By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
Crystal Hinkle did not appear in court following an indictment by Grand Jury. Attorney Brent Easton appeared for the defense in place of Hinkle’s attorney Morris Davis, who was unable to appear. Judge Courrier of the 21st Circuit Court of West Virginia presided over the proceedings at the Tucker County Courthouse in Parsons.
According to the court, the Defendant did not receive notice of the Grand Jury Indictment. Tucker County Prosecuting Attorney Savannah Hull Wilkins said Hinkle was supposed to update her address with the court. Wilkins further attested that Hinkle appeared in Magistrate Court where she was informed of the Grand Jury. “I would argue that the defendant had notice, though it was not formally served,” Wilkins said.
According to Wilkins, Preston County had made an attempt to serve the notice to appear, but the house appeared vacant. “The house appeared in severe disrepair and vacant,” Wilkins said. Wilkins also said the deputies had spoken to a neighbor who confirmed that Hinkle had not lived at the residence for some time.
Attorney Easton said he did not believe that his client had be properly informed of the appearance. “I don’t think being told two weeks ago constitutes being served.” Easton also said he felt there was ambiguity surrounding how she was informed. “During Grand Jury they may or may not return an indictment.”
Judge Courrier said he would “err on the side of caution.” A new appearance date of November 15 was issued. Judge Courrier also ordered that the Defense Attorney relay the notice to Hinkle. Judge Courrier further stated that a nonappearance on November 15 would result in the issuance of an order of appearance.
Attorney Easton said he would inform Attorney Davis of the facts of the proceedings and the court’s requests.
No trial date has been set and Hinkle is presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.