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The Pocahontas Times
Marlinton, West Virginia
July 12, 2001     The Pocahontas Times
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July 12, 2001

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PAGE 2 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to be pe enm tgintee 810 Second Avenue, Marlinton WV 24954 Phone (304) 799-4973 Fax (304) 799-6466 www.pocahontastimes.com editor@pocahontastimes.com Published every Thursday except the last week of the year. Entered at the Post Office at Marlinton. West Virginia 24954 as periodicals ISSN 0738-8373 YEARLY SUBSCRIPTION CHARGES (including tax) In-County $13.78 In-State $23.32 Out-of-State $25 WEEKLY ADVERTISING RATES Display--S4.50 column inch--Classified--20 word WILLIAM P. McNEEL, Editor PAMELA E. PRITT, Managing Editor JANE PRICE SHARP, Editor Emerita THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2001 i i Buckeye man on trial for delivery of controlled substance by Pamela Pritt A State Trooper was on the wit- ness stand for two-and-one-half hours Tuesday to begin the trial of a Buckeye man accused of deliver- ing a Schedule III controlled sub- stance. Trooper D. M. McMillan testi- fied that he used Renick resident Cathy Fogus to purchase Loracet, the commercial name for Hydroco- done, from Joseph "Bunker" Taw- hey, then of Hilisboro. Tawney is 46. McMillan said Fogus arrived at the Marlinton Detachment of the West Virginia State Police in the late morning of January 3, 2000, offering to buy drugs from Tawney. "She said she could make a drug buy from Bunker Tawney," he tes- tiffed The trooper said he was "extremely familiar" with Tawney since his name had been mentioned by Fogus, as well as members of the community. McMillan said he and Fogus planned to meet at Beartown State Park at 9 p.m.; however, he later clarified that they actually met in the parking lot of Mt. Olivet Unit- ed Methodist Church on Droop Mountain. There, the trooper searched Fo- gus, her husband and granddaughter before searching their 1993 Dodge diesel pickup truck to determine that they had no contraband, he tes- tified. He also wired Fogus with a transmitter so that her conversa- tions could be recorded; however, that attempt failed, he said. "I satisfied myself there were no narcotics in the vehicle," he said. Fogus told him she was prepared to attempt the drug buy. "She said she going to pur- chase Loracet pill i as many as he would sell her for $160," McMillan said. : : He followed the truck to Hills- boro in an unmarked cruiser, he tes- tified, and parked near Ralph H. Burns and Son, Inc. to await Fo- gus' return trip, he continued. Meanwhile Sergeant J. P. Barlow and Trooper F. H. Barlow were ob- serving the Tawney household from Hillsboro'Elementary School, Mc- Millan testified. When Fogus' vehicle passed by, McMillan said he followed to the intersection of U. S. Rt. 219 and Locust Creek Road where she hand- ed him 15 Loracet pills and $40 in cash. He again searched the vehicle and its occupants, he said. McMillan could not explain why Fogus still had money in her pos- session. The trooper also testified that Fo- gus cooperated in the alleged drug buy in exchange for an uttering charge to be reduced. Defense attorney Martin Saffer made much of Fogus' original charges, since he said uttering is a charge involving honesty. "She's been truthful to me and followed through with her end of the deal," the trooper said, noting that she had made a previous drug purchase that was prosecuted. Under cross examination, Mc- Millan said Fogus did not discuss her own drug use; however, she did tell him that she had been to rehab and the "problem had been taken care of," he said. "She said she was familiar with drugs and what they cost," he relat- ed. McMillan was still on the stand at the end of the day. Jury selection took two hours. Saffer asked for individual voir dire of potential jurors since some of the panel had served on another case in which McMillan and Fogus were the State's primary wimesses. Tawney is expected to offer an alibi defense. Prosecuting Attorney Walt Wei- ford interrupted Saffer's opening ar- gument because the defense attorney referred at length to Tawney's com- panion, Mary Meilinger, and her whereabouts at the time the transac- tion was supposed to have taken place. Mellinger, who was also indicted, was supposed to stand trial Tues- day, as well; however, her attorney, Tony Tatano successfully argued to sever the defendants prior to trial. Weiford said the defense could not have it both ways. "I don't have to prove Mary Mel- linger guilty today," he said. The jury can believe Mary Mellinger was not there and that does not lessen the burden of proving [Tawney] guilty," the prosecutor said. "Half the defense witnesses are called to establish an alibi for Mary Mellinger, not Joseph Tawney. [The jury] can believe she wasn't there so he's not guilty. That sug- gestion is prejudicial to the State. As in all criminal cases, the bur- den of proof falls on the prosecu- tion. No defendant is required to take the witness stand in his own defense. Tawney could serve one-to-five years in prison or be fined up to $15,000 or both. With a dozen more witnesses to go, the trial is expected to end Wed- nesday. Magistrate Court Jamie M. Spence, of Fairmont, was arrested in Marion County on June 28 on a warrant from this county charging him with battery and destruction of property. He was released on $1000 bond. The war. rant was obtained by State Police Tpr. F. H. Barlow. Linda Palko, of Marlinton, was arrested on Tuesday of last week by Deputy Sheriff T. A. McCoy on a charge of domestic battery. She was released on $1000 