By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Ten individuals went before the Honorable Judge James Courrier on charges they have incurred since last October. Grand Jury was held on February 12 and considered several cases to determine whether the defendant would or would not be indicted on said charges.
The following individuals were all charged by the state of West Virginia, indicted and returned for arraignment on Friday, February 15: William C. Armstrong for one count of malicious assault and one count strangulation, Dustin Bruce Moran for two counts of possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver, David B. Phillips two counts of second degree sexual assault and one count of soliciting a minor via computer, Kelsie Sky Odessa Hebb with three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and one count of persons prohibited from possessing firearm, Jason A. Adkins for failure to appear, Tracey Lea Elza with three counts of prescription fraud and three counts of uttering, Katie Marie Phillips with third offense shoplifting, Janice May White for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, Tonia L. Armstrong for malicious assault, and Emily Jo Heckler for murder.
Later that week, eight of the ten returned for arraignment with their attorneys. First up were W. Armstrong and Attorney Bush. Judge Courrier informed the defendant of the potential penalties for his crime if he should be convicted, which would be two to ten years for the assault, one to five for the strangulation, and up to a $2,500 fine. Armstrong is currently out on a personal recognizance bond set by the magistrate. Prosecuting Attorney Ray LaMora informed Courrier of claims that he has attempted contact with the victim via Facebook, to which he was informed if an investigation results in the accusations being true, his bond may be revoked.
Deputy Teter escorted Phillips in, who was chained and shackled by the Department of Correction. Defense Attorney Hess was present to represent Phillips in this criminal matter. Courrier informed the defendant the repercussions of his action could result in the possibility of two, ten to twenty five year sentences and two, one to ten thousand dollar fines for the sexual assault, and an additional five to thirty year determined sentenced for soliciting a minor, which means Judge Courrier would be responsible for dictating the years to be served in that span.
Hebb entered in cuffs next for the judge to explain her potential penalties for her indictments if convicted. Each of her three counts of possession with intent to deliver carries a one to fifteen year sentence and/or up to a $25,000 fine per count. The charge of possessing a firearm illegally is considered a misdemeanor and could land her in jail for ninety days to a year, and/or a $100 to $1,000 fine. Defense Attorney Hess was standing in for Hebb’s assigned lawyer due to scheduling conflicts, and requested Hebb be released on home confinement. LaMora requested she pay the hook up fee for the GPS tracking unit, especially considering she severed her bracelet once before and fled. Judge Courrier asked if she had the means to pay the hookup fee, to which Hebb replied, “I can talk to my Mom”.
Next on the docket was J. Adkins with Attorney Bush. Adkins was made aware that he was indicted on one count of failure to appear to the regional jail on December 10 as required by Judge Nelson on previous charges. This could add an additional one to five year sentence and up to a $5,000 fine. Bond on this charge is set at $20,000; however, he is serving time on other charges. Bush requested to postpone the bond hearing in this case due to the chance of sentence modification on his current charges being served.
Defense Attorney Davis entered with his client K. Phillips. She was indicted on one count of shoplifting, her third offense, to which Courrier informed her, became a felony charge. The possible penalty if convicted is a one to ten year sentence and up to a $5,000 fine. The Judge informed her that this offense required the sentence to be in a form of confinement, either home or in a facility, for a minimum of one year. The bond remained to the status it was set in Magistrate Court.
Bush returned with his next client J. White. According to Bush, she has been on bond with an ankle bracelet and on home confinement for quite some time and request the Judge removes the home confinement requirement. LaMora and Elizabeth Smith from Community Correction informed the Judge she currently has fifteen separate violations while on their program for leaving home without permission and was nearing presenting a motion to revoke White being on their program and return to a facility. Judge Courrier decided to leave White on the program with the understanding if she abides by and meet the Community Correction Program protocol; he may reconsider and grant their request at her next hearing.
Defense Attorey Fuelhart was unable to attend for two individuals due to court scheduling conflicts; therefore, Davis stood in to allow the progress to continue forward. First, he represented Elza, whose potential sentencing could result in one to four years sentence and up to a $30,000 fine for each of the three counts of prescription fraud, as well as a one to ten year possibility and up to a $500 fine for each of the three uttering charges. Bond will remain as set by Magistrate Court.
Davis followed up with representing T. Armstrong for her potential sentence understanding. Malicious assault carries a two to ten year sentence, with a minimum of two and the remaining of time to be determined by the parole board. Armstrong is currently out on bond and is subjected to drug screenings and was reminded she is to have no contact with the victim.
At the conclusion of the day, William and Tonia Armstrong, D. Phillips, and Adkins are to return to the courtroom on March 19, and Hebb, Elza, K. Phillips, and White will return on the 22. Defense Attorney Easton, representing Moran and Heckler, was also unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts and will be rescheduled