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By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | January 12, 2008
MARTINSBURG, W.VA. ? A Martinsburg attorney announced Saturday that he is seeking a judgeship in the Eastern Panhandle's 23rd Judicial Circuit. Michael Santa Barbara, 48, said in a press release that he was seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to fill the vacancy created by Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr. Steptoe, who was elected in 1984, will retire from the bench at the end of his term Dec. 31, 2008. "The idea of public service has always appealed to me," Santa Barbara said in the release.
by MATTHEW UMSTEAD | March 6, 2007
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The lawyer for a Bunker Hill, W.Va., attorney accused in the grisly killing of his ex-wife in August 2006 entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of his client in Berkeley County Circuit Court on Monday. Attorney B. Craig Manford entered the plea for Stephen Randolph Fielder of 9280 Winchester Ave., who was indicted last month on one count of first-degree murder in the death of Debra Ann Fielder. A trial was scheduled by 23rd Judicial Circuit judge David H. Sanders to begin July 31. Prosecuting Attorney Pamela J. Games-Neely told Sanders she expected the trial to last possibly a week.
By Knight Ridder | October 17, 2004
NEW YORK - Gangsta rap's bad boys are fighting a new foe - a diminutive blond lawyer who calls herself the "anti-celebrity. " Their songs include "Cop Killer" and "Bad Boy For Life," but Manhattan attorney Suzanne Kimberly Bracker is building her own reputation: making rapper fathers pay child support. Her hit list includes Puff Daddy, Ice T and Funkmaster Flex. Right now, she's embroiled in a bitter custody battle with Roc-a-Fella Records' czar Damon Dash. Other famous fathers that have done battle with her in Manhattan Family Court include former Knicks star Latrell Sprewell and boxer Zab Judah.
by MATTHEW UMSTEAD | February 27, 2007
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Berkeley County attorney barred from practicing law in West Virginia since 2005 and accused in the grisly killing of his ex-wife in August 2006 appeared in court Monday for arraignment on an indictment of murder. But Stephen Randolph Fielder's attorney, B. Craig Manford, was unable to attend because of snowy weather in Chicago, and the hearing was rescheduled for next week. In jail since September, Fielder, 58, was indicted on one count of first-degree murder last week by a grand jury.
June 1, 2010
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The preliminary hearing for a man charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of his neighbor has been delayed. Washington Township, Pa., police charged Michael Harrigan, 29, after a shooting last Thursday morning on Blue Ridge Avenue near the Mason-Dixon Line in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. Steven Wetzel, 47, was found dead in the road. Magisterial District Judge Larry Pentz on Tuesday continued Harrigan's hearing for two weeks to give him additional time to find a lawyer.
November 30, 1999
A report dated June 20 from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene alleges that Washington County Health Officer William Christoffel on numerous occasions engaged in sexually harassing behavior while on the job. A statement issued Friday and signed by Christoffel and his lawyer, Arthur Schneider of Hagerstown, states Christoffel has never "purposely or knowingly" discriminated against anyone at the Health Department or the public....
by ERIN CUNNINGHAM | August 19, 2005
HAGERSTOWN It was unusual for a prison inmate convicted of assaulting a correctional officer to appear in court Wednesday without a lawyer, but it was not unjust, according to Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Robert Veil. Talbert Parran, 44, had appeared in court several times without a lawyer since the October 2004 assault and was advised several times to seek counsel, said Veil, who prosecuted Parran. Parran represented himself Wednesday, although he asked several times for an attorney.
by ERIN CUNNINGHAM | August 21, 2006
CLEAR SPRING - Clear Spring Volunteer Fire Co. has been fined for allegedly mishandling its bingo and tip jar fundraising, according to company president Ronald Poole. The fines are the result of an audit of the fire company's financial records. Poole said the company was not ready to release details of the sanctions. Poole said he received information about the fines, but only he and the company's lawyer have that information. Details will be made public once officials know how they will proceed, he said.
February 2, 2011
Lawyers say that 146 people who allege they were sexually abused by Diocese of Wilmington priests have settled a lawsuit that would provide them with money from a $77 million trust fund. The agreement reached late Wednesday also calls for the diocese to fully disclose documents relating to abuse. A lawyer for the diocese says it is very pleased with the settlement. The abuse cases have created a potential liability that drove the diocese to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer | October 23, 2000
Ice rink's lawsuit settled A lawsuit filed by a former executive director of the Hagerstown ice rink against the group running the rink has been settled out of court. Terms of the settlement were not released. In July 1998, Walter E. Dill Sr. sued the Washington County Sports Foundation, which oversees operations at the city-owned rink, alleging breach of contract, defamation, slander of credit and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Dill originally sought $2.3 million in compensatory and punitive damages from the foundation, according to the suit filed in Washington County Circuit Court.
