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Grand Jury indicts W.Va. woman on 9 more charges

October 25, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A grand jury seated this week in Berkeley County has tacked on nine more charges in the state's case against the founder of the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters, according to documents provided by Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely's office.

Susan R. Crites, 51, of P.O. Box 1411/208 Ruffed Grouse Lane, Hedgesville, W.Va., was indicted Tuesday on three counts of unauthorized practice of medicine without a license and six counts of unauthorized counseling without a license.

A charge of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (Percocet) initially filed against Crites last month by the Sheriff's Department also was handed up by jurors, who are expected to reconvene at 8:45 a.m. today.

Crites is accused of practicing medicine and counseling between May and November of last year, according to the indictment.

A victim told police that Crites allegedly started treating her in November 2005 after initially meeting the accused through the Society of Ghost Hunters, Berkeley County Magistrate Court records show.

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The victim said Crites told her she was a doctor after she became ill and gave her medication for what was later determined to be a cancerous growth, records show.

Another woman told police in a statement that Crites had her gargle with Alka Seltzer and Vitamin B for a strep throat diagnosis that was not correct, records show.

Crites has written at least two books about ghosts in the Tri-State area and in an interview last year told The Herald-Mail she was developing a database about ghost sightings in the area.

Other indictments handed up by the grand jury Tuesday include:

· Robert W. Brunner, 33, of 17730 Virginia Ave., Hagerstown, on counts of malicious wounding and attempted murder in June 2006.

· Richard F. Hutzler Jr., 51, of 96 Grapevine Road (Eastern Regional Jail), on 27 counts of sexual abuse by parent, guardian or custodian, 16 counts of second-degree sexual assault and 11 counts of first-degree sexual abuse between May 2003 and May 2005.

· Michael A. Parkinson, 21, of 97 Old Mill Road, Martinsburg, on counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, fleeing, fleeing on foot, possession of less than 15 grams of a controlled substance and several traffic violations.

· Benjamin W. Vorous IV, 22, of 481 Snooks Lane, Martinsburg, on counts of armed bank robbery and conspiracy in January 2006.

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