When I talked to you after what happened, I swear I told you everything that I knew. I have nothing to hide.”
“When the wreck occurred, it was difficult to know where I was. Water was rushing in, it was dark and I don’t remember hearing Paul. I was in a panic. If I were sober at the time, I would have done anything to save him,” Walker explained. “I’m sorry, I know it doesn’t do much, but I am sorry.”
After the hearing, Walker was ordered to report to the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men to begin serving his sentence of no less than two years and no more than 10 years and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and all court appointed fees. After serving one year, he will be placed on two years probation. Walker was given credit for time served.
Jessica L. Cooper-Boor, 25, of 302 Staley St., Middlebourne, also appeared before Karl for a sentencing hearing. She pleaded guilty on March 11 to felony possession of a controlled substance (heroin) with intent to deliver. A felony charge of possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) with intent to deliver was dismissed.
Wetzel County’s Prosecuting Attorney Timothy E. Haught stated the state’s recommendation of sentence for her felony carries a one to five year sentence. He further said that Cooper-Boor did not go to Philadelphia, Pa., with co-defendants, Justin Acree and Christopher Olsweski, who also pleaded guilty and were sentenced earlier this year.
Haught added that Cooper-Boor has found employment and that she is currently living with her parents and helping them financially.
Karl asked Cooper-Boor if she had anything to say to the court before her sentencing.
She replied, “I was never a trouble maker. I fell into the wrong crowd and if I go to jail, I will lose my degrees that I have working with children.”
Karl ordered Cooper-Boor to return to court on April 22 at 10 a.m. for sentencing. Her bond was continued.
Also appearing in court was Kevin Morgan, 35, no address given. At the request of his attorney, Roger Weese, Morgan was sent to the Northern Regional Jail.
Morgan’s case is a bit long and complicated. It begins with charges in November 2007 of burglary and failure to appear. In exchange for guilty to those counts he was sentenced to one to five years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men on each charge, to run consecutively. However, Morgan had some medical issues that prompted the courts to allow him to serve the sentence on home confinement at his home in Wetzel County. On Jan. 14, 2010, Morgan allegedly left his home with the equipment still on his person.
Morgan is to return to court April 22 at 10 a.m.
Timothy J. Lasure, 32, of Route 2, Box 286, West Union, last appeared before Karl on March 24. His attorney, David C. White, asked Karl to reduce his bond, which was set at $45,000, to $10,000. Karl granted the request and released him on a justification bond.
Lasure is facing charges of entering without breaking and petty larceny. Karl ordered Lasure to return to court on April 13 at 10 a.m.
George Ash, 46, of Rt. 1 Box 641 Greenwood, appeared in court without his counsel.
Ash was charged on Oct. 21 with a felony count one of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory and a felony count of possession of substances to be used as precursor to manufacture Methamphetamine and a felony count of exposure of children to Methamphetamine manufacturing.
Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee stated he has been in contact with the defendant’s counsel about the final witness list.
Ash was remanded to the North Central Regional Jail and ordered to return on April 26.
Bond was continued for Timothy J. Judge, 28, of Tyler Highway, Sistersville, who is charged with the a felony count of breaking and entering a building other than a dwelling and a misdemeanor count of petit larceny.
He was ordered to return on April 14 at noon.
Robert L. Sherman, 58, of 428 Smith Ridge Road, Sistersville, appeared with Attorney Joseph W. McFarland Jr. and a suppression hearing was scheduled for April 13 at 10 a.m. Sherman is charged with one count of manufacturing of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.
Jeremiah R. Anderson, 23, of HC 61 Box 55A, Knob Fork, waived his right to a speedy trial and a hearing for volunteerism of statement will be held on May 6. He is charged with a felony count of breaking and entering a building other than a dwelling, a misdemeanor count of petit larceny, a felony count of attempted breaking and entering a building other than a dwelling, and a misdemeanor count of destruction of property.
Jaime Connell, 26, of 6285 Sleepy Hollow Drive, Titus, Fla., pleaded guilty to two of three charges brought against her in Tyler County.
Count one and two are felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver; a similar count three was dismissed.
Connell was sentenced to one to 15 years on each count, to be served concurrently. However, Karl placed her on two years probation with a condition that she must serve four months behind bars.
Judge Karl released James Lee Smith Sr. of HC 60 Box 130 AA, Middlebourne, to work out of state. Smith is charged with the felony count of manufacturing of a controlled substance. His counsel filed a motion for discovery and asked Karl to release his client
Smith is to return on April 13 at 10 a.m. His bond was continued.
Angela Bennett, 28, of 49 South Wells St., Sistersville, also appeared before Karl.
Bennett, charged with the felony count of malicious assault to which she entered a plea of innocence, was ordered to return on April 13 at 10 a.m.
Randy Forrester, 44, of 339 Orr St., Middlebourne, is charged with a felony count of failure to provide notice of registration changes and a misdemeanor count of domestic battery.
Forrester’s attorney stated he posted bond in the Magistrate’s Office. He was ordered to return on April 22 at 10 a.m.
Jerry D. Noland, 44, of 136 East Charles St., Middlebourne, faces three felony counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
Public Defender John Gainer filed a motion for discovery. Noland’s bond was continued and he was ordered to return on April 22 at 10 a.m.
Jay Morgan, 32, of Rt. 2 Box 231, New Martinsville, is charged with two felony counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and one felony count of sexual abuse by a custodian.
At his last appearance on March 24, Karl set his bond at $125,000.
Gainer filed a motion for discovery and Morgan entered a plea of innocence.
Karl ordered him to return on April 22 at 10 a.m. He is currently being housed in the North Central Regional Jail.
Shawn W. Long, 39, of P.O. Box 145 Middlebourne, appeared in court. He is charged with three counts of battery on a police officer, second offense. Karl appointed co-council Keith Hart to his case.
Long’s bond was continued and he was ordered to return on April 22 at 10 a.m.
Diana Ash, 46, of Rt. 1 Box 641, Greenwood, faces a felony count of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory, a felony count possession of substances to be used as precursor to manufacture methamphetamine and a felony count of exposure of children to methamphetamine manufacturing.
Karl continued her bond and she was ordered to return to court April 22 at 10 a.m.
Tawyna Denise Rose, 39 of 8C62 Box 47A Alma, filed a motion for mental evaluation.
On March 19, Rose was charged in Magistrate Court with malicious wounding.
Karl ordered her to appear for these examinations.