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Felony dropped against Berkeley Co. woman

September 29, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A felony count of delivery of a controlled substance that was filed against the founder of the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters was dismissed Friday in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

Earlier this month, a jury found Susan R. Crites, 56, of Berkeley County, guilty of three misdemeanor counts of unauthorized practice of medicine without a license and five misdemeanor counts of unauthorized counseling without a license following a two-day jury trial.

A separate trial was to be held for the felony count, which alleged Crites delivered Percocet to a victim who became ill.

The order dismissing the felony charge states "that the witnesses/victims of this case do not wish to proceed because of the verdict in (the misdemeanor) case."

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"The state believes that this is in the interest of justice at this time," Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela J. Games-Neely said in the order, which was filed Friday.

Witnesses in the trial for Crites testified they were led to believe she was a doctor and had post-graduate degrees from West Virginia University, but later discovered otherwise. One witness said he paid Crites $15 per session for services.

A published author of books about ghosts in the Tri-State area, Crites was indicted in October 2006.

Crites is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10 on the misdemeanor convictions.

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