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Ferrebee fails drug screening

By Staff | Oct 5, 2011

Patricia Ferrebee

Patricia Ferrebee, appearing in Tyler County Circuit Court’s Tuesday, Sept. 27 session, admitted to breaking the terms of her probation. A revocation hearing in front of Judge David W. Hummel, Jr., elicited the information.

“I failed a drug test,” admitted Ferrebee, who was on probation after pleading guilty in 2010 to two counts of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, forgery or subterfuge.

“What did you do to fail the test?” questioned Judge Hummel.

“I smoked weed,” said Ferrebee.

“What kind of weed?” queried the judge.

“Regular weed,” Ferrebee responded.

“Do you mean marijuana? You didn’t smoke some weeds, did you?” asked Judge Hummel.

Ferrebee concurred that she had smoked marijuana.

“Why would someone on supervised probation smoke ‘weed’, knowing they were going to get caught?” the judge further questioned Ferrebee.

“I use it as a coping mechanism,” explained Ferrebee, adding, “I suppose I’m addicted to it.”

“That’s odd,” remarked Hummel. “Marijuana is not an addictive substance.”

Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee informed the court that Ferrebee had tested positive for oxycodone, as well.

“It is the position of the state that Ms. Ferrebee has used up her chances” concerning probation, asserted Furbee. “The state recommends probation be revoked at this time.”

“I realize what I did,” said Ferrebee. “I tried to get help on my own, and started outpatient treatment. I was turned down for inpatient treatment because I wasn’t suicidal.”

Ferrebee requested through her attorney to be placed in inpatient treatment.

Judge Hummel failed to acquiesce to Ferrebee’s request and ordered her remanded to a Division of Corrections facility to serve the remainder of her term.

Michelle Wright, who is currently incarcerated in North Central Regional Jail, appeared in court for a status hearing in front of Judge Hummel.

Wright was previously sentenced to 1-5 years in a West Virginia state prison, with credit for time served (77 days) for one count felony possession (marijuana) with intent to deliver.

Hummel 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. If Wright failed to pass the drug screen, it was ordered she served the entire length of sentence.Wright, who became ill after the hearing, was transported to a local hospital for an evaluation. While in the hospital’s care, a blood sample was drawn, which tested negative for drugs in Wright’s system.

However, upon arrival at North Central Regional Jail, Wright failed a urine screen, testing positive for marijuana.

“I don’t understand how I could pass a drug screen at the hospital, and fail one at the jail,” said Wright.

“Look it up in the library,” Hummel told Wright. “They are different tests.”

“When I asked you at sentencing if you could pass a drug screen, you had a reaction to the question, but you said you could,” added Hummel. “Then you became ill and had to be taken to the hospital. I did not request the hospital perform a drug screen. The drug screen was to be performed at (NCRJ).”

“You didn’t pass the screen, so you do the ‘full freight’,” said the Judge, and remanded Wright back into custody.

Levi Keller, who pleaded guilty to a charge of forgery in August and was sentenced to Anthony Center, appeared in court with his attorney. Anthony Center had initially rejected Keller as a candidate for their youthful offender program, stating Keller was either under the influence or in the process of withdrawal from drugs when he arrived at their facility.

Keller’s attorney, John Gainer, informed the court the Anthony Center would now accept Keller into their program, provided his condition was stabilized.

The prosecutor’s office agreed to transferring the prisoner, on the condition he remain incarcerated until such time as the transport could be made.

“I concur with the prosecutor,” said Mr. Gainer. “He (Keller) does has a serious drug problem.”

“We’re going to protect him from himself,” said Judge Hummel, and ordered the transfer to Anthony Center.

Ryen M. Archer and his attorney reached a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office, giving an inculpatory statement in chambers on charges of felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

The statement was sealed by the court and Archer was ordered to enlist in the United States Army rather than be incarcerated. According to the plea agreement, Archer must complete his service with no less than an honorable discharge. The case was dismissed without prejudice, and failure to comply with terms of the plea will result in reinstatement of the charges.

Samantha Anderson, Rt. 2, West Union, appeared in court on charges of violating terms of probation. Anderson was given a random drug screen by the probation office, which she failed.

Anderson is in custody of NCRJ and faces other charges in Harrison and Doddridge counties. A hearing date of Oct. 27 was set by the court.

Jeffrey Tanley, who pleaded guilty to the felony charge of delivery of a controlled substance (oxycotin) in June, was granted probation by Judge Hummel after serving four months incarceration. Tanley was originally sentenced to not less than one nor more than 15 years imprisonment.

Tanley was indicted in March based on an investigation conducted by Deputy D.S. Dalrymple. It was alleged that Tanley sold a cooperating witness three oxycotin tablets. The purchase was captured by a body recording.

Tanley’s attorney told the court Tanley had been a “model inmate” while serving his sentence, had been made trustee, and had a job waiting on him upon release.

“I love that phrase, ‘model inmate’,” remarked the Judge. “How about he becomes a model citizen?”

Donald Weekley, Jr., 128 Kirchner St., Middlebourne, indicted on 8 felony counts of sexual abuse in February, appeared in court with his attorney for the purposes of a status conference.

Weekley’s defense attorney had requested Weekley’s records from Northwood Health Systems, which had not yet been received.

