Monday, March 21, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...3-22-'11
- Walter Hudnall, 67, of Fraziers Bottom, in Putnam County, was found unresponsive in his cell at the South Central Regional Jail early Monday morning. Hudnall was arrested on November 11th on first degree murder charges and was being held without bond after being accused of starving his mother, 86 year old Helen Louise Hudnall, to death. Helen Hudnall was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital on February 14, 2009 after police say she was found lying in her own urine and feces. She died on March 7, 2009. Hudnall was set to go on trial April 18th.
- The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office confirms the two victims killed Saturday afternoon on Route 52 near Prichard when their truck was hit by train, while crossing the tracks at a private road, are Jess Endicott Sr., and his son, Jess Endicott Jr.
- Huntington Police are investigating after 41 year old Randy Perkins was attacked by three suspects at about 1:00 A.M. Monday morning on Upper Union Street in Huntington. Perkins told officers he heard someone attempting to break into his girlfriend's house, and, when he went outside to check it out, he was confronted by three suspects wearing ski masks and dressed in all black clothing. Perkins was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center after being repeatedly hit in his arms with a baseball bat and cut in his face with a knife before the suspects fled the scene.
- Lorie Ann Taylor-Keller and Nakia Keller of Fulks Run, Virginia, were scheduled to stand trial in May for the fatal shootings of a West Virginia family. Chief U.S. District Judge Glen E. Conrad issued an order Friday pushing the trial back until next year after Taylor-Keller's lawyers requested the delay, citing several issues, including a superseding indictment that makes it a potential death penalty case. The couple is charged with crossing state lines in October 2009 to kill Taylor-Keller's ex-husband, 36 year old Dennis "Chip" Taylor, Taylor's wife, Allaina Taylor, and her 5 year old daughter, Kaylee Grace Whetzel, at their home in Hardy County, West Virginia. Investigators believe the victims were shot execution style, and that a fire was started to cover the crime. Deputies say Lorie and Chip had been in a "bitter" custody battle over their children.
- Michael Leon Calhoun, 45, of Charleston, a former Charleston cab driver pleaded guilty in Kanawha Circuit Court Monday to one count of first-degree sexual abuse, admitting he had sex with a female acquaintance against her will after she had been a passenger in his cab last July 2nd. As part of his plea deal, two counts of second-degree sexual assault were dropped. Calhoun faces up to five years in prison when sentenced June 9th.
- Twenty-two year old Joshua J. Ware of Canton, Ohio, a former student teacher at Philip Barbour High School in Philippi, West Virginia, was arraigned Friday on two felony counts of sexual child abuse by a custodian or person of trust. He's accused of using the Internet to solicit sex from two underage female students. Investigators say they discovered Ware was soliciting online sex from the girls after a student indicated Ware was having inappropriate online chats with his sister. Authorities were looking into a report that a student had hit Ware.
- Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper is looking to cut the in-house drug-testing program at the county's Day Report Center, an alternative sentencing program that allows offenders to check in and receive job training and counseling while also being drug tested. The center started about five years ago, and while the county has been doing the drug testing in-house only since last August, Carper says the county is losing money because of the low number of screenings done at the center. A large majority of those sentenced to the Day Report Center are on probation, and the state Supreme Court requires that a laboratory in Richmond, Virginia perform testing for all offenders that are on probation. All but 10 of the 125 offenders at the Day Report Center are on probation. Don Searls, director of the center, says, although testing offenders at the center started out as a good idea, the current volume of tests performed doesn't justify the costs.
- The Logan Area Coalition Against Substance Abuse will meet at 6:00 P.M. Tuesday March 22nd at the Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church in Holden. The meeting will include experts in the substance abuse field who will identify problems and talk about solutions while sharing their ideas and concerns with the public.
- An Interstate 64 bridge in Huntington is being named the Jeffrey P. Ball Memorial Bridge in honor of an engineer who designed numerous bridges in several counties. Jeffrey P. Ball was a construction engineer for the state Division of Highways who died in August 2010.
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