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Man accused of holding girlfriend against her will waives hearing

Charles F. Kipps III being held on $500,000 bond

September 28, 2010
  • Charles Kipps III
West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority,

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A man accused of holding his girlfriend against her will during a standoff with police Sept. 9 waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Charged with kidnapping and domestic battery, Charles F. Kipps III was being held Tuesday night at Eastern Regional Jail on a $500,000 bond, according to court and jail records.

Upon waiving his right to the magistrate court hearing, the state's evidence against Kipps is bound over to circuit court, where the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney's office can present it to a grand jury.

Police said crisis negotiators helped end the standoff during which Kipps wouldn't let his girlfriend, Melanie Merson, leave their home at 60 Hidden Acres Road in Inwood, W.Va.

Kipps was found intoxicated by Berkeley County sheriff's deputies, police have said. The sheriff's department's Special Response Team and crisis negotiators from Martinsburg Police Department and West Virginia State Police responded.

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It took about two hours of talking with Kipps before he allowed Merson to leave, and then he surrendered, police have said.

Kipps, who initially was being held in jail without bond, could be placed on home confinement if certain conditions are met, according to an order signed Thursday by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gina M. Groh.

The defendant would be monitored with a GPS device if released from jail, according to court records.

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