bond. Karis Rataiczak, of Buckeye, was arrested on a charge of intimidation by threat of violence, a felony by Deputy Sheriff M. C. Doss on Tuesday. He was also arrested on two counts of battery. Rataiczak was released on Thursday after $11,000 bond was posted. David H. Walker, of Morgan- town, .was arrested Tuesday by State Police Sgt. J. P. Barlow on charges of driving with his license suspend- ed, second offense, and failure to wear a seat belt. He appeared before Magistrate Kathy Beverage and entered a plea of guilty to both offenses. For the license offense Walker was sentenced to ten days in jail with a fine of $100 and $67 in court costs. He was fined $10 on the other charge. Shirley C. Sabota, of Marlinton, was arrested on Wednesday by Mar- linton Police Chief E. L. Tinney and charged with destruction of property. She was released on $250 bond. A number of hearings were held in Magistrate Beverage's court on Thursday. Brian Withers, of Marlinton, was found guilty of obstructing an offic- er, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail on the obstruction charge. Fines totaled $310 with $241 in court costs. Darrell Small, of St. Helena, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty to DUI. He was sentenced to 24 hours in jail with a fine of $100 and court costs of $87. Charges of left of center and improper registra- tion were dismissed. Larry A.' Turner, of Cuss, entered a guilty plea to battery. He was fined $50 with $67 in court costs and six hours in jail. Jeremiah B. Powell, of Marlin- ton, also entered a plea of guilty to battery. He was freed $50 plus $67 in court costs and five hours in jail. Charges of petit larceny and pro- riding false information against Danny D. Lambert, of tlartow, were dismissed due to lack of prosecution within 120 days. Justin P. Short, of Valley Head, was arrested on Thursday by State Police Tpr. D. M. McMillan and charged with atteml .ed grand larce- ny, a felony. He was released on $5000 bond. James Richards, of Marlinton, Alleging malicious prosecution S, by Pamela Pritt In an l 1-count suit alleging, among other things, malicious prosecution, civil rights violations and civil conspiracy, the man acquitted last year of the locally infamous Rainbow Murders is asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys' fees and costs and other relief from the Pocahontas County Prosecuting Attorney, Pocahontas County Sheriff and the Pocahontas County Commission, as well as from the West Virginia Department of Public Safety and up to nine former investigators on the case. A Braxton County jury last year found Jacob Wilson Beard not guilty of the 1980 homicides of Nancy Santomero, 19, and Vicki Durian, 26. Santomero was from New York, Durian from Iowa. The women had been hitchhiking to a Rainbow Family Gathering held that year on the Monongahela Nati0nal Forest. They were found shot to death at close range on Briery Knob in southern Pocahontas County. Twelve years later, two witnesses for the state said Beard was the triggerman and in 1993 he was convicted of the crimes, then sentenced to two life terms without mercy; however, Senior Status Judge Charles Lobban ended that sentence at five-and-a-half years when he granted Beard a new trial in 1999. Lobban did so because in addition to a convicted serial killer's confession to the crimes, Beard's former co-defendant Arnold Cutlip came forward with an affidavit that discredited a key witness for the State. While Lobban granted the defense motion for a new trial, he also stated openly that neither man had any credibility. Beard, 55, has maintained his innocence since his April, 1992, arrest in Florida. In the suit, his longtime attorney, Stephen Farmer, theorized that the murders were either committed by Beard's former co- defendant, Gerald Brown, now deceased, or convicted serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin. Brown was arrested for the murders in 1983 when Bobby Lee Morrison told investigators that he was with Brown when he killed the women; however, Morrison later recanted that statement and accused Beard of threatening him and telling him what to say to incriminate Brown. Brown died in 1993 shortly after he was indicted. Franklin's on-again-off-again confessions to the crimes began in 1984 when he was arrested for a murder in Wisconsin. Although West Virginia investigators traveled there to interview him, he refused to repeat the confession. He later told a female investigator that he had committed the murders. Since that time, he has confessed to the crimes, mostly to female attorneys and reporters. Franklin claimed he shot the women because one of them said she had dated a black man, and the other said she was not adverse to the idea. He drew a map of the area which Beard's defense attorneys called detailed, and prosecutors called "vague. An avowed white supremacist, Franklin has been convicted of killing two black youths in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a Jewish man outside a synagogue in Missouri. He is on death row there, awaiting lethal injection. The suit alleges that notwithstanding the evidence against both Brown and Franklin, then-State Police Sergeant Robert Alkire, now Pocahontas County Sheriff, former Sheriff Jerry Dale and Prosecuting Attorney Walt Weiford engaged in a conspiracy to manufacture evidence, and suborn perjury, commit perjury, omit evidence exculpatory to Beard and "physically assaulting, threatening, harassing and incarcerating potential witnesses to provide knowingly false and fraudulent testimony to wrongfully incarcerate Mr. Beard." Two state's witnesses testified that they were threatened and abused by an investigator, a polygraph