Myers to serve one to 15 for possession
Judge David W. Hummel, Jr. sentenced convicted felon Veronica K. Myers, 44, of Friendly, to one to 15 years in the Lakin Correctional Center in Point Pleasant in Thursday’s session of Tyler County Circuit Court. Myers, convicted of felony possession of heroin with intent to deliver, appeared before the judge with counsel Randy D. Gossett.
During the approval of the pre-sentencing report, Myers attorney requested that a “defendant’s version of the events” be entered into the record. The court accepted the document and viewed the defendant’s statement before proceeding with sentencing. Myers’ attorney pleaded for alternate sentencing (home confinement) for her conviction, citing health reasons and other circumstances.
In addressing the court, Myers attested that “the drugs were not mine, and I didn’t know they were in there.” (Myers was found in possession of 20 stamps of heroin in June, 2010).
“I’m not a threat to society,” she maintained. “I’m not a drug dealer. If my son was here, he would tell you that, but he’s gone. I know it’s his (the prosecutor’s) job to show me in the worst possible light, but just give me a second chance.”
Presenting the state’s recommendation for sentencing, Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee asserted that Myers had already gotten a “second chance” when she was sentenced to home confinement on a previous heroin conviction. “There is always a justification, an excuse,” he continued. “You reap what you sow. Like the ‘Good Book’ says, ‘sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.'”
“It is my constitutional duty as a representative of the state to seek justice,” he told the court. “I must go by personal and professional guidelines, which I take into careful consideration. The proliferation of narcotics in the community is a violence on the people of Tyler County. Heroin is a violent commodity.”
Furbee went on to argue that the defendant wanted the state to ignore her prior conviction and reminded the court that she pleaded guilty and signed a confession to the current felony charge.
“The defendant wants to blame others, and make excuses. Members of her own family were involved. What did the defendant do to remedy this situation? I would submit to the court, absolutely nothing! The state asks for the maximum sentence,” he concluded.
Handing down the one to 15 year sentence, Judge Hummel told Myers, “You pled guilty, you are guilty. Heroin is a violent commodity. You lost your son due to that.” Myers was taken into police custody immediately following the hearing and remanded to the WV Department of Corrections.
William L. Wright, appearing with his attorney, John Gainer, petitioned the court with a motion to disqualify Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee and appoint a special prosecutor to Wright’s pending felony case.
Wright, who is accused of felony delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana) and a misdemeanor charge of delivering an imitation controlled substance, rejected a plea agreement in December, 2010. The request for a special prosecutor was prompted by the fact that Mr. Furbee had been Wright’s defense counsel in previous cases before being elected to the prosecutor’s office.
Wright contended that when Furbee was his defense counsel, he was privy to Wright’s complete criminal record, and that it violated attorney-client privilege.
The prosecutor’s office argued Furbee represented Wright three years previously, which had no relevancy to the current charges. Wright was represented by Furbee in December of 2007 as an appointed public defender on a misdemeanor possession (marijuana) charge
“I have had no contact with Mr. Wright since March of 2008,” stated Furbee. “There is nothing similar in the cases. They have nothing in common but marijuana. I can see no relevance or admissibility to the prior case.” Furbee further asserted, “I have acted in good faith in the current matter.”
Judge Hummel denied the request for special prosecutor, informing the defendant the cases had to be “same or substantially related.” The judge found no conflict and ordered Wright to stand trial on Tuesday, March 1.
Phillip Montgomery, Rt. 7, Sardis, Ohio, who has outstanding warrants in Wetzel, Marshall and Tyler Counties, and faces other charges in Ohio, voluntarily waived extradition to Ohio and was remanded to the jurisdiction of Wetzel County. He is incarcerated in North Regional Jail awaiting trial. Upon disposition of the charges in West Virginia, Montgomery will be released to Ohio authorities.
April Holsberry, no address given, appeared in front of the court to petition for home confinement. Holsberry’s supervised probation was revoked by the court due to violations. Convicted of felony fraudulent schemes, Holsberry’s original sentence of one to 10 years, which was suspended, could be enforced.
Paul E. Hommer III appeared before Judge Hummel to be sentenced for a guilty plea to one count, possession of marijuana (less than 15 grams). Hommer pleaded guilty in January to the charge. “This is about you, sir,” Judge Hummel informed Hommer. “I have not made my decision yet. What are your intentions towards this court regarding your sentencing?”
“I’m asking for the privilege of probation,” replied Hommer. “I believe I can successfully complete probation and get on with my life.”
“What makes you think you can succeed?” countered the Judge. “I am aware of your history. I know of your attempts at rehabilitation. On the record, I would warn you, I feel methadone (treatments) and the like is simply trading one high for another.”
