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W.Va. ghost hunters founder failed to follow terms of probation, attorneys say

Crites found guilty in 2007 of practicing medicine and counseling without a license

July 23, 2012

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The founder of the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters, who was found guilty in 2007 of practicing medicine and counseling without a license, failed to abide by the terms of her probation, attorneys said Monday.

Susan R. Crites, who was placed on three years of probation in 2008 in lieu of an 18-month jail sentence, failed to get counseling and also failed to pay about $945 in court costs, according to Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely.

In a hearing Monday, Crites, of Hedgesville, W.Va., was released from further probation supervision, but the unpaid court costs were ordered by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III to be converted into a civil judgment against her.

Chief Public Defender Deborah A. Lawson told Silver that Crites abided by the terms of her probation otherwise.

Lawson indicated that Crites was unable to pay the court costs because she has been providing full-time nursing services to her mother and is not old enough to draw retirement benefits.

At the end of a two-day trial in September 2007, a jury found Crites, then 57, guilty of three counts of practicing medicine without a license and five counts of counseling without a license.

As part of her probation terms, Crites was ordered to pay court costs, complete counseling and have no contact with the victims.

She also was not allowed to conduct ghost tours as part of an enterprise or write a book about the matters that resulted in the criminal allegations.

— Matthew Umstead

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