The Parsons Advocate

See comes around page 4A Volume 125 No. 6 Wednesday, February 5, 2020 SERV ING THE PEOPLE OF TUCKER COUNTY S INCE 1896 75 cents (tax incl.) What Goes Around Comes Around Who Will Appear on the May General Election Ballot? By Heather Clower The Parsons Advocate Between January 13 and January 25, the Tucker County Clerk’s Office was a busy place as interested residents of Tucker County filled out their packets and paid their filing fee to earn a place on the general election ballot this May. The pur- pose of the general election is to narrow down the candidate field to one represen- tative from the democratic and republican party, in addition to any independent can- didates, to choose from in November’s primary election. All filing’s must have been received or postmarked by January 25 to be considered for this election, with the exception of independents that have until the end of July to file. Independents do not have to run in the general election, but they must complete additional criteria such as a petition to have their name in for consideration. One of three County Commission posi- tions is up for grab with a six year term being awarded to the individual with the most votes in November. Candidates must reside in the Shaver’s Fork District to be eligible to run. On the Republican side, incumbent Jon Bush of Parsons has filed, and on the Democrat side is former county commissioner Michael “Mike” Rosenau, also of Parsons. Prosecuting Attorney Raymond LaM- ora III, a Republican from Parsons, has filed for consideration of a third, four year term. Member of the Democratic Party and Davis resident Savannah Hull Wilkins has submitted her candidate packet for consideration as well. Both will appear again on the November elec- tion ballot. With a two term limit, Tucker County Sheriff B.K. Wilfong is ineligible to run for the same position. Republican Jerry B. Flanagan of Thomas has filed as a hopeful candidate to fulfill this position. Independent Jake Kopec of Parsons will also appear on the ballot, however not until November due to his party affilia- tion. There is only one candidate filed for the position of Assessor, and that is incum- bent J. Chris Michael, Republican of Par- sons. There are two Magistrates, non-par- tisan positions up for election in 2020. Division One candidates will consist of the incumbent Riley H. Barb, along with Sheila DeVilder, and Mark Myers. Divi- sion Two, formerly represented by Mont Miller, has two filings of Christopher Phares and Brian K. Wilfong. The Tucker County Board of Education has two positions that are coming available, with the two incumbents re-filing to remain on this board. Dan- iel “Chopper” Evans of Hambleton and Tim Turner of Parsons will both re- appear on the ballot in May to continue their service. The final position that will appear on the gen- eral election form is that of Conservation District Supervisor. This is also a non-partisan position with two applicants, incum- bent Jim B. Nester Sr. and Heather Freeman-Clower. There are multiple can- didates filed for positions on the district, state, and national level as well. All information on these indi- viduals can be found online at . If you are of 18 years of age or older and are not regis- tered to vote but wish to be, you can visit the second floor of the Tucker County Courthouse Annex where you will find the Tucker County Clerk’s Office. The staff will guide you in the registration process and instruct you on where your dedicated polling place will be. Good luck to all of the filed candi- dates on the upcoming election. Elza Pleas Guilty to Six Felony Counts By Heather Clower The Parsons Advocate The Honorable Judge James Cour- rier, Jr. presided over Tucker County Circuit Court recentlynas a make up from a previously missed day of hear- ings. His morning began with what was supposed to be a pretrial hearing of Jason Brickles, present with his Defense Attorney Mr. Yoho. Brickles was scheduled for a trial next week on his domestic battery charges, how- ever there is a scheduling conflict with two witnesses, one of which being the officer. Due to these issues, Prosecut- ing Attorney Ray LaMora requested a continuance of the trial. “We don’t oppose the continuance,” stated Yoho. Due to the nature of this case, a bench trial was requested instead of a jury trial, which places the responsibility of charging falling to Judge Courrier. Judge Courrier ensured everyone was in favor of the bench trial knowing he will be the individual making the deci- sions. Brickles agreed to the bench trial which is now set for March 4 at 9:30 a.m. James Ferguson entered escorted by Sheriff B.K. Wilfong, with Defense Attorney Mr. Prentice. The two par- ties discussed a plea agreement, though the hearing was scheduled as a suppression hearing. The defense wants to work with the prosecution to come to an agreement to prevent a trial. “There’s been serious negotia- tion on this case, but we’re not there yet,” said LaMora. He expressed his belief that a resolution can be agreed upon with more time. Ferguson has been charged with several felonies, including grand larceny, fleeing from an officer, burglary, receiving/trans- ferring stolen property, conspiracy, and entering of a building other than a dwelling. The two councils will continue negotiations before the next hearing scheduled for February 13 at 1:30 p.m. Yoho returned with client, Steven Moore on his charges of embezzle- ment and fraudulent schemes. Arepre- sentative from the auditor’s office was also present alongside the prosecution. Yoho has received more discoveries and believes he will need access to the accounting books from the Solid Waste Authority, which should be located at the landfill and are public knowledge. Yoho also made motions the day prior that LaMora needed more time to review; therefore, a