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Grand Jury indicts 22

On October 6 and 7, the Braxton County Grand Jury convened with the Honorable Richard A. Facemire, Circuit Court Judge presiding. The state was represented by Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Jasmine R.H. Morton during the proceedings. The jury returned indictments against 22 individuals on a total of 45 various charges.
Jesse Ryan Berry, 35 of Exchange, was indicted on three counts of failure to register or provide notice of registration changes. West Virginia State Police TPR Caleb Harper presented the evidence to the grand jury. The WVSP conducted the investigation in September 2020 leading to the charges.
Ginny Mae Canter, 36 of Frametown, Summer Destiny Jenkins, 21 of Charleston, and Geneva Jean Brady, 31 of Frametown have been charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver and conspiracy. On May 24, Braxton County Sheriff’s Department responded to a disturbance near Sugar Creek Cemetery. Officers located to the defendants nearby with approximately 81.3 grams of meth in their possession along with small bags and a set of scales. BCSD Deputy Bryce Scarbro presented the evidence.
Melanie Elaine Rice, 41 of Gassaway, is facing charges of possession of meth with intent to deliver and delivery of meth, both felonies. In August 2020, the BCSD conducted a traffic stop at the BP station on Sutton Lane after seeing the vehicle at the Laurel Court Motel. Located in the car were various needles and three bags of meth. Officers went to the motel and spoke to an individual there who stated he had purchased meth from Rice. The evidence was presented by Deputy Scarbro.
Jason Wayne Claypoole, 33 of Ireland, was indicted on one felony charge, burglary, and two misdemeanors, petit larceny assault. TPR Harper was the investigating officer of a complaint from Falls Run Road of a break in at a camper. The defendant had alledgedly threatened the property owner for calling law enforcement.
Donnie Lee Allen, 51, was indicted on two counts of failure to register or provide notice of registration changes. TPR Harper presented the evidence to the grand jury.
Dennis Moyer Samples, 59 of Strange Creek, has been charged with wanton endangerment involving a firearm stemming from an incident in December 2020 on Keeners Ridge Road. TPR Harper was the investigating officer.
Joseph Bradley Thayer, 38 is facing the felony charge of fleeing with reckless indifference. Deputy Scarbro presented the evidence to the grand jury.
Wallace Lee Hess, 38 of Charleston, was indicted by the grand jury on four felony charges, burglary, conspiracy, grand larceny, and escape. The evidence was presented by BCSD Deputy Cleve Westfall. In June 2021, the officer received a complaint from Locust Estate of a home being broken into. Video surveillance was able to identify the defendant. Hess was placed on home confinement as a condition of his bond. He cut the home confinement bracelet off in July 2021.
Ryan Wesley Harris, 39 of Gassaway, and Justin Matthew Hannah, 26 of Gassaway, have been indicted on the felony charges of burglary, conspiracy, and grand larceny. On June 2, officers responded to a burglary in progress at Walnut Hill in Gassaway. Officers were able to locate the defendants nearby with some of the stolen items. The evidence was presented by Deputy Westfall.
Harold Eugene Stewart, 36 of Sutton, was charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, sexual abuse in the second degree, and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian, or person in position of trust. In December 2020, WVSP TPR J.R. Garrett responded to Braxton County Memorial Hospital for a possible sexual assault on a juvenile. The victim identified Stewart as the suspect in the case.
Roger Glen Smith, 52 of Gassaway was indicted by the grand jury on the felony wanton endangerment involving a firearm. TPR E.W. Clark presented the evidence from the investigation on September 6 of a call of shots being fired on Elk Street in Gassaway which led to the arrest of the defendant.
Samuel Thomas Workman, 33 of Sutton, has been charged with first degree murder, death of a child by a parent, guardian, or custodian or other person by child abuse, and child neglect creating substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death. WVSP CPL Brandon K. Smith presented the grand jury evidence from an investigation of the death of a three year old male child on Old Turnpike Road on February 2.
Dusty Allen Turner, Jr., 21 of Ireland, Coty Wayne Bird, 29 of Dixie, and Tyler Brooks Alley, 28 of Belva, were indicted on the felony charges of malicious assault and conspiracy. WVSP TPR Erica Schoolcraft investigated an incident at the Central Regional Jail in March 2021 of an attack on an inmate leading to the charges.
Joshua Lynn Fletcher, 35 of Fairmont has been indicted by the grand jury on the felony count of aiding escape and other offenses relating to adults in custody or confinement. The charge stems from an incident in April 2021 in which two inmates overdosed on fentanyl received from the defendant. TPR Harper presented the evidence.
Ricky Nelson Richter, Sr., 55 of Gassaway, has been charged with grand larceny following an investigation from November 2020 in Gassaway. Deputy Scarbro was the investigating officer.
Vincent Franklin Harris, 32 of Sutton, was indicted on the charge of voluntary manslaughter. On February 7, WVSP responded to a call of a fight on Curtin Avenue in Sutton. The victim sustained life threatening injuries from which he later died. TPR Schoolcraft presented the evidence to the grand jury.
Robert Wayne Mitchell, 55 of Gassaway has been indicted by the grand jury on the felony offense of fleeing in a vehicle from law enforcement while under the influence. Deputy Scarbro presented the evidence on behalf of the BCSD from an attempted traffic stop for speeding on Elk Street in Gassaway on March 23.
(Editor’s Note: The return of an indictment by a Grand Jury indicates that a person has been charged formally 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.)

Mazzy King selected BCHS’s 52nd Homecoming Queen

Braxton County High School crowned their 52nd Homecoming Queen last Friday night during the Eagles contest with Nicholas County. Mazzy King was selected Queen. Her escort and King of the BCHS Homecoming was Kolton Kniceley.

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Mask protest continues at Board of Ed meeting

The Braxton County Board of Education conducted their most recent meeting on October 5. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm by Evelyn Post. President DeAnna Whipkey and Vice President David Hoover were absent from the meeting.

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Lorena Hefner Scholarships
continue to aid county students

Three Glenville State College students from Braxton County have been awarded scholarships from the GSC Foundation for the 2021-2022 academic year. All three were benefactors of a former Braxton County native and educator who left an endowment to Glenville State College to fund scholarships for local students.

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