Paden City police chief arrested
A local police chief is facing criminal charges after an alleged altercation with his wife and in-laws.
Paden City Police Chief Michael Justin Billiter, 29, was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts of domestic battery early Monday morning.
According to Tyler County Sheriff Earl P. “Bob” Kendle, Jr., law enforcement officers were called to the home of Billiter’s in-laws on Monroe Street in Paden City around 1:30 a.m. He stated that Billiter allegedly became agitated, pushing and shoving his wife, mother-in-law and father-in-law. The mother-in-law reportedly had a knee laceration when police arrived.
“Originally, the first two officers thought they could handle it. Being as he was an officer himself, we did not know if there was a weapon involved,” Kendle said.
Therefore, backup from New Martinsville, Sistersville, West Virginia State Police and Tyler County Sheriff’s Department were called to assist with the incident.
“The more you can get there, the quicker and the better you can control the situation. That way nobody gets hurt,” Kendle said.
Deputies arrested Billiter and he was transported to the North Central Regional Jail in Greenwood, W.Va. He was later arraigned via video feed by Tyler County Magistrate John Roberts. Billiter was given a $500 personal recognizance bond on each count and was permitted to bond out immediately. He was, however, ordered to have no contact with the alleged victims.
Sheriff Kendle has known Billiter professionally for many years. “I’ve backed Chief Billiter up myself on calls. He’s backed me up several times. It’s hard when you have to do this with one of your own. But then again, we can’t treat this situation any different than we would treat any other situation. We have to treat them as if we don’t know them,” he said. “No one is above the law.”
Tuesday morning, Tyler County Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee requested that Judge David W. Hummel, Jr. appoint a special prosecutor to handle the cases against Billiter. Furbee made the request due to the conflicts of interest that would arise between his office and the Paden City Police Department, as well as pending cases, if his office remained on Billiter’s cases.
Judge Hummel signed an order granting the request and for the appointment of a special prosecutor, who will be designated by the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorney’s Institute subject to the Court’s approval in the near future.