Thursday, April 07, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...4-8-'11
- Kanawha County's Prosecutor Mark Plants is making changes in his office as it prepares to try the Kanawha Sniper case. Plants said Wednesday his office will move people and furniture to accommodate those working on the case and the seven and a half years' worth of evidence that comes with it. Assistant prosecutors Maryclaire Akers and Don Morris, who primarily handle felony and homicide cases, will be assigned exclusively to the case against Shawn Thomas Lester, the 35-year-old Charleston resident charged in the 2003 sniper-style shooting of Jeanie Patton.
- Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has broken ground on a $6 million addition at its Williamson campus. College officials say the 25,000-square-foot Applied Technology Center will train students for future jobs and try to enable them to complete state license exams on campus. Completion of the center, next to the main campus building, is expected in August 2012.
- Twenty-four year old Raymond Stoumile of Beckley, a suspected shooter on the run for three months, was arrested earlier this week. Stoumile is charged with attempted first- degree murder and wanton endangerment in connection with the January 28th of 24 year old Anthony Johnson. Police say Johnson was shot in the chest after a fight at Club Phoenix in Mabscott. Stoumile's preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 13th. He's free on a $75,000 bond.
- Trial began Wednesday in Upshur County Circuit Court for Misty Dawn Wimer Linger, a Buckhannon mother charged with child neglect resulting in death. Her 3-year-old son was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital. Police say Linger called 911 in May 2009 after finding her son in a car outside her home with the windows rolled up. After opening statements, the judge allowed the jury to visit Linger's home so they could consider whether the statement she gave police was plausible.
- Putnam County Deputies have charged Joyce Midkiff of Hurricane with malicious wounding after she shot her ex-husband James Midkiff at a residence on Scary Creek Road Thursday morning. According to the criminal complaint, Midkiff says she and her ex-husband started fighting after she found text messages from other women in his cell phone. Joyce Midkiff allegedly asked her ex-husband for a .22-caliber pistol that had belonged to her stepfather, which James threw onto a dresser. Joyce Midkiff told Putnam sheriff's deputies that she got the gun off the dresser, her ex-husband turned her around to face him and she shot him in the chest. Midkiff was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital, where he was under evaluation late Thursday afternoon. Joyce Midkiff was placed on a $100,000 cash bond.
- Kanawha County Deputies arrested Odie Lee Reveal, 51, of Rand, Wednesday after searching his Midland Drive residence and finding 4.2 pounds of marijuana, 120 Valium pills and 36 OxyContin pills, valued at more than $22,000, as well as $2,700 in cash. Reveal was charged with felony possession with the intent to distribute. Deputies went to his home to serve a family court warrant.
- Two men lost appendages in two separate accidents when they were struck by trains Thursday in Huntington. Huntington police say 20 year old Matthew Corrigan was hit by a CSX train near the Hal Greer Boulevard underpass about 3:30 A.M. Police believe a domestic dispute may have prompted Corrigan to run toward a moving train. Officers do not believe Corrigan was involved in the dispute. Corrigan was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition Thursday evening. Authorities say he lost fingers in the accident. A 22 year old man is expected to recover after his arm was severed when he was struck by a train about 6:30 P.M. Huntington Police Sgt. John Williams says the man appeared to be jumping trains on the CSX train tracks over the 20th Street underpass near 8th Avenue when he was struck by a westbound train. Authorities were able to locate the “remains of the arm” a few hundred feet west of the incident.
- Charleston Police charged Kanawha County resident Shawn Lester last week for the August 2003 sniper shooting death of Jeanie Patton. The criminal complaint alleges Lester told a friend he shot Patton because she and her boyfriend stole a vehicle engine stuffed with meth supplied by Mexican national Gilberto Cruz Lopez, also known as Tito. Court documents show Lopez was indicted along with his brother Jaime Lopez in October 2008 for allegedly selling 500 grams of cocaine and 50 grams of a drug, which included a mixture of meth, from 2002 to October 2003. Federal charges against Tito and his brother were dismissed by a federal judge in March 2010 without prejudice, which means they could be filed again. Tito Lopez was also named in a November 2003 arrest warrant in Kanawha County for allegedly stealing an ATV, but he was never arrested.
- A city agency approved a street-closing plan Wednesday that will allow Yeager Airport to lop off the top of Coal Branch Heights and improve the flight path for planes taking off from the airport. Airport Director Rick Atkinson asked members of the Municipal Planning Commission to close A Street and Ox Street, plus a series of paper streets and alleys -- all on Coal Branch Heights, the hill southwest of the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration has already set aside grant money to acquire property for the project, , including three homes in the disturbance zone and four next to it. The others are undeveloped vacant lots. One of the larger property owners, has not signed any agreements yet. Yeager officials also hope to obtain FAA funding for construction -- an estimated $15 million.
- About 1,000 judges and lawyers will descend on The Greenbrier for a judicial conference in June -- but they won't be gambling in the resort's new $80 million underground casino. The Greenbrier will close the casino during the three-day conference at the request of the event's sponsor, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. It will be the only time the Casino Club has shut its doors -- other than Christmas Day -- since opening last July.
- Work has started on a project to reduce flooding in the Island Creek basin in Logan. Heeter Construction Inc. of Spencer was awarded a $5.8 million contract for the project's initial phase. The entire project will create an 80-foot-wide channel along 3,600 feet of Island Creek upstream from its confluence with the Guyandotte River. Several major floods have occurred in the creek basin in the last few years.
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