Braxton Citizens' News, Government

Grand Jury indicts 11

Eleven individuals were indicted on June 7 during the June term of the grand jury on a total of 44 charges. Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Jasmine R.H. Morton presented the state’s evidence during the proceedings in front of Circuit Court Judge Richard A. Facemire.

Jerry Ray Hart, 32 of Sutton, and Bridgette Jayne Payne, 42 of Frametown were both indicted on three charges including two counts of possession with intent to deliver for methamphetamine and fentanyl and one count of conspiracy. Braxton County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Andrew Groves presented the evidence obtained during a traffic stop on January 22. Hart was also indicted for escape after Deputy Groves located his ankle monitor, which was part of his bond, in the middle of his driveway on February 7.

Anthony Marino Paletti, 42 of Flatwoods, and Melissa Sue Thompson, 36 of Gassaway, were indicted on three felony counts, two for possession with intent to deliver for methamphetamine and fentanyl and one for conspiracy. Charges stemmed from a traffic stop on January 23. BCSD Deputy Cleve E. Westfall presented the evidence to the grand jury.

Samantha Brooke Starcher, 31 of Wallback is facing three felony counts of introducing contraband into regional jail. On January 24, the defendant is alleged to have transported methamphetamine, alprazalom, and suboxone into the Central Regional Jail. West Virginia State Police CPL Phil A. Huff was the complaining officer who came before the grand jury.

Lamar Edward James, 40 of Carolina, was indicted by the grand jury on the felony charge of burglary and the misdemeanor charge of petit larceny. Deputy Groves was the investigating officer of a call for breaking and entering on Frame Drive in Gassaway leading to the charges on January 28.

Marquis Linell Williams, 26 of Sutton, is facing 14 felony counts, five each of forgery of a public document and uttering of a public document, and two counts each of forgery and uttering. WVSP TPR Edward W. Clark investigated the complaint of an inmate at CRJ who used a false name during his incarceration in January.

Jeremiah Scott Walker, 32 of Huntington, was indicted on two felony counts of inmate in possession of a controlled substance. On October 10, the defendant was found in possession of suboxone and methamphetamine at the CRJ. TPR Caleb Harper presented the evidence to the grand jury.

Derek Joel Stump, 22 of Normantown, is facing one count of burglary, one count of petit larceny, and two counts of destruction of property. Deputy Groves investigated the call for a burglary complaint in Gassaway on December 26 leading to the charges. 

Christina Marie Abel, 43 of Flatwoods, was indicted by the grand jury on three felony charges, entry of a building other than a dwelling, grand larceny, and escape, and one misdemeanor charge of destruction of property.  TPR Harper presented the evidence from March 22 of an individual, Abel, taking a car from Mid-State Chevy. The escape charge stemmed from an incident on March 30 where the defendant cut off her ankle monitor.

David Aaron Cogar was directly indicted on the felony charges of wanton endangerment involving a firearm and malicious assault. TPR Harper presented to the grand jury.

(Editor’s Note: The return of an indictment by a Grand Jury indicates that a person has been formally charged by the State with the commission of a crime or crimes. It is an accusation. The U.S. Constitution provides that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the State. Upon entering a plea of innocent, persons accused of a crime are entitled to a trial by a jury of their peers. The guilt or innocence of the accused is determined by a Petit Jury, not by means of an indictment by a Grand Jury.)