Hommer told the court he was attending deVry University and doing well in school. He also told the court he intends to “stay away from bad influences” and concentrate on “getting my life together.”
The prosecution informed the court that its role in the process is not to overly punish, but to seek justice. “I don’t want to minimize the issue of drug use, however, the state feels that incarceration could do more harm than good,” remarked the prosecution.
Upon consideration, Judge Hummel sentenced Hommer to six months incarceration (suspended), with two years supervised probation, 100 hours of community service, and $250 in fines. He was also ordered to participate in no methadone treatment plans and to follow all guidelines set forth by his probation officer. “Mr. Hommer, we wish you the best of luck,” Judge Hummel concluded.
Roger Vancamp, Sistersville, requested and was granted a new trial date. Trial was set for March 24-25. Vancamp is accused of nine felony counts. He was indicted in October 2010 on charges of failing to register as a sexual offender(one count) and sexual abuse (5 counts), possession of firearms (one count) and delivery of a controlled substance (2 counts). He is represented by his appointed attorney, John Gainer.
Ronald K. Hensley, no address, entered an agreed plea and was transferred to the jurisdiction of Marshall County, where he will be under home confinement.
Julie Henline, no address, entered an agreed plea to the court and was placed on superivised probation under the jurisdiction of Doddridge County, where she resides. She was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, less than 15 grams.
William J. Roe, no address available, was represented by counsel and pleaded guilty to one count felony delivery of a controlled substance. When answering the charges, Roe admitted, “I sold weed (marijuana). I was supporting my own (marijuana) habit.” Roe was sentenced to one to five years incarceration with credit for time served, fined $195 costs and restitution, and forfeiture of $480 and paraphernalia seized by police.
Ten people were arraigned in Tyler County Circuit Court, following indictments by the grand jury. Arnold Hartline, 665 Maple Lane, Sistersville, was indicted on one count felony possession of a firearm on the property of an educational facility. Bond was transferred from magistrate court with stiplulations. Hartline will be formally arraigned March 10.
Joshua D. Berryman, no address available, was indicted on one count felony delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana). Berryman requested a public defender be appointed to his case and will be formally arraigned March 10. He is currently being held at North Central Regional Jail on a previous charge of malicious wounding. Bail was set at $15,000 cash, surety or bondsman.
Zachary Ferrebee, also indicted on one count felony delivery of a controlled subject (marijuana), requested a public defender and will be formally arraigned March 10. Bail was set at $15,000 cash, surety or bondsman, with stipulations that the defendant have no contact with any witness or suspected witness.
Amber Lewis, indicted on two counts felony delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana), requested representation by a court appointed attorney and is currently out of jail on a personal recognizance bond.
Mary Bennett, indicted on one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance (hydro-codone acetemenicin) requested a public defender and will be formally arraigned March 10. Bond set at $5,000 cash, surety, bondsman.
Kent Moore, indicted on one count, grand larceny, and one count, burglary, requested a court-appointed attorney and will be formally arraigned March 10. Bond set at $2,000.
Donald K. Weekley, Jr., indicted on eight felony counts, (sexual abuse in the first degree, six counts, sexual abuse first degree by a parent, one count, sexual abuse first degree by a person in a position of trust, one count), requested representation by a court appointed attorney and will be formally arraigned March 10. Weekley is currently incarcerated in North Central Regional Jail.
Harry M. Strudwick, 2875 S. Energy Hwy, Friendly, represented by Roger Weese, pleaded not guilty to one count felony malicious assault, and one count entry of a dwelling. A motion of discovery was filed and granted. A status hearing was set for March 10. Strudwick was remanded to North Central Regional Jail, bond set at $100,000 cash, surety, bondsman.
Samantha Anderson, Rt. 2, West Union, under indictment for one felony count of burglary and two misdemeanor counts, petit larceny and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, asked for court-appointed representation and will be formally arraigned March 10. Bond was set at $3,000 cash, surety or bondsman, payable by Monday, Feb. 28, at noon.
Connie Anderson, Rt. 2, West Union, indicted on one count felony burglary and one misdemeanor count, petit larceny, requested representation by a court appointed attorney and will be formally arraigned March 10. Anderson was released on $3,000 personal recognizance bond.
Charlotte J. Kimball, under indictment for ten felony counts of entry of a dwelling without breaking and ten misdemeanor counts of petit larceny, appeared with her attorney, Henry Woods, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. A trial date was set for May 26. Kimball was released on $3,000 personal recognizance bond.
Rebecca Scott, no address given, appeared before the court on charges of embezzlement (misdemeanor) and requested a bench trial. Trial date was set for March 24.