Advertisement

Deveraux hearing delayed again

January 26, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --The court-appointed attorney for a woman charged with animal cruelty and solicitation of prostitution was 20 minutes late Monday for the defendant's hearing, which was again delayed because the presiding magistrate was not supposed to be assigned the case.

The state's case against Breshannon Deveraux, 33, of Martinsburg, was mistakenly assigned to Magistrate W. Randy Smith after Jim Humphrey left office last month, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Saunders said.

At the time of Deveraux's arrest in November, Smith was Berkeley County sheriff and in charge of animal control officers who investigated the case with the Martinsburg Police Department.

The city has an ongoing agreement with the county to provide animal control enforcement, but that relationship apparently was overlooked when cases involving sheriff's department investigations were being transferred from Humphrey to other magistrates to avoid any ethical conflict, according to court officials Monday.

Advertisement

Defense attorney Thomas Stanley on Monday apologized to Smith for being late to the hearing and said he assumed the former sheriff had to recuse himself from the case and it would be transferred to another magistrate.

Stanley also told the court that Deveraux said she wanted another attorney. Defense attorney Nicholas F. Colvin indicated Monday that he might handle both cases after being appointed to handle the solicitation of prostitution charge against Deveraux. Stanley previously said he had a conflict with the confidential informant involved in the prostitution investigation.

The delay Monday comes less than a week after Stanley failed to appear at a hearing on Jan. 20 because of an apparent scheduling mix-up by the 23rd Judicial Circuit public defender's office in Martinsburg.

Deveraux has been incarcerated at Eastern Regional Jail since Nov. 18, when she was arrested on a misdemeanor count of solicitation of prostitution. On Nov. 12, police found a pit bull with open wounds and ribs showing, and chained in the attic of the East Burke Street home that has been listed as her address on court records. She is charged with a felony count of cruelty to animals. The dog has recovered after receiving medical care and has been adopted, officials have said.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|