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Two in W.Va. face kidnapping charges

July 06, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two people who police allege kidnapped a woman Tuesday and attempted to force her to drive them to several locations in Jefferson and Berkeley counties to purchase crack cocaine were being held Thursday night in Eastern Regional Jail.

Wendell Bernard Turner, 41, of 240 E. 11th St. in Ranson, W.Va., and Cheri Ann Marchesani, 34, of 303 Pendleton Drive, Apt. C, in Martinsburg, W.Va., each were charged in Jefferson County with kidnapping, robbery, possession of a stolen vehicle and conspiracy, according to a complaint filed by A.C. Watson, a patrolman with the Ranson Police Department.

In Berkeley County, Turner was charged by West Virginia State Police Trooper J.D. Burkhart with possession of a stolen vehicle and second offense petit larceny and arraigned Wednesday by Magistrate Sandra L. Miller, who set a $40,000 cash-only bond, according to magistrate court records.

Marchesani was charged by Burkhart with possession of a stolen vehicle, driving under the influence second offense and driving revoked for DUI. Miller set a $40,000 cash-only bond for her Wednesday, according to court records.

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In his complaint, Burkhart said he found a woman Tuesday about 10 p.m. with scratches on her neck and a swollen and bruised left eye at Sheetz off Apple Harvest Drive, just south of Martinsburg.

"She advised they pulled into Sheetz and she got out of the vehicle and acted as if she was checking her tires (of her 1989 Chevrolet Corsica) and looked at her (license) plate so she could remember the number to be able to report it to police," according to the complaint.

The woman then went into the store and told a clerk she had been kidnapped, and Marchesani and Turner then left in her car, Burkhart said.

Watson said in his complaint that the woman refused to drive them to the locations to purchase crack cocaine. Marchesani then attacked her, leaving strangulation marks on her neck and a knot on her eye, and forced her into the back seat of the car, according to the complaint.

Watson also noted that the accused repeatedly threatened to kill the victim's family, specifically her children, by smothering them with a pillow. The accused also took the woman's prescribed methadone at some point during the alleged kidnapping, Watson said.

About 45 minutes after Burkhart found the victim at Sheetz, the trooper said he found her stolen car parked at 7-Eleven off W.Va. 9 near the intersection of Baker Road and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Turner and Marchesani were there, according to Burkhart, and a store clerk working at the time later told the trooper that Turner left the store with a can of Natural Ice beer he didn't pay for before the trooper spotted him with it outside the business, according to the complaint.

Burkhart said Marchesani failed a sobriety test with a blood-alcohol content of .093, above the state limit of .08.

In a separate complaint, Trooper W.M. Roden said Marchesani failed three field sobriety tests.

Troopers said Marchesani denied choking the victim and Turner denied stealing the car, but he could not explain why they left the woman at Sheetz.

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