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NEWS
April 20, 1999
A legislative study done by West Virginia's Joint Committee on government Relations shows that contrary to popular belief. most of the people who are represented by public defenders really couldn't afford to hire lawyers on their own. That's the good news. Unfortunately for those concerned about the state's costs, the report also concluded that the only way to stem the rising tide of red ink in the public defender's office is to remove jail penalties from many minor crimes. For most elected officials, the choice comes down to two unpleasant alternatives - raising additional revenues or risking the charge that they're being "soft on crime.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | April 9, 2013
The case against a former West Virginia State Police trooper who had been accused of soliciting two teenage girls for sexual relations and nude photos in 2011 has been resolved, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely's office confirmed Tuesday. John Anthony Donohue, 26, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of providing false information to police, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court documents. Donohue, who was fined $100 and ordered to pay $160.80 in court costs, paid the penalty last month by money order, according to court records.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | February 17, 2011
A former Berkeley County sheriff's deputy who resigned from the department in November after he admitted taking Oxycodone pills from an evidence locker pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count of petit larceny, according to court records. Christopher Spencer McCulley, 41, of 33 Take Off Drive, Hedgesville, W.Va., was fined $5 Wednesday by Berkeley County Magistrate Joan V. Bragg and ordered to pay $185.80 in court costs, according to court records. McCulley entered the plea immediately after Bragg arraigned him Wednesday on the misdemeanor charge, according to court records.
NEWS
by KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI | July 17, 2002
kimy@herald-mail.com A father and son charged with smuggling nearly $8,000 in unlicensed cigarettes into Maryland were each sentenced Tuesday to one year in jail suspended plus fines and court costs by a Washington County Circuit Judge. Samuel and Georgiy Sarkisyn of Glenndale, Calif., were charged in February with one count each of unlawfully possessing and transporting cigarettes. Samuel Sarkisyn, 50, pleaded guilty to unlawfully transporting cigarettes and Georgiy Sarkisyn, 19, pleaded guilty to possession of unstamped cigarettes before Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick Wright.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | October 17, 2012
A man spotted running near two Martinsburg schools on the first day of classes in August while carrying a training rifle and dressed in camouflage pleaded no contest to public intoxication and disturbance of a school Wednesday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court. William E. “Billy” Alemar, 23, was sentenced to seven days in jail, which he already served after being arrested on Aug. 20, fined a total of $15 for the two misdemeanor offenses and was ordered to pay court costs. Alemar also is expected to complete his current course of treatment for post-traumatic stress as part of the plea agreement.
NEWS
July 23, 2012
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.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | July 1, 2007
MARTINSBURG, W.VA.-The cost of a speeding ticket conviction in Berkeley County recently inched a little higher, and motorists found guilty of a second citation will have to pay substantially more in court costs alone. At the behest of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, magistrates across the state have been directed to charge $160.50 in court costs per conviction, not per ticket. For a two-citation conviction, such as speeding and failure to properly signal, a motorist will be ordered to pay $321 in court costs, not including the actual fines.
NEWS
May 19, 2005
A 16-year-old girl admitted in Washington County juvenile court Wednesday to failing to yield the right of way in connection with a Feb. 16 accident. Circuit Judge John H. McDowell, sitting in juvenile court, ordered the girl to pay a $75 fine and $105 in court costs. Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores said the girl pulled out of an alley in the 700 block of West Washington Street and struck a car.
NEWS
by MATTHEW UMSTEAD | October 18, 2006
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - An Inwood, W.Va., doctor charged with operating a backhoe while intoxicated and hitting a deputy who arrested him has entered a plea that includes providing physical examinations to Berkeley County students at no expense, magistrate court records show. John C. Veltman on Thursday entered no contest pleas to DUI and battery on an officer, and charges of obstructing an officer and refusing to be fingerprinted were dismissed. For the DUI plea, Veltman was sentenced to serve 24 hours in Eastern Regional Jail beginning at 5 p.m., Oct. 22, but he was credited with time already served when he was arrested May 14. A 30-day jail sentence imposed for the battery charge was suspended and the doctor was placed on one year of unsupervised probation, records show.
NEWS
September 11, 2008
A 16-year-old boy admitted Wednesday in juvenile court to the unsafe backing of a motor vehicle, a traffic offense. On June 29, he backed into another vehicle in the area of the Dunkin' Donuts on Dual Highway, Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Flores said Wednesday. When police tracked the striking vehicle to the boy's home, the boy and his parents were very cooperative, Flores said. The boy's parents were out of town when he used their car, she said. Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, said the boy, who had only a learner's permit, should not have been driving.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | July 24, 2013
A former Blue Ridge Community and Technical College student accused of repeatedly violating the school's campus ban on firearms in 2011 pleaded guilty Wednesday to one misdemeanor count of disturbance of a school process. Joshua Lee Beck, 28, of Martinsburg, apologized for the disturbance he caused on the college's campuses after a plea agreement was filed with presiding Magistrate Charles C. Cole Sr. in Berkeley County Magistrate Court Wednesday morning. Beck was ordered to pay a $50 fine and court costs as part of the plea agreement and two misdemeanor counts of possession of firearms were dismissed.
