Tuesday, March 15, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...3-16-'11
- Frank Buckles, the last American veteran of World War I, was laid to rest Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery, just 50 yards from the gravesite of General John Pershing, under whose command he served. Before the burial, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden paid their respects to Buckles and offered condolences to his daughter, Susannah Flanagan. After the service, Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli handed the flag to Buckles' daughter. Buckles, who died at the age of 110, outlived the approximately 4.7 million Americans who served in WWI.
- West Virginia State police are investigating a death inside the Southern Regional Jail. Sergeant Greg Duckworth said Euseph Shehab, 35, from Ansted, was found dead in his cell, hanged with a bed sheet. Shehab was facing first degree murder charges in connection with the death of his own niece, Jamie Fae Withrow, 25, who was shot in the head on February 27th and died a few days later. Shehab's death is being ruled a suicide, but the state police are investigating.
- Sam Littleton II, 37, appeared in Mercer County Court before Judge William Sadler Tuesday morning where warrants to extradite him back to Ohio to face charges were served. Public defender Sarah Harman said Littleton will be contesting that move. Littleton is currently facing charges in Ohio in connection to the murder of 26 year old Tiffany Brown, the daughter of his girlfriend. Littleton was captured in Princeton, West Virginia on February 23rd. Littleton's next court appearance is set for April 21st. At that time, Ohio Police are expected to provide evidence to prove he should face murder charges in their state. Investigators also believe he kidnapped Richard and Gladis Russell. Richard Richard's body was found in Tennessee on February 26th, while the body of Gladis Russell was found in Georgia on March 9th. Littleton has not been charged in those deaths.
- Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Carrie Webster sentenced Clayton "Gino" Rogers to life in prison without mercy Tuesday. A jury found Rogers guilty of first-degree murder in rhe death of his ex-girlfriend, 25 year old Laura Amos, who was found fatally stabbed last August in an abandoned house in St. Albans.
- Timothy Sutherland is charged with the murder of his cousin, 32 year old Stacie Smith, who was found in her home on Carson Street in Saint Albans in December 2009. Monday, defense lawyers were unable to convince a judge to throw out several statements Sutherland gave to police. The victim's three-year-old son was found unharmed in the residence. Trial continued Tuesday With Sutherland admitting to the crime, saying Smith lashed out at him, calling him a junkie.
- Emanuel Armond McCarty, 24, of Charleston was arraigned Tuesday morning after Charleston Police say he turned himself in and was booked into South Central Regional Jail. Police say, on March 9th, he shot 48 year old Michael Jerome Grady twice while he was in a min-van on Madison Street. Grady tried to drive away, but plowed through a fence, crashing into a home.
- The state Public Service Commission has released $3.4 million from a special account to reimburse Frontier Communications for expanding high-speed Internet across West Virginia. The Communications Workers of America, which represents Frontier employees, had asked PSC to hold up the first payment from a $60 million escrow account. The union wanted more time to review how Frontier spent the money last summer and fall. Frontier agreed to set up the account last year, provided the PSC approved their purchase of Verizon's landline business in West Virginia. The commission signed off on the sale, and Frontier took over Verizon's telephone access lines July 1st. Frontier put $48 million into the escrow account to expand high-speed Internet in West Virginia, and another $12 million to improve service quality.
- Two muggers plead guilty Monday for their part in a 2010 attack that left a Kanawha County man with permanent brain injuries. Earl Moore, Junior plead guilty to robbery. Prosecutors said he threw the punch that sent Jeff Moore crashing to the pavement on a downtown Charleston street. Whitney Avery plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy for acting as a lookout in the incident and another mugging. Under Moore's plea deal, prosecutors can only recommend a 40-year sentence, but the victim's family will ask for much more prison time when he and Avery are sentenced in May. Co-defendant Telisa McCauley ,who plead guilty last week, wore a wire to help gather evidence against Earl Moore. Prosecutors will recommend a ten year sentence for her.
- A bill which made it through both the House and Senate during the regular legislative session will change the way the state Public Service Commission handles public hearings. Under the bill, at least one commissioner will serve or stand at every public hearing across the state, and the public will be allowed to file public comments electronically with the PSC. Up until now, they only accepted written comments. The bill came out of a situation that happened in 2010 when the PSC held a meeting on utility rates in Beckley, and not one of the three PSC commissioners showed up even though hundreds of people, many of them seniors, braved bad weather to be there.
Links to this post: