Frey pleads to embezzlement
Calling her actions “a despicable act of greed against children,” Judge David W. Hummel, Jr., sentenced defendant Sherry Frey to one to 10 years in a West Virginia state prison for women in Tyler County Circuit Court on Thursday, May 12. Hummel then suspended her sentence and placed Frey on two years supervised probation.
“You stole from kids, didn’t you?” Hummel insisted, after the defendant equivocated about her guilt when accepting a plea agreement. Frey pleaded guilty to one count felony embezzlement, finally admitting she had stolen thousands of dollars from the Tyler Consolidated Middle School’s Athletic Booster Club. Making excuses for her behavior, Frey aroused the ire of the judge, who remarked, “That’s the biggest pack of lies I’ve ever heard.”
Frey, who made a partial restitution in the amount of $1,200 in court Thursday, was accused of stealing several thousands of dollars while serving as treasurer for the TCMS Athletic Booster’s Club.
“Do you have a gambling problem?” asked Judge Hummel. Frey replied she did not. The money stolen was suspected to be in the amount of almost $9,000. Poor record-keeping made it impossible to determine how much money actually went missing, but Frey admitted to taking “a couple of thousand” dollars. The court ordered Frey to reimburse the club another $800 in addition to the $1,200 received.
“It’s hard to believe someone would have the nerve to steal money from the Middle School Athletic Boosters. Many of us gladly give our time and labor to the school and desire nothing in return,” commented Prosecuting Attorney Luke Furbee. “I’m happy we were able to get some of it back today.”
Also appearing in front of Judge Hummel on Thursday was Bradford P. Wiseman, age 46, facing charges of felony conveying false information concerning a terrorist act.
Wiseman, whose hearing was held in magistrate court due to his inability to walk without crutches, faced Hummel with his attorney, John Gainer, and was articulate and polite throughout the proceedings. He admitted, through a plea agreement, that he had in fact called in a bomb threat to the Tyler County fairgrounds last summer during the week of the fair.
According to a statement from Don Seckman, who was manning a booth at the fair, a call was received relaying that a bomb had been placed at the fairgrounds and would go off in approximately twenty minutes, with the capability of killing “at least fifty people.”
Seckman notified law enforcement, who cleared the area and searched the fairgrounds. There was no bomb found. However, the disruption to the festivities cost vendors and others resulting in a loss of profit for the evening.
Wiseman, who was also convicted of making terrorist (bomb) threats in Wetzel County, was sentenced to one to three years in the West Virginia State Penitentiary for his crime in Tyler County. His sentence will run concurrently with the two one to three year sentences handed down in Wetzel County.
When explaining his actions in court, Wiseman said, “We were drinking. We had drunk a lot.”
Judge Hummel asked Wiseman if he had committed acts for amusement.
“I was too drunk to remember if it was funny or not,” replied Wiseman, “but it isn’t funny now.”
Wiseman was ordered to pay restitution to members of the fair board . Judge Hummel informed the court that any vendor who had a right to file a claim for lost revenue could do so through the prosecuting attorney’s office. Hummel set a deadline of 45 days for claims to be opened. Wiseman was given 133 days credit for time served against his sentence.
Furbee remarked, “It remains unclear to me what Mr. Wiseman’s motivation was for making the bomb threat. He appeared to have some kind of twisted fascination with law enforcement and first responders.”
“‘possible he did it simply to listen to the response of his scanner, with which at least one witness claimed he was obsessed,” Furbee added. “A call trace was tried, but unfortunately it didn’t work because another call had already come in on the line.”
“With hard work and a little bit of luck, we were able to hold this individual accountable,” Furbee continued. “He received the sentence the law provides, but I think the legislature needs to take a look at that law. One to three years seems minimal to me for that kind of stunt by a grown man.”
“Any person or business who suffered any loss at the fair that night that can be proven should contact my office by June 24 so that we can try to get an order of restitution,” he concluded.
Miranda Yost, a student at West Virginia Northern Community College, appeared in court to plea to one count, felony possession with intent to deliver (hydrocodone-acetemeniphen). A second felony count was dismissed.
Yost, through her attorney Roger Weese, pleaded guilty, stating she had “filled prescriptions and sold them” in Tyler County.
“I had surgery and was prescribed the pain medication, but after I no longer needed it, I filled the prescriptions and sold the pills,” she admitted in court.
Yost was sentenced to two months incarceration in women’s prison and two years supervised probation.
A father and son, Kevin Ebert and Joshua Ebert of Friendly, appeared in court on separate but related cases, both charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Appearing first, Joshua Ebert, age 18, who is a senior in high school, pleaded to the charge and admitted he had sold marijuana to a confidential informant, approximately 5.3 grams, for seventy dollars.
Joshua Ebert, who had no prior criminal history as an adult or a juvenile, was sentenced one to five years in Anthony Center with two year’s supervised probation.
Considering the circumstances of the case, it was agreed by the prosecution upon recommendation of Judge Hummel that after successful completion of sentencing, Ebert could reduce his conviction to youthful offender status and plead to a misdemeanor, which would remove the felony from his record.
“You have to meet the ‘gold standard’ in behavior,” counseled Judge Hummel. “This could make a big difference for you.”
Kevin Ebert, Joshua Ebert’s father, also pleaded guilty to the felony count and was sentenced to one to five years in state prison, suspended, and three years supervised probation.
In other matters, Judge Hummel heard from attorney Henry Woods via conference call concerning motions in the upcoming case against Charlotte Kimball, who is charged with 10 counts felony entry of a dwelling without breaking with the intent to commit a crime. The defense requested access to a camera, camera card and access to the scene for purposes of determining a timeline. The motions were granted.