examiner, prior to giving their accounts of the murders. That examiner, Robert Estepp, is also named in the suit. "We stand behind the allegations in the suit and believe very strongly in our case," Farmer continued. "Mr. Beard suffered damages he should not have had to suffer. Immeasurable damages as a direct result of purposeful and outrageous conduct on behalf of public officials." "Bob Alkire put me in prison for five and a half years for something I didn't do," Beard said Monday. "I lost everything I had. My family suffered." Beard's wife, Linda, and daughters, Teresa and Tamara, are plaintiffs in the suit, as well, claiming loss of spousal and parental consortium. Now living in Greenbrier County, Beard is employed at Avery Atkins Tractor Sales. "If he felt there wasn't a good cause, he wouldn't have filed it," Beard said of his attorney, noting that the two began discussions of a possible civil suit last summer. "If appeared before Magislrate Beverage on Friday and pied guilty to petit larceny. He was freed $50, ordered to pay $204 in restitution, assessed $67 in court costs, and given 18 hours in jail Cherie M. Hall and Robert R. Hall, of Hillsboro, were arrested on Friday and charged with cultivation of marijuana. Cherie Hall was also charged with delivery of marijuana. The arresting officer was State Police Tpr. F. H. Barlow. Cherie Hall was released on $30,000 and Robert Hall on $15,000 bond. The offenses are felonies. Elwood Whitlock, of Buckeye, appeared in court on Friday on two charges of battery. He was released on $1000 bond. The charges were filed by State Police Tpr. D. A. Evans. Jeffrey A. Hill, of Buckeye, was arrested by Tpr. D. M. McMillan on Friday and charged with battery. He was released on $500 bond. Joseph Neely, of Hillsboro, was arrested on Saturday by Officer Tin- ney and Deputy Sheriff J. L. Clif- ton on charges of battery, destruc- tion of property, obstructing an officer, public intoxication, disor- derly conduct, and domestic assault. He was released on $2200 bond on Monday. Michael Neely, of Hillsboro, was arrested by Officer Tinney on Satur- day and charged with public intoxi- cation, disorderly conduct, and tres- passing. He was released the next day on $300 bond. Kenneth R. Holbrook, of Dover, Delaware, arrested on a DUI charge by State Police Tpr. W. A. Pendleton on Saturday. He was released on Sunday and $1000 bond was posted. Penny S. Gardner, of Dover, Delaware, was charged with permit- ting DUI and giving false informa- tion to a police officer by Tpr. McMillan on Sunday. She was released on $600 bond on Sunday. Durbin Days July - Times Office Open House The Pocahontas Times will have an open house on Friday, July 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. to celebrate the 100 years in the present building. Refreshments and door prizes. Representative to be at WVU Extension Office A Representative of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology Small Business Devel- opment Center will be at the WVU Extension Office located in the Pocahontas County Courthouse on Tuesday, July 24, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for the purpose of assist- ing small business owners or those who may be interested in starting a small business. The counseling pro- vided is free and confidential. To make an appointment, please contact the Extension Office at 799-4852. HP T CITIZENS BANK 1-888-FC DIRECT (1-888-323-4732) firstcitizens, corn Member FDIC. the people of Pocahontas County want somebody to blame, they can blame Bob Alkire." Beard said he believed Alkire, who had investigated the case since the night Santomero and Durian were killed, became obsessed. "The sad thing about this is there is no closure for the girls' families," he concluded. "I don't know who killed those girls," Farmer said. "I know Jake Beard didn't." Farmer said that although normally the Board of Public Risk assumes a $1 million liability in such cases, he plans to seek twice that amount. "We believe insurance amounts to be two million dollars (in this case)," he said. Other counts in the suit are failure to supervise, intentional infliction of emotional distress, failure to maintain of process, false prima facie tort. Sergeant Terry Sergeant Scott First Class Steven Trooper First Chambers, Trooper J. ! John Doe and Jack in the suit, as well. The Pocahontas Commission prosecution. Each of the Weiford are sued in capacities as well Farmer said he to be heard in Circuit Court in the months to one year. In his letter to the insurance company, states that he is an early resolution THIS STRUCTURE WAS erected last week in the of the Cass Scenic Railroad. It joins the railroad'S_ and it will provide space for the restol:ation of railroad equipment. The new restoration shop is a the Mountain State Railroad and Logging Association. A volunteer, non-profit organization, works to preserve the history of the logging industries in West Virginia, with a special Cass. One of the group's projects is the logging display at Whittaker Station on the Cass Railroad. MEMBERS OF THE Mountain State Railroad and Historical Association worked as tricolors over th installing the track in the new restoration shop " "ii THE FIRST MAJOR restoration project MSR&LHA for the new building is this Climax locomotive. This engine was used on the Railroad. Ironically, this engine was schet restoration in 1972 and had been placed in thl before the building was destroyed by fire in July We're small enough know you, big to sewe you. We're a different ' of bank. We give you :he benefits of a a ma3orfinancial resource wrapped into And that's important to us, because we ::,,ork here, :t's our home. t[ You're aIways first. !