By DON AINES | | July 18, 2013
An accused bank robber who was caught outside the home of a Washington County Circuit Court judge was scheduled to begin a two-day jury trial Thursday, but was granted a delay after being allowed to fire his attorney. Charles Benjamin McNeal, 28, told visiting Allegany Circuit Court Judge Gary Leasure that he wanted to fire attorney Bernard W. Semler II and needed another six months to hire a new lawyer and prepare for trial. “His defense for me has been ineffective and inadequate,” McNeal said of Semler during Thursday's hearing.
By C.J. LOVELACE | | April 28, 2013
Legal advice is something just about everyone will need at some point during their lifetime, and residents of Washington County and surrounding areas will have the chance to get some help for free on Wednesday. Assistant State's Attorney Michele F. Hansen said May 1 has been nationally known as Law Day since the 1950s. “At that time, we were in the Cold War situation. So President Eisenhower decided that we in the United States would have a counter to their Labor Day,” Hansen said.
By ALLAN POWELL | March 29, 2013
A story reported in the history of Pennsylvania is tragically being repeated today. As Euro-American settlers advanced into Indian territory, American Indians retaliated with fire, tomahawks and arrows. The frontier residents pleaded with the Colonial legislature in Philadelphia for protection - to no avail. In desperation, the settlers carried dead bodies to the city and deposited them on the sidewalk in hopes that such drama would get a change. This, too, failed because the Assembly was dominated by Quakers who, as pacifists, would not allocate funds for forts and armaments.
By JENNIFER FITCH | | November 8, 2012
A 23-year-old man charged with first-degree murder in the Sept. 17 shooting death of a Chambersburg teenager appeared before a judge Thursday for a preliminary hearing - without an attorney. In addition to first-degree murder, Steffawn Spriggs also faces charges of illegal possession of a firearm, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, and reckless endangerment. Chambersburg police allege Spriggs shot and killed 18-year-old Calvin Warren James Beam. Officers found Beam in the rear parking lot of Chambersburg's Franklin Fire Co., where he is believed to have run after being shot in The Salvation Army parking lot nearby.
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | | November 7, 2012
By denying West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw a sixth term in Tuesday's election, Patrick Morrisey became the first Eastern Panhandle resident in state history to win an elected office on the Board of Public Works, according to the state archives.   Morrisey of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., finished ahead of McGraw by about 13,000 votes, which was about the same margin of victory that McGraw's Republican challenger received from voters in Berkeley and Jefferson counties combined, according to unofficial results.
By DON AINES | | October 2, 2012
The attorney for the company that sold Washington County the “West City” elementary school site last month told the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that his clients have been subjected to personal attacks and anonymous threats and asked the commissioners to “assist in elevating the conversation.” “It was the best place for the new school and it was the most cost-efficient alternative,” said Jason Divelbiss, who represented Hagers Crossing...
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | | September 19, 2012
The owner of a sports bar where a 28-year-old man was fatally shot in the parking lot early Sunday surrendered her liquor license Wednesday and will not reopen, her attorney said. “Because of this incident, they've just decided they don't want to be in the nightclub business anymore,” said attorney Floyd M. “Kin” Sayre III. Samson Edmond was pronounced dead Sunday at City Hospital in Martinsburg after being shot once in the chest outside The Brick House Bar & Grill at 214 Mid Atlantic Parkway near Martinsburg, according to police who are still investigating the homicide.
By JANET HEIM | | September 8, 2012
Milton Lawyer was known for his Smithsburg body shop and community involvement, but he had many talents unrelated to his business. He loved music and wanted to study at the Peabody Conservatory, but as the youngest of four sons, there was no money left for him to go to school after his three brothers did. A year later, when his parents had saved some money, he already had gotten a taste of the work world and no longer wanted to go to college....
August 1, 2012
The preliminary hearing for a man accused of shooting another man and an 8-year-old girl at Martinsburg's Fourth of July celebration was continued for a second time Wednesday. Daniel Lee Herbert, 28, who has been incarcerated since shortly after the July 4 shooting, requested the continuance in Berkeley County Magistrate Court to allow his newly appointed defense attorney time to review his case. Herbert is charged with two counts of malicious wounding, three counts of wanton endangerment and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
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