Braxton Citizens' News, Government

Judge accepts plea agreements, hears numerous other cases

Several Braxton County Circuit Court hearings have recently been completed by the Honorable Judge Richard A. Facemire. Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Jasmine R.H. Morton and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Dara A. Acord represented the state during the hearings. Tyler Morlan, Deandre Williams and Jacob Foster from the Braxton County Probation Office were also present for some of the hearings.

On April 26, Kasandra Dawn Utt appeared with her attorney Kevin Hughart for a plea hearing. On the felony charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, she entered a guilty plea. The state agreed to stand silent at the sentencing hearing and dismiss other charges in the indictment.

Chester Camden Marsh and his attorney Kevin Hughart came before Judge Facemire for a plea hearing. In the plea agreement, the defendant pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and the state agreed to dismiss other charges and stay silent at sentencing.

Ryan Seth Rollyson appeared in court for a plea hearing. He was represented by Tyler Cottrill. Rollyson entered a guilty plea to the charge of felony failure to appear. The state agreed to dismiss other charges, but will recommend incarceration to run consecutively to any other sentence.

Judge Facemire accepted the three plea agreements and set the sentencing hearings for June 1.

On April 18, Donnie Lee Allen and his attorney Andrew Shaffer appeared in court for a sentencing hearing on the felony charge of failure to register or provide notice of registration changes. Judge Facemire granted the defense’s request for alternative sentencing and suspended the one to five years sentence. The defendant is to be admitted to probation for a period of six years.

James Denver Criner appeared before Judge Facemire with his attorney Jonathan Fittro for an arraignment hearing. The defendant entered a not guilty plea to the felony offenses of conspiracy and grand larceny. Jury trial has been scheduled for August 9.

On April 7, Jason Wayne Claypoole came before the court with his attorney Andrew Shaffer for sentencing. The defense requested an alternative sentence noting the defendant entered a treatment program since the last hearing and was doing well in the program. The state remained silent per the plea agreement. The court denied the motion saying it believed he would violate his probation if granted. The judge noted his serious drug addiction, sporadic work history, and anti-social attitude. On the felony charge of attempt to commit a felony-burglary, Claypoole was sentenced to one to three years.

Dennis Moyer Samples and his attorney David Karickhoff appeared before Judge Facemire for a sentencing hearing. A motion was made by the defense for an alternative sentence with the state recommending correctional treatment. The state noted Samples had not taken responsibility for his actions and had not expressed remorse to the victim in the matter. The court ordered the defendant to undergo a pre-sentence diagnosis and classification evaluation. The next sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 11.

On March 14, Summer Destiny Jenkins and attorney Eric Wildman came to court for sentencing hearing. The defense noted she was very young and did not have much criminal history but does have a substantial drug problem. She had been accepted into a program for her drug issues. The defense requested she receive an alternative sentence. The state remained silent about sentencing per the plea agreement. The court sentenced Jenkins to one to fifteen years for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. However, the sentence was suspended, and the defendant was ordered to be assigned to Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders for a period of six months to two years and to successfully complete the program requirements.

Chyristal Gale Morrison appeared in court with her attorney Bernard Mauser for a hearing on probation revocation. Two law enforcement officers from Harrison and Upshur Counties testified for the state along with Probation Officer Jacob Foster. Judge Facemire ordered the defendant’s probation revoked. The defense asked that she be given another chance with an alternative sentence of home confinement so she can work from home. The state recommended she be sentenced to prison.  The court noted Morrison had previously failed at two chances of probation and denied the motion. She was ordered to serve one to ten years on the felony charges of attempt to obtain a controlled substance and two counts of uttering.