Archives for August 2019

FORMER BERKELEY HEIGHTS SCHOOL EMPLOYEES DEMAND JURY TRIAL

Three people formerly employed at Berkeley Heights Elementary School who were arrested because they allegedly failed to report abuse of a child in their special-needs classroom last fall, are now demanding a trial by jury. Former Berkeley Heights teacher Christina Lester; former teacher’s aide June Yurish; and former teacher’s aide Kristin Douty… all of Martinsburg… were arrested by Martinsburg Police… following an investigation that began when a concerned parent placed a recording device in her child’s hair, which allegedly revealed that the three were verbally abusing children in the class.

JURY SELECTED IN 7-ELEVEN SHOOTER TRIAL

In Berkeley County Court on Wednesday, a jury was selected to hear a case in which a 19-year-old man is accused of kidnapping and shooting another man back in 2016. Asaveon Coleman, of Alexandria, Virginia, is facing a string of felony charges in connection with the incident early the morning of Sept. 18, 2016 at the 7-Eleven on North Queen Street in Martinsburg. A few weeks later, the victim picked Coleman out of a photo lineup. Coleman remains behind bars, without bond. If convicted, he faces a possible life sentence.

DISASTER DEADLINE APPROACHING

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding eligible Private NonProfit
organizations in West Virginia of the Oct. 2 deadline to submit disaster loan applications for physical damages caused by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides on June 29-30th. Private NonProfit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The interest rate is 2.75 percent with terms up to 30 years. Applicants may apply online at www.DisasterLoan.sba.gov. The deadline to submit economic injury applications is May 4, 2020.

LEVINE HIRES HIGH PROFILE ATTORNEY IN ROCKWOOL SUIT

David Levine, a self-proclaimed activist and a very prominent figure in the ongoing controversy over Rockwool, has reportedly hired the services of a Charlottesville attorney known for taking large anti-defamation suits across the country. According to The Journal, Attorney Steve Biss, who recently represented California congressman Devin Nunes in a defamation suit against The Fresno Bee and its parent organization McClatchy Company for $150 million, has been brought on-board. The suit alleges that Rockwool and Jefferson County Prosperity, among others, have “attacked and defamed” Levine for his involvement with anti-Rockwool protests and publications. He is seeking $10 million in damages.

2 SHOOTERS RETURNED TO WEST VIRGINIA TO FACE CHARGES

2 people who are referred to as suspects in the shooting last Saturday night of a Charles Town woman, have been extradited back to West Virginia following their arrests in Maryland. 28 year old Elliott Lansdowne of Maryland, is facing a felony charge of first-degree murder. 20 year old Emma Phillips of Harpers Ferry was charged with felony after the fact. Both are behind bars now, in the Eastern Regional Jail. Both are accused of being involved in the shooting of 28 year old Taylor Poland, who suffered a single-gunshot wound to the head.

INWOOD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FIREARMS CHARGES

A Berkeley County man was in federal court on Tuesday, where he admitted his guilt to a firearms charge. 53 year old Herman Brown, Jr., of Inwood, pled guilty to one count of “Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.” Brown is by law, a person prohibited from having a firearm. He admitted to having a .380 caliber pistol in July 2018 in Berkeley County. Next up for Brown… sentencing… when he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. No sentencing date was announced yesterday.

TENNESSEE MAN SENTENCED FOR SEX CRIMES IN BERKELEY COUNTY

A Tennessee man was sentenced in Berkeley County Court on Tuesday, to 20 to 40 years in prison after he admiited that he had sexually abused a minor boy over a period of four years. 24 year old Eric Kellogg pleaded guilty to two felony counts of sexual abuse by a person in position of trust. In the plea deal with prosecutors, a five-count indictment of first-degree sexual assault was dismissed. Judge Laura Faircloth also ordered Kellogg to serve the maximum… 50 years… of supervised release. He also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

JUSTICE SAYS ADDRESS ERROR WAS OVERSIGHT

Several companies which are owned by Governor Jim Justice, reversed course on assertions by federal officials that they’re headquartered in Virginia. In court filings in a separate case last Friday, the companies filed an amended complaint, in which they now claim they mistakenly listed the wrong state as their business headquarters. According to the amended complaint filed Friday, the governor’s son Jay Justice, and four of the Justice-owned companies listed in the complaint, now claim that “through an inadvertent oversight” the place of business for them was listed as Roanoke, Virginia, instead of Daniels in Raleigh County, West Virginia.

SAFEST CITIES IN WEST VIRGINIA LISTED

BackgroundChecks.org has published its annual report on the safest cities in each U.S. state for 2019. West Virginia’s top five safest cities are… in order starting at the safest… St. Albans; Weirton; Morgantown; Fairmont; and Vienna So, you may now be wondering where Martinsburg stands. Well, according to the report, Martinsburg comes in next… as the 6th safest city in all of West Virginia. The Safest Cities report was compiled using a statistical calculation of every city’s latest violent crime rate, property crime rate, and number of law enforcement officers employed. You can read the full report at backgroundchecks.org

FORMER ATF GUARD SENTENCED TO 168 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON

A former contract security guard at the ATF’s National Disposal Branch in Martinsburg, is headed to federal prison. 52 year old Christopher Yates of Martinsburg… was sentenced Monday to 168 months… about 14 years… behind bars for stealing and selling firearms. He pled guilty last April. Investigators say he stole thousands of firearms, firearms parts, and ammunition, then sold much of it to others nationwide. Some of the items have been recovered. They included at least four machine guns. The judge also ordered a money judgement in the amount of $300,000. Yates was taken into custody immediately following yesterday’s sentencing.