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Judge resets trial for Waynesboro official, Hagerstown man charged in W.Va. bar fight

August 03, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Craig Newcomer, 46, of 117 W. 3rd St., Waynesboro, was indicted on one count of malicious assault and one count of conspiracy, according to his indictment, which was released by Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely's office.
Herald-Mail file photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Aug. 14 trial for a Waynesboro (Pa.) Borough Council member and a Hagerstown man charged in a bar fight that left a man with brain damage last year was reset Friday for March 5, 2013.

Craig Newcomer, 47, who served as borough council president before his arrest in May 2011, was indicted in October on one count of malicious assault and one count of conspiracy.

Co-defendant Benjamin Jason Bean, aka 4th Grade, who provided the court with a Sharpsburg address at his arraignment last fall, was indicted on one count of conspiracy.

Presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes, in what was to be the defendants’ pretrial hearing Friday, apologized to the attorneys for the inconvenience, indicating he had a conflict with the scheduled trial.

The defendants’ trial previously was rescheduled in March after Bean’s attorney, Thomas L. Stanley, asked for more time to prepare for the case. 

The attorneys said Friday that there were no outstanding legal issues that needed to be addressed by the judge.

Wilkes’ office said after the hearing that the scheduling conflict was work-related, but did not elaborate.

Newcomer, who was identified by the name “Guido” in the Avenger Motorcycle Club, is accused of fighting with then-45-year-old Ernest E. Cumbie at the Dirty Dawg Saloon in Martinsburg on Feb. 13, 2011, according to court documents. After the fight, Cumbie was flown for treatment of scalp hematoma, multiple facial and skull fractures, frontal lobe contusions and traumatic brain injury, police said in court documents.

Police responded to investigate the alleged fight at the South Queen Street club at 2:25 a.m., according to court records.

Newcomer, a Third Ward councilman, first was elected in 2005.

Newcomer’s attorney has said in court that his client hit someone who struck him first and maintained that Newcomer was acting in self-defense.

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