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Violation ends in initial punishment

By Staff | Feb 4, 2015

A Middlebourne man was handed his original sentence in Tyler County Circuit Court Jan. 21 by Judge David W. Hummel Jr.

Forrest J. Carroll, 24, appeared in court on a motion to revoke his probation. He has pleaded guilty in Wetzel County to the misdemeanor of possession of a precursor used to manufacture methamphetamine, Claritin-D. He has yet to be sentenced for that charge. The car in which he was traveling at the time contained other methamphetamine ingredients.

Carroll had originally been sentenced to three to 10 years for fleeing from a police officer while driving under the influence of alcohol and seven days for misdemeanor DUI.

When discussing the case, Prosecutor Luke Furbee asked the court to depart from graduated sanctions. Hummel said he is not bound by graduated sanctions, based on new criminal activity.

Defense Attorney Roger Weese told the court his client is a severe drug addict. In fact, when Weese asked Carroll what he would do first if released, he reportedly said he would go get high.

“He’s in a downward spiral,” related Weese.

Carroll was first sentenced to the Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders, but was not successful in completing that program. He was then placed on supervised probation, but on Oct. 28 he was arrested in New Martinsville for possession of a methamphetamine precursor. Carroll has 491 days credit for time served.

Judge Hummel decided to revoke Carroll’s probation and enforce the underlying sentence. “I’m going to dry you out in the Division of Corrections’ custody,” explained Hummel.

Saying he would be remiss if he didn’t use the tool available to him of drug court, the judge will consider a reduction of sentence when Carroll returns to court on May 21. In the meantime, Jennifer Call, drug court coordinator, is to get a copy of the order and complete an assessment on Carroll. If his sentence is reduced and he is enrolled in drug court, Hummel will require him to be placed on GPS home confinement.

“Without this Forrest, you’re just going to die-or worse, kill someone else,” Hummel told him.

Daniel S, Finley, 26, of 201 Dodd Street, Middlebourne, also appeared in court for a status hearing about his case. He had pleaded guilty to sexual assault in the third degree in Tyler County Circuit Court on Nov. 6 before Judge Mark A. Karl.

Defense Attorney Brent Clyburn had moved to continue the case without appearing in court Jan. 21, but Judge Hummel had denied the request because he wanted to assure that the case was still moving forward.

Per the plea agreement entered into between the parties, which was also supported by the victim and her guardian ad litem, Shane Mallett, Finley will be sentenced to one to five years in the state penitentiary for men with credit for time served. However, the sentence will be suspended and he will be placed on supervised probation for a period of three years. He will also be required to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his life and will be placed on supervised release for a period of 10 years.

While on supervised release he will be required to pay $50 per month. He is also prohibited from residing or working within 1,000 feet of a school or child care facility.

Judge Karl had deferred sentencing in the case until he could be mentally evaluated “for purposes of protecting the community and seeing if rehabilitation is possible,” noted Clyburn.

On Jan. 20 Finley was evaluated by Dr. William Fremouw, a forensic psychologist in Morgantown, W.Va. He was hoping to get his report by Jan. 26.

Hummel asked if Finley had undergone HIV testing, sexually transmitted disease counseling, and DNA data base requirements, as regulated by law. Prosecutor Furbee said it had not been filed yet by Karl.

Judge Hummel asked both the prosecution and defense if they were agreeable to letting Karl finish the case since he had presided over it thus far. “He’s been through multiple hearings-maybe as many as 18,” said Hummel. “I’ll let Judge Karl put a bow on it.”

Both parties agreed. “We’re at the end,” noted Clyburn.

The matter will return to court on Feb. 5 at 10 a.m.