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Hummel hears cases

By Staff | Jun 30, 2011

Judge David W. Hummel, Jr., presided over the regular session of Tyler County Circuit Court on Thursday, scheduling trial dates for defendants and sentencing three convicted felons, as well as hearing testimony concerning a polygraph test conducted at the request of Donald W. Weekley, Jr.

Charged with eight felony sexual abuse counts, Donald W. Weekley, Jr., appeared in court with his attorney, John Gainer, for purposes of setting a trial date.

While in court, testimony was taken from Deputy Sheriff D. Scott Dalrymple concerning a polygraph test Weekley voluntarily submitted to in November, 2010. Weekley contacted the Sheriff’s Office after being informed of allegations of sexual abuse by police, and arranged for the polygraph test. The defense argued for a motion to suppress the evidence stemming from the polygraph.

After listening to testimony from Deputy Dalyrmple and the defendant, Judge Hummel ruled the results of the polygraph admissible. The judge also ordered the defendant to have ‘no contact, directly or indirectly’ with one alleged victim, after being informed that an attempt had been made to do so. A trial date has been set for Sept. 12.

Kent Moore, Paden City, pleaded guilty to two felony counts, burglary and grand larceny, stemming from a robbery in August, 2010, of a “seasonal camp” located on Rt. 2 in Tyler County. Moore admitted to police he had driven another defendant (who was also convicted) to the camp and received stolen goods taken from the property. Moore later sold the items in order to obtain money to buy prescription pills.

“We broke in the place, took some tools, and sold them,” said Moore to Judge Hummel. “I was high on pills at the time.”

Moore was ordered to serve two 1-10 year sentences in state prison, to run concurrently. Sentence was suspended and Hummel placed Moore on three years supervised probation.

Moore, who has had probation revoked in the past, was asked by Judge Hummel, “What are the odds you will successfully complete probation this time?”

“Better than last time,” answered Moore. “About 90 per cent better.”

Michelle Wright, who pleaded guilty to to one count of felony possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (marijuana), also faced Judge Hummel for sentencing.

Wright, who appeared with her attorney, Roger Weese, addressed the court , saying, “I want to apologize for my actions.”

“Why were you selling drugs?” queried Hummel.

“I was waiting tables, making four dollars an hour,” stated Wright, “and I needed the money. I just wasn’t making enough (money).”

Defense attorney Roger Weese spoke on behalf of Wright, saying, “She does have the ability to do better,” referring to the fact that Wright had an associate’s degree. “She has three children,” he continued. “The children need her.”

“She has no prior felonies,” he added, asking the court for alternate sentencing (home confinement and work release).

Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee agreed that Wright’s huband, William L. Wright, who was also convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance in a separate trial, was more “culpable” than Michelle Wright.

“That doesn’t excuse the defendant’s complicity,” he argued. “The state requests an alternative sentence with conditions, and at least four months incarceration.”

Judge Hummel then addressed Mrs. Wright. “Are you ‘clean’ today?” he asked. She replied, yes.

Wright was sentenced to 1-5 years in a West Virginia state prison, with credit for time served (77 days). Hummel then amended sentencing to 60 days at North Central Regional Jail, provided Wright passed a drug screen, which was ordered to be performed immediately upon arrival at NCRJ. Also ordered was 30 months supervised probation at the completion of her sentence. Wright was remanded into custody following sentencing.

William J. Parr, Middlebourne, who pleaded guilty to one count of felony DUI, third offense, waived presentation to the grand jury and was sentenced to 1-3 years in a state prison, suspended. Parr was also ordered one year of monitored home confinement, with credit for time served. A second felony DUI will remain on the books until completion of sentencing is fulfilled.

The prosecution stated, “Your Honor, I’m not very sympathetic to drunk drivers.” Noting that Parr had taken steps to address his problem with alcohol, “This is a make it or break it chance,” continued D. Luke Furbee, who spoke for the state. “I am willing that he give home confinement a try.”

Parr admitted to the charge, saying “I had been drinking alcohol and did drive my pick-up through Sistersville. I plead guilty, your Honor, because I am guilty of that charge.”

Parr was arrested in February, 2011. Law enforcement observed Parr driving “very erratically” and upon investigation determined a “strong odor of alcohol.” Parr failed all field sobriety tests and refused a breathalyzer, resulting in arrest.

Parr had voluntarily begun treatment prior to sentencing and plans to continue counseling sessions.

Arnold Hartline, Sistersville, arraigned in March, 2011, on charges of felony possession of a firearm on the property of an educational facility, was found competent to stand trial after the court reviewed a psychiatric evaluation. A plea hearing was scheduled for July 28 by the court.

Ryen M. Archer, who is charged with two counts, delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana), appeared in court with his attorney to address a motion to suppress video recordings pertaining to the arrest. Motion to suppress was denied, and trial date of July 28 was set by the court.

A motion for bail reduction was submitted to the court by John Gainer, defense counsel for Larry L. Lemasters, who is currently incarcerated in NCRJ. Judge Hummel tentatively ruled Lemasters bond remain at $10,000 with the amendment that a property bond be allowed as security, as well as cash, surety, bondsman. Lemasters was ordered to have no contact with his alleged victim if released on bond, and must indicate a singular place of residence to the court.

Charlotte Kimball, charged with 10 counts, felony entering a dwelling without breaking with the intent to commit a crime, appeared with her attorney, Henry Woods. A trial date of Sept. 29 was ordered by the court.

A trial date of Sept. 12 was set for defendant Joshua Berryman, charged with one felony count, delivery of a controlled substance, marijuana. Berryman is represented by defense counsel John Gainer.

Thomas G. Hayhurst, arrested on a capias warrant for failure to appear to answer charges on three misdemeanors, had his case remanded back to Tyler County Magistrate Court.