Charge dropped against W.Va. county commissioner

January 06, 1998

Charge dropped against W.Va. county commissioner


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A charge of domestic battery filed against Jefferson County Commissioner R. Gregory Lance following a March 9 incident at a bowling alley has been dismissed.

Lance had been accused of choking his teenage son at a Charles Town bowling alley.

A Jefferson County magistrate dismissed the charge on Dec. 23 at the request of Jean Lance, the boy's mother and Lance's estranged wife, according to court records.

Greg Lance said he was glad to have the incident behind him, but said he was never concerned about the charges.


"As I stated initially then, there was no substantial substance to the allegation," Lance said.

On the night of March 9, Lance and his 13-year-old son were at Shenandoah Lanes bowling with other family members, according to charging documents.

Lance and his son began to argue over the boy's bowling, according to charging documents filed by state police.

Lance told state police that the boy began cursing at him, charging documents said.

"The victim and witnesses all stated that the defendant grabbed the victim by the shirt collar and began choking the victim," according to allegations contained in charging documents.

The trooper saw several bruises on the boy's neck, the documents said.

Lance and his son went outside to the parking lot, the documents said. The boy told state police that his father threw him against the side of the building and knocked him onto the gravel parking lot, charging documents alleged.

Lance has said he was disciplining his son and preventing the boy from running toward the highway when he grabbed him.

"It was a disciplinary matter. If it was abuse, there'd be a lot of parents in the same boat with me," Lance said.

Lance said that the matter has been resolved between him and his son.

"My son and I have a good relationship," Lance said.

In the motion to withdraw, Jean Lance waived the right to reinstate the charges or to hold any law enforcement agencies responsible for her actions.

A state police trooper who investigated the incident also signed the motion to withdraw.

The action leaves Greg Lance without a criminal record.

Jean Lance signed the motion to withdraw the charge on Oct. 28, but it was not filed until December. There was no indication why the motion had not been filed earlier.

Jean Lance could not be reached for comment Monday.

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