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Evaluation ordered for woman convicted of practicing medicine, counseling without a license

December 17, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. ? The founder of the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters is expected to be evaluated by state officials for 60 days before 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III sentences her on convictions of practicing medicine and counseling without a license.

Susan R. Crites, 57, of 208 Ruffed Grouse Lane in Berkeley County, was found guilty in September of three counts of unauthorized practice of medicine without a license and four counts of unauthorized counseling without a license.

Silver made the decision after consulting with a probation officer who was assigned to Crites' case.

Silver concluded the evaluation could be an "aid" in sentencing Crites, who confirmed to the judge Monday that she no longer was using the services of attorney Heidi J. Myers.

Myers told Silver on Monday that she filed a motion to withdraw from the case last week after Crites told her she wanted new legal counsel.

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"My services have been terminated," Myers said.

After agreeing to allow Myers to withdraw, Silver told Crites that a court-appointed attorney would be assigned to her case.

He said Crites' new attorney would have the option to object to his ordered evaluation during an expected three-week wait for a bed at a state facility where the examination is expected to take place.

Crites was expected to be sentenced last week, but Myers asked for a delay in the proceeding because of an unexpected health concern.

Prosecuting Attorney Pamela J. Games-Neely on Monday objected to Myers' motion to withdraw, and Silver later apologized to the victims in the case, who now have attended two sentencing hearings without receiving closure with the case. Some of the victims are expected to give statements at the sentencing hearing.

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