By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The Honorable Judge Nelson presided over the Tucker County Circuit Court hearings on Monday, December 3 at 9 a.m. First to appear was Jason White with Attorney Isner. Defense stated he didn’t have time to review a motion made and had concerns over previous happenings that has come to light in the last couple months. There were also audio files sent from the office of Ray LaMora, Prosecuting Attorney, that were unable to be played by the defense due to technological errors, and time was needed to decipher those. This case will be picked back up after Christmas when time has allowed for information to be evaluated.
Charles Wolfe, not present at the hearing, has requested a pre-trial hearing regarding the 404B evidence to be held before officially setting a jury trial. Judge Nelson agreed and a pre-trial hearing will be held on January 7, 2019 and a trial date will be set.
Jeremy Watson was escorted in by Sheriff Wilfong with Attorney Easton. Easton made a motion to the Judge to be withdrawn from representing Watson due to inability to communicate as well as the preference of Watson. The Judge addressed Watson to ensure he was in fact requesting new representation, and he confirmed. LaMora suggested assigning an attorney Watson recently dealt with for charges in Preston County, to which Watson said, “I don’t want her”. Judge Nelson informed Watson, “This is the last one you’re going to get so make it work”.
Escorted in next was Emily Heckler, who is being held on murder charges. Her defense made a motion to set bail since she has been in jail and not yet indicted. LaMora suggested, being this is one of the most gruesome murders ever to occur in Tucker County, that no bond or no less than a $500,000 cash only bond. Judge Nelson decided to grant Heckler bond, but with the stipulation of a cash only in the amount of $500,000.
Defense Attorney Easton, also representing Jasper Snyder, again requested to be granted more time to review newly discovered information. Judge Nelson complied giving them until January 7, 2019.
Tammy Mook along with Easton as her council suggested to the judge to go forth with setting a trial date, feeling this matter will not be resolved otherwise. LaMora agreed with that statement and Judge Nelson set the two day trial to be held February 26 and 27, 2019. T. Mook is charged with two counts of burglary of two residents of Davis, two counts of receiving, transferring, and concealing stolen property, two counts of grand larceny, and two counts of conspiracy. Over $1,000 worth of home items were stolen from each residence, along with a 2012 Polaris RZR and a twenty four foot Jayco Eagle Camper.
Lester Mook took the stand next with new representation, Attorney Pat Nichols. Nichols requested another month to become up to date with the case files and is scheduled for a motion hearing on January 7.
Judge Nelson called for Jason Adkins with his representative Attorney Bush to take the floor. LaMora stated the purpose of the hearing was for sentencing following a presentencing investigation completion by the Tucker County Probation Office. Defense requested Adkins be granted an alternative sentence considering this was a non-violent crime, a clean crime history, one step child and two biological children (one being a newborn), and having roots in the community. LaMora responded stating he broke into his family’s business; breaking trust with everyone, stealing weapons that he felt was to support a drug habit. He continued informing the judge he also lied to the Probation Officer stating he was employed, however when investigated they were informed he had been fired several months prior. LaMora feels he can’t be trusted by his family or the court and he is likely to reoffend. Adkins requested to address the court, in which he stated, “First off I’d like to apologize to my Grandpa and everyone else involved. If given the chance to prove myself there will be no more issues”. Judge Nelson replied, “You’re thirty one years old, how many more chances do you need?” Adkins was then sentenced to no less than one and not more than ten years in a penitentiary. He is to report on Monday to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
Next on the docket was Britni Ball for shoplifting felony charges. LaMora suggested a one day trial date be set, which is on the court schedule for February 21, 2019.
Without representation entered Thomas Bruce Summerfield, recently removed from a rehabilitation facility, for his charge of child neglect with risk of bodily injury or death. LaMora stated Summerfield has been clean (sober) for over fifty days and is on a wait list for an inpatient rehabilitation center. “We have a lot in place through Community Correction to help him”, stated LaMora, who also suggested Summerfield be placed on GPS monitoring. To be released, he must first remit payment to Community Correction for back owed home confinement payments.
Judge Nelson will return to court on January 7, 2019 to follow up on several of these cases and set trial dates for others.