con- tinuation date was set to return at 2:15 p.m. on February 13. Charles McCrum, charged with 20 counts relating to sexual abuse and assault, entered with his council, Mr. Fuelhart. A plea offer has been extended by LaMora, however Fuel- hart requested more time to review given the circumstances of a poten- tial life sentence for his client. Judge Courier complied, requesting them to return regarding this matter on Febru- ary 13 at 11:30 a.m. A plea agreement was the topic of the hearing pertaining to Tracey Elza, charged with three counts of utter- ing and three counts of prescription fraud. The potential sentence for each prescription fraud charge is a one to four year sentence, with each count of uttering holding a one to ten year potential sentence. The prosecution is seeking a two to fourteen year sen- tence be served. Defense Attorney Fuelhart requested a presentencing investigation be conducted by the pro- bation office, which can take several weeks. Judge Courrier has the right to decide the penalty Elza will be served with, which could be served consecu- tively and/or concurrently pending judgement. This will be Elza’s first felony charges, which Judge Courrier explained prevents her from owning any firearms, losing the right to vote or hold a public office, and may have a negative impact on future job oppor- tunities. Judge Courrier explained the trial process if Elza chose not to accept the plea agreement as well to ensure she was properly informed of all options before making her plea. LaMora recapped the charges stat- ing that in the summer of 2018, Elza used the prescription pad of Dr. Susan Schmiddt to forge prescriptions for both oxycodone and hydrocondone, one of which was filled at Commu- nity Care in Parsons and two at the former Rite Aid, also in Parsons. “I take full responsibility,” proclaimed Elza. Judge Courrier accepted the plea agreement and requested Proba- tion Officer “Butch” DiBacco to com- pile a presentencing investigation to be presented at a March 12 sentencing hearing at 1:15 p.m. The final criminal hearing of the day was that of Lester Mook with his Defense Attorney Pat Nichols. Judge Courrier reviewed briefs presented by both councils and the transcript from the Grand Jury prior to the hearing. Nichols argued several inconsistencies within paperwork filed by the officers as well as in the search warrants relat- ing to the alleged stolen properties being discovered. He also noted the searches could have been performed illegally and questions if he has all of the documents needed. “So basically I’ve got two issues with this,” he told Judge Courrier. LaMora responded stating he thought there were multiple search warrants for both locations but will research that and provide those to Nichols if additional documents are discovered. He also claims the issue regarding the officer’s paperwork was merely a typographical error due to multiple officers working the same cases. He claims these officers were acting on good faith on a valid issued search warrant. Judge Courrier wants to request the presence of both offi- cers, City of Parsons Chief of Police J.E. Kopec (formerly of the WVSP), and Sergeant C.D. Siler. Along with their testimony, Judge Courrier wants to ensure all search warrants are pres- ent and to ensure how the vehicle identification numbers were retrieved. This hearing is scheduled for Wednes- day, March 4 at 1:15 p.m. Defense Attorney Pat Nichols presents his motions for his cli- ent, Lester Mook, on January 22 in Tucker County Circuit Court By Heather Clower The Parsons Advocate We all go through times when we’re struggling to make ends meet no matter how hard we try. It can make us bitter, frustrated, and blind to opportunities we may have presented in front of us to continue to do good for others even if it doesn’t result in a reward at the end. Fortunately, that is not how John “Red” Lipscomb lives life. “Things work in mysterious ways,” claims Lipscomb as he retold his story of performing life sav- ing measures with only $1.10 in his checking account just to discover he won $10,000 in a lottery game the next day. One Tuesday morning, Lipscomb had an appoint- ment in Morgantown that he decided to treat his wife Jennifer to a nice lunch. Unfortunately, the day prior, an unexpected dental bill arose that chiseled away to the funds he had set back to spend that day, which lead to next to nothing in their checking account. Lipscomb said in order to have enough money to fulfill their plans in Morgantown; he borrowed money from his three kids’ piggy banks. As they were on their way home from a day in Mor- gantown, Lipscomb recalled “We were going to go back Route 7 but something told me to go this way (through Gladesville.” As they were making their way, they came upon a vehicle pulled over with their four way flashers on. As they slowly went around, he noticed a man lying on the ground with another gentle- man hovered over him performing CPR. Wearing his dress clothes and no jacket on this 18 degree day, Lip- scomb jumped out offering his assistance. “I just bailed I didn’t think,” he said. “He wasn’t doing very good,” he recalled as he approached the man on the side of the road. The appointment earlier that day was for a severely dam- aged shoulder that Lipscomb will need repaired that is causing considerable pain. However, as he began compressions, he noted, “I never felt any pain.” As he continued CPR, another Samaritan was on the phone with 911 and a couple ladies had stopped by and offered spare jackets and blankets to cover the man as they con- tinued compressions. Lipscomb said every so often, the man would begin to fill up with fluid and he would James Ferguson, escorted in by Sheriff B.K. Wilfong, for a status hearing regarding mul- tiple felony charges in front of the Honorable Judge James Courrier on January 22, 2020