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NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | April 9, 2013
The case against a former West Virginia State Police trooper who had been accused of soliciting two teenage girls for sexual relations and nude photos in 2011 has been resolved, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely's office confirmed Tuesday. John Anthony Donohue, 26, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of providing false information to police, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court documents. Donohue, who was fined $100 and ordered to pay $160.80 in court costs, paid the penalty last month by money order, according to court records.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | December 3, 2012
Finding ways to stem the spiraling cost of running the regional jail remains a top legislative concern of county leaders in the Eastern Panhandle. Jail costs for Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties totaled more than $4.8 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year, which ended June 30, according to figures reviewed Monday at an annual summit of the region's state lawmakers and county officials. The combined regional jail costs of the three counties accounted for more than 10 percent of the statewide figure of $45.5 million, but Vivian Parsons of the County Commissioners' Association of West Virginia told the group that the issue is a major concern for counties across the state, too. In reviewing the figures, Parsons noted Berkeley County saw a 24 percent increase in jail costs since the 2010 fiscal year, while Morgan County had to absorb an 18 percent spike.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | November 15, 2012
A Falling Waters, W.Va., man accused of mistreating more than 130 dogs and several cats pleaded guilty Thursday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court to 10 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. Rocky Del Trolio, 55, was placed on two years of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay court costs, and a six-month jail sentence was suspended as part of a plea agreement reached between Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney R. Greg Garretson and Trolio's attorney, Paul G. Taylor.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | October 17, 2012
A man spotted running near two Martinsburg schools on the first day of classes in August while carrying a training rifle and dressed in camouflage pleaded no contest to public intoxication and disturbance of a school Wednesday in Berkeley County Magistrate Court. William E. “Billy” Alemar, 23, was sentenced to seven days in jail, which he already served after being arrested on Aug. 20, fined a total of $15 for the two misdemeanor offenses and was ordered to pay court costs. Alemar also is expected to complete his current course of treatment for post-traumatic stress as part of the plea agreement.
NEWS
By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com | October 4, 2012
It's official. The Lord's Prayer will no longer be part of the Greencastle-Antrim School Board's agenda. The board observed a moment of reflection while the audience - smaller than in previous meetings - recited the Lord's Prayer aloud. At its last meeting, board President Eric Holtzman said the district's legal counsel advised pulling the prayer from the agenda and replacing it with a moment of silence. But, on Thursday, board Vice President Brian Hissong, filling in for Holtzman who was not in attendance, made it official.
NEWS
July 23, 2012
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.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | January 27, 2012
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has upheld most of a $151,000 jury award against a Williamsport man sued by his neighbors for shooting two of their pet dogs. In 2010, a Washington County Circuit Court jury awarded damages to three families who had sued Jeffrey Lynn Hurd of 11845 Camden Road. Hurd was sued by Eric and Mary Haberkorn, Arthur and Sonja Perschuk, and James and Renee Rudolph for intentional infliction of emotional distress and nuisance claims for the shooting of the Pereschuks' dog in 2007 and the Rudolphs' dog in 2008, as well as allegations of spying and other harassing activities by Hurd over a period of years.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | February 17, 2011
A former Berkeley County sheriff's deputy who resigned from the department in November after he admitted taking Oxycodone pills from an evidence locker pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count of petit larceny, according to court records. Christopher Spencer McCulley, 41, of 33 Take Off Drive, Hedgesville, W.Va., was fined $5 Wednesday by Berkeley County Magistrate Joan V. Bragg and ordered to pay $185.80 in court costs, according to court records. McCulley entered the plea immediately after Bragg arraigned him Wednesday on the misdemeanor charge, according to court records.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | June 16, 2009
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A man charged with kidnapping a woman near Martinsburg, W.Va., this week has a criminal record that includes a 2008 domestic violence charge involving a different woman, court records show. Donald Berkley Surber Jr., who was arraigned Monday on the kidnapping charge, allegedly held his ex-girlfriend, Katherine Nicole Sharp, against her will at her home, West Virginia State Police have said. At the end of the 26-hour standoff, Sharp, a 35-year-old mother of two, was found dead in her Raider Lane home, police said.
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