Archives for January 2019

PRELIMINARY HEARING CONTINUED IN DUI DEATH CASE

A preliminary hearing has been continued yet again in a DUI death case involving a Bunker Hill man. 32 year old Matthew Ostendorf was charged with driving under the influence causing death back in November. Ostendorf was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Wednesday, but now, Berkeley County Prosecutors say it has been continued for 30 days. Ostendorf is facing felony charges of DUI causing death and leaving the scene of an accident causing death. He was also charged with driving with a revoked license, after the crash last November on Goldmiller Road in Bunker Hill which left a passenger who was in his vehicle… 43 year old Travis Ruckman… dead. Ostendorf remains in the Eastern Regional Jail.

DESTRUCTION OF MAILBOX COULD BE COSTLY TO HARPERS FERRY MAN

Let this be a reminder… don’t mess with the US Postal Service. 20 year old DerekBlanken, Jr., of Harpers Ferry, has admitted to destroying a mailbox. Federal Prosecutors say Blanken pled guilty to one count of “Destruction of Letter Boxes or Mail” when he admitted to destroying a mailbox on Upper Clubhouse Drive in Harpers Ferry last October. The penalty is pretty severe too! Now, Blanken faces up to three years in federal prison, plus a fine of up to $250,000. The U.S. Postal Service investigated and pushed the case throught the courts.

MANCHIN URGES LAWMAKERS TO SECURE SCHOOL FUNDING

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, urged federal officials on Wednesday, to deliver Secure Rural Schools payments as quickly as possible in the aftermath of the government shutdown. Senator Manchin was joined by other Senators in a bipartisan letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Acting Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt, in which they said rural residents in their states are concerned about shutdown-related delays slowing the disbursement of vital Secure Rural Schools support for their schools, roads and public safety. Secure Rural Schools provides $1.7 million to West Virginia counties.

MARTINSBURG SHOOTER WAIVES RIGHT TO PRELIMINARY HEARING

A Martinsburg man who is accused of shooting Guadalupe Bustillos at her store… Lupita’s Grocery… has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. 59 year old Clyde Patterson, III was scheduled to appear in Berkeley County Court on February 7th, but that hearing has been waived in exchange for early discovery from the state. Now, the Berkeley County Prosecutor’s Office says the case will be presented to a Berkeley County Grand Jury. Patterson is facing with felony charges including first-degree robbery and malicious wounding in connection with the shooting and robbery back in December. Patterson remains in the Eastern Regional Jail, in lieu of $120,000 bond. Bustillos is still recovering from her injuries.

WARMING HANDS NOW UNDERWAY IN EASTERN PANHANDLE

United Way of the Eastern Panhandle’s Warming Hands and Hearts Initiative aims to encourage donations to assist families in paying their heating bills this winter. The fundraising drive will run from February 1 through April 30th, and is sponsored by Roach Energy and ROCS Convenience Stores. During the 3-month fundraising period, ROCS Convenience Stores will offer a “One-Cent Wednesday” promotion where each ROCS location in West Virginia will donate one cent per gallon of gasoline sold. Roach Energy will also contribute one cent per gallon of oil or propane that their customers purchase when requesting a delivery from their Warming Hands and Hearts truck. Last year, Roach Energy and ROCS Convenience Stores contributed $6,019 to the Warming Hands and Hearts Initiative and United Way of the Eastern Panhandle allocated an additional $4,286 to provide families assistance with heating bills totaling $10,286 throughout Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties. For more information, visit www.uwayep.org or call 304-263-0603.

PIEDMONT WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN DRUG CASE

A Piedmont woman has admitted to a drug distribution charge in Federal Court. 30 year old Erica Taylor pled guilty to one count of “Aiding and Abetting Distribution of Fentanyl.” Taylor admitted to selling fentanyl last February in Mineral County. As a result of the guilty plea, Taylor now faces up to up to 20 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $1Million. The case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods… the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. It focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

WINCHESTER 7-11 ROBBERY UNDER INVESTIGATION

A robbery of the 7-11 in Valley Avenue in Winchester late Monday night remains under investigation, and so far there have been no arrests. Just before midnight, a man came in and demanded cash from the clerk, then ran off. No weapon was displayed, but the clerk says there was some sort of dark object in the man’s hand. Deputies scoured the area, along with help from a K9… but the suspect remains at large. If you have any information, you are asked to call the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office at 540-662-6162.

MORE PRISON TIME FOR HESS

A Charles Town man who is already behind bars, and serving 10 to 48 years on a conviction of sexual assault back in October, now will have to spend another one to 10 years in prison for a burglary conviction in Berkeley County. 44 year old Michael Hess pleaded no contest Tuesday to another felony in connection with a burglary at a woman’s home back in January 2016. In a plea deal, prosecutors have recommended the sentence run concurrent with his Jefferson County sentence. Hess was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim.

CHARLES TOWN MAN TO FACE SEX CHARGES

A Charles Town man is headed to trial in May, in connection with the sexual assaults of two minors that allegedly occured in Berkely County in October 2017. 42 year old
Derrick Berry faces seven first-degree sex assault charges and seven felony sexual-related charges. Berry was also charged in Jefferson County in connection with the sexual assaults of two other minors, where he was convicted on eight of 14 felony counts, and sentenced to 100 to 400 years in prison. Berry is currently being held at a DOC facility in Maryland.

Capito Chosen To Serve On Homeland Security Appropriations Committee

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia has been appointed to serve on the conference committee to negotiate the Homeland Security Appropriations package. As chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee, Capito has worked extensively over the past year with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol, Democrats, and Republicans alike. She helped craft a bipartisan bill, which passed in June, that provided resources to meet border security challenges, including a wall system. She says she looks forward to engaging in discussions with her colleagues and working in a meaningful way to strengthen border security, in order to provide certainty, safety, and security for all Americans.