Wednesday, June 29, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...6-30-'11
- Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia has filed a notice to appeal the order setting Joseph Lavigne Jr. free. Lavigne spent 15 years in prison after he was convicted of the brutal rape of his then 5-year-old daughter in 1996. Putnam County Circuit Judge O.C. Spaulding overturned his conviction on April 29th and gave him a new trial. In granting Lavigne's habeas corpus petition, Spaulding said Lavigne had been denied a fair trial because the victim did not identify her father as her attacker in court. He also found that a jury instruction was improper, and limiting him to four character witnesses fatally harmed his case. Lavigne was released May 5th after posting $150,000 bond.
- Nationally known comedian Andy Dick was indicted Wednesday by a Cabell County Grand Jury on two counts of first degree sexual abuse. Dick is accused of sexually abusing two men in January 2010 while he was in Huntington to perform at the Funny Bone Comedy Club. According to the indictment, he allegedly grabbed the crotch of two men at Rum Runners, a nightclub on 3rd Avenue, kissed one of the victims and licked the neck of the other. Dick is scheduled to be back in court July 13th.
- Testimony continued Wednesday morning in Raleigh County for Christopher Bowling whose defense team maintains shot his wife in a tragic accident after a long day of drinking. Bowling, 38, of Daniels, is accused of shooting his wife, Tresa, in the head on the night of January 31, 2010. His attorney, Richard Weston, says Tresa was lying on the couch when Bowling went to sit with her. Weston says, at that point, Bowling felt the gun pinching his side, and, in the process of removing the weapon, he inadvertently shot Tresa Bowling. On Tuesday, Christoper Bowling's cellmate, Robert Harmon, took the stand and testified Bowling had discussed his wife's shooting with him, saying he had made arrangements in advance to make the shooting look like an accident.
- West Virginia State Police troopers have arrested Erving "Tubby" Page of Sissonville and charged him with grand larceny in connection with the theft of copper phone and data lines from the state Department of Agriculture's headquarters in Guthrie, knocking out phone and Internet service at the department.
- State Attorney General 74 year old Darrell McGraw has announced his intention to run for a record sixth term as the state's lead law enforcement officer. McGraw was first elected as Attorney General in 1992. Prior to that, he served on the state Supreme Court where from 1976 to 1988 he was the chief justice. McGraw says he's built the state Consumer Protection Division into a "nationally recognized powerhouse." During his time in office, the division has recovered more than $2 billion by enforcing laws against large corporations. McGraw is married to Jorea Marple, the first woman to serve as state superintendent of schools.
- Former Belle police officer 28 year old Daniel Dodd no longer faces felony intimidation and stalking charges after his ex-wife, Jennifer Totten, admitted to sending herself messages allegedly from her ex-husband. Totten had accused Dodd of sending her threatening messages through email and instant messenger. Contacting his wife would have been a parole violation for Dodd, who is accused of hitting Totten during an argument in March. Totten admitted to logging in to Dodd's account and sending the messages to herself. She's been charged with filing a false police report. Dodd resigned from the Belle Police Department earlier this month. Dodd still faces misdemeanor domestic battery and domestic assault charges.
- Yeager Airport's governing board on Wednesday got a first look at a design for a makeover of the Charleston airport's general aviation terminal. A gas log fireplace, a departure lounge with seating for more than 50 passengers, a new conference room and enlarged and upgraded restrooms are among features of the new design scheme created by the Cincinnati-based Bascon architecture and engineering firm. Yeager Airport Director Rick Atkinson says work on the renovation would likely begin in October or November, after a final design is completed and approved and the project is sent out to bid.
Links to this post: