Court briefs

September 17, 2006

Probable cause found in case against Ghost Hunters founder

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Probable cause was found Thursday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court in the case against the founder of the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters, who is charged with one count of delivering a controlled substance.

Susan R. Crites, 55, of 208 Ruffed Grouse Lane in Hedgesville, W.Va., was charged Sept. 2 with delivery of Percocet to a woman who told police she was led to believe the accused was a physician. Percocet is a prescribed pain relief medication.

Three witnesses and Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Lt. Gary Harmison testified at the hearing, Assistant Prosecutor Richard Stephens said Thursday. The state's case against Crites could be presented to a grand jury seated in October or as late as February, Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely said.

A victim told police that Crites started treating her in November 2005 after initially meeting the accused when she became involved with the Society of Ghost Hunters. The victim said Crites told her she was a doctor after she became ill, and gave her medication for what later was determined to be a cancerous growth, according to court records.


Crites previously denied the charge in an interview after her arrest, claiming it is untrue and without merit.

Crites has written at least two books about ghosts in the Tri-State area.

Men held in break-in linked to two more crimes in W.Va.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two men arrested last month after allegedly breaking into a northern Berkeley County business have been linked to two other break-ins, according to complaints filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Richard Dwaine Knotts, 20, of 37 Jubal Early Ave. in Inwood, W.Va., was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of breaking and entering, according to court records.

James B. Campbell, 25, of 62 1/2 W. Franklin St. in Hagerstown, was charged with one count of breaking and entering, according to court records.

Campbell and Knotts were charged Aug. 24 in connection with the theft of two cash registers from Bedington Crossroads Store off U.S. 11.

Two days earlier, the Martinsburg Police Department investigated a break-in at Giovanni's New York Pizza at 134 Eagle School Road, and determined video surveillance captured images of Knott pulling a cash register from the wall, according to court records.

Police said Campbell acknowledged being with Knott when a side door to the business was opened with a cinder block, according to court records.

On Aug. 20, police said Knotts broke into MJ's Pub at 1100 S. Queen St. and stole $100, plus $96 in liquor.

The pub also was entered through a side door, and police said in a complaint filed in magistrate court that surveillance equipment at the business also helped identify Knotts.

Man pleads guilty, another sentenced on drug charges

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg man could be sentenced to 20 years in prison, and another Martinsburg man was sentenced in separate drug-related cases, according to press releases issued Friday by acting U.S. Attorney Rita R. Valdrini.

· Larry Carzell Jones, 53, of Martinsburg, entered a guilty plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court to one count of distributing cocaine base in 2003, according to the release.

Jones could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, according to the release

Jones is free on bond pending sentencing, according to the release.

· Kenneth Dove, 24, of 304 E. Liberty St. in Martinsburg, was sentenced Sept. 7 by Judge W. Craig Broadwater to nine months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing heroin in Martinsburg in January 2005 and July, according to the release.

Dove is in federal custody. The case was investigated by assistant U.S. Attorney Paul T. Camilletti and investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, according to the release.

Jones' case was prosecuted by assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas O. Mucklow and investigated by the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, according to the release.

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