Friday, February 18, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...2-19-'11
- The case of 24 year old Leslie Boggs, a South Charleston woman charged with causing the death of her infant daughter garnered national attention Friday when Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants and South Charleston Police Detective A.R. Gordon were guests on "Swift Justice with Nancy Grace" on CNN Headline News to talk about the case. Police say Boggs originally claimed she left her 3-month-old baby girl, Raynna Rea Boggs, in a room by herself when she went to do some cleaning. When she returned to the room, Boggs says, her daughter wasn't breathing. Boggs appeared on the Nancy Grace show in September, and, during that interview, admitted to drinking to the point where she blacked out. Recently, Boggs' finance, Thomas Meyers, told police the baby was smothered after Boggs passed out on top of her. Sam Champion of ABC News, who filled in for Grace on Friday's show, asked why Meyers would have come forward with the allegations. Plants told Champion that the coroner's report is in line with what Meyers told police.
- Shelly Smith, the wife of Charles Smith, the man accused of shooting three deputy U.S. Marshals, killing Derek Hotsinpiller, 24, of Bridgeport, could face criminal charges. During a March 2010 interview, Shelly Smith told Marshals her husband, a fugitive from justice since 2006, was in Indiana, but investigators believe Charles Smith had been living with is wife, Shelly, since at least 2010. Further investigation by the U.S. Marshals Service indicates that,starting in April 2010, both Shelly and Charles Smith received monthly food stamps from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources at the Central Street address in Elkins, where the shooting occurred while U.S. Marshals were attempting to serve an arrest warrant last Wednesday.
- Chad "Pock" Williams, 35, was in Logan County Circuit Court Friday for a preliminary hearing in the January 30th shooting death of Jason Horne. Williams has been bound to the grand jury for a hearing that could happen in May or as late as September. Horne, 28, died after he was shot in the head. Darren Keith Midkiff, 21, of Chapmanville, was arrested February 6th on charges of obstructing an officer and being an accessory to murder after the fact. State Police said Midkiff withheld information about Williams.
- Breazeale Norris, an Indianapolis, Indiana, truck driver, pleaded guilty Friday morning to DUI causing death and and two counts of misdemeanor DUI causing bodily injury, while eight counts were dismissed as part of a plea deal. Police say, in November 2009, Norris was driving a tractor-trailer near the Teays Valley exit when it struck a vehicle carrying 18 year old James Roberts, shoving it through an intersection to the eastbound entrance ramp of Interstate 64. Three others were injured in the crash. Norris faces up to 12 years in prison when sentenced April 14th.
- Sherry D. Harrison, 59, of Holden, in Logan County, was sentenced to five years of probation Friday for the theft of government funds after she admitted to falsifying documents in July 2003, which led to payments of more than $46,500 in Social Security benefits to her while she was acting as a representative payee on behalf of her stepdaughter whom she admitted was not in her custody. Investigations showed she falsified documents during a 7-year period and received more than $500 a month in federal benefits, while she and her husband used the federal funds to pay the child’s mother $100 each month for child care and $54 in child support. Harrison was ordered to pay the entire $46,543 to the Social Security Administration. She already has paid back a portion, but $45,392 remains.
- A Jackson County judge declared a mistrial Friday in a case against former Ripley police officer Buddy Thomas who's accused of touching a teenage girl inappropriately. Another trial has been set for August 9th. Thomas denies the charges.
- A 44 year old Catholic priest who once worked in West Virginia received a suspended sentence Friday in a Virginia courtroom. Fr. Felix C. Owino, a native of Kenya, was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison after previously pleading guilty to aggravated sexual battery involving an 11-year-old girl. The judge suspended five years of the sentence and ordered Owino to jail for nine months, giving him credit for the seven months he has already been in custody. Owino, at one time, was the pastor at St. Paul's Parish in Weirton and also worked at Wheeling Jesuit University. The group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, expressed disappointment with Friday's sentencing.
- Huntington Police have charged Mark Cole, 30, of Huntington, with malicious wounding in the June 2010 shooting of Walter Agee which occurred at Euclid Place Police had already arrested 24 year old Terry Chaney for his role in the shooting. Huntington Police also say 24-year-old Terry Chaney and two other people were involved in a home invasion.
- By a 2-1 majority, members of Teamsters Union Local 175 rejected a contract proposal offered by Armstrong Hardwood Flooring Co. at a meeting held in Elkins Thursday. The contract was set to end Friday night. The union has agreed to continue working in hopes that a fair settlement can be reached. The company has an a operation in Beverly, and is one of Randolph County's largest employers. Armstrong is seeking to increase its premiums and make benefit cuts on the 550 teamsters working at their Beverly facility.
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