Noting time constraints, the court offered a waiver of term to Weekley in order for the defense, prosecutor and judge to view the documents in an in-camera (closed) hearing prior to trial to determine admissibility.

Weekley agreed to the waiver and a court date of Nov. 3, 9 a.m. was set as trial date.

“If I can get an opening, or get discovery done before next term, we will schedule the trial on the docket for the current term,” Judge Hummel remarked.

* * * *

Larry E. Bennett, Friendly, charged with two counts felony wanton endangerment, two counts felony assault on a government representative, and misdemeanor battery, appeared in Tyler County Circuit Court Thursday in front of Judge David W. Hummel, Jr.

Bennett, while in the courtroom awaiting hearing, disrupted proceedings of another case by making an unintelligible remark which prompted the judge to sequester Bennett until his case was brought forth.

When facing Judge Hummel, Bennett apologized for his earlier behavior. “I am sorry for my outburst. I apologize to the court.”

Bennett entered a plea of guilty to the lesser included charges of one county brandishing and one count assault on a government representative. The felony charges were dismissed.

Bennett was sentenced to a total of one year in North Central Regional Jail. Having served four months, the rest of the sentence was suspended and Bennett was placed on one year supervised probation.

Scott Renford appeared on charges of violating terms of probation. The defendant, who was convicted of a third degree sexual offense in 2010, had been placed on probation in March of this year after serving time in Anthony Center.

Renford is accused of providing a false address to his probation officer, violating curfew, and having an inappropriate relationship with a minor female.

“Essentially, he went off the grid,” commented Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee. “Renford had given the court a Wheeling address, but was actually living in Barnesville, Ohio.”

Renford maintained through his attorney John Gainer he had been given permission to travel to Barnesville to attend a birthday party at his cousin’s home.

Renford claimed to have a transportation problem and was “stuck” in Ohio for a period of days.

“I have no idea why the defendant would even be in Ohio, when it was contrary to terms of probation,” submitted Furbee. “The relationship with the (minor female) is also of concern.”

A hearing date was set for Oct. 27. Renford was remanded back into the custody of NCRJ.

Barbara Wells-Meese withdrew an earlier plea of not guilty to one count possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (Vicodin).

Wells-Mease was arrested by Sgt. Alex Northcraft of the Sistersville Police Dept. in March of this year for attempting to sell ten Vicodin tablets. The defendant was communicating via text message and the person receiving the messages informed Sgt. Northcraft, who then set up the controlled buy.

When asked by the Judge to explain her culpability concerning her actions, Wells-Mease said, “I was going back and forth with the text messages.”

“It’s not illegal to text, is it?” asked the Judge. “You did try to sell the Vicodin. You are not a pharmacist, are you?”

Wells-Mease concurred that she was not a pharmacist and had tried to sell the controlled substance to help buy insulin for her boyfriend.

“Did you get the insulin?” asked Judge Hummel.

Wells-Mease explained she had not gotten any money and that Sgt. Northcraft had taken possession of the controlled substance.

“No money exchanged hands,” added the Prosecuting Attorney.

Wells-Mease was sentenced to a WV Division of Corrections facility with credit for time served and will be placed on supervised probation at a later date.

Ruth J. McNees, previously indicted on three felony counts, delivery of a controlled substance and three felony counts, conspiracy to deliver, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to deliver.

McNees admitted she provided transportation to deliver marijuana, but said “I didn’t know at the time what was going on.”

“I didn’t realize it (the charges) would affect my life so much, but I certainly know now,” she added. “I drove to Marietta to get groceries and dropped my son off at a friend’s house,” she explained. William Seth McNees, her son, was also charged with six identical felony counts.

Ms. McNees, who was tearful throughout the proceeding, has no criminal record and asserts she is not a drug user.

After accepting the plea, Judge Hummel set a sentencing date of Oct. 27.

William Seth McNees pleaded guilty to two felony counts, one count of conspiracy to deliver and one count possession with intent to deliver, marijuana.

Mr. McNees told the court he used marijuana but was not a drug dealer.

“I went to a friend’s house, and she asked me if I wanted to smoke (marijuana) and I said yes,” he explained. “She told me she had a pain pill addiction and asked me if I could get her some marijuana.”

“I was set up. I never would have done it (sold her the marijuana) if she hadn’t asked me to,” added McNees. “She smoked pot with me. She gave me some pain pills, so I trusted her. I didn’t know she was working with the Sheriff’s office.”

McNees sold contraband in three controlled buys to the confidential informant.

“I had a pain pill addiction at one time,” said McNees. “I knew when I smoked pot, I didn’t need the pills. I was trying to help her out. I’m not a drug dealer. I only get pot for my own personal use,” he added.

William McNees will also be sentenced on Oct. 27 on two felony convictions. A pre-sentencing investigation was ordered by the court.

Laura Smith, charged with one felony count, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (marijuana) withdrew an earlier plea of not guilty, pleading guilty to a lesser included charge of misdemeanor possession.

Smith was sentenced to 6 months in regional jail, suspended, and ordered 6 months of home confinement. Smith was also fined $250 and will complete six months supervised probation after serving her sentence. She reported to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office on Friday to begin a home confinement program.