Pocahontas County court report – December 17
Marlinton, W.Va. –
In Pocahontas County Magistrate Court, during the previous week:
Charles W. Cassell, of Cass, was arrested on December 8 and charged on December 9 with Obstructing An Officer. Bond was set at $2,500.
Travis W. Vandevender, of Durbin, was charged on December 8 with Improper Lighting Equipment. Bond was set at $2,500.
Donna Darlene Sipe, of Marlinton, was arrested on December 14 and charged with Driving Under the Influence.
In Pocahontas County Circuit Court:
Four felony charges against Jarrell Lee Clifton III were dismissed with prejudice on December 6. A grand jury indicted Clifton in August on two counts of Sexual Assault in the Second Degree and two counts of Imposition of Sexual Intercourse on an Incarcerated Person. Special Prosecutor Brain Parsons requested the court to dismiss the charges without prejudice, meaning that the charges could be brought again.
Defense counsel insisted the charges be dismissed with prejudice, barring those charges from being leveled again.
Judge John L. Henning said doubts regarding the victims’ credibility were a fatal flaw in the State’s ability to prove forcible compulsion, and dismissed the four felony counts with prejudice.
Nine of 11 defendants charged with various felony counts involving the larceny of scrap metal from Cass Scenic Railroad State Park pled not guilty during arraignments on December 7 and December 12. The defendants pleading not guilty include former park superintendant David Caplinger and assistant superintendant George Fred Bartels.
Two others charged, Michael Wolfe and John Mullenax, were awaiting out-of-town counsel on December 12 and their arraignments were continued until their counsel could be present.
In the United States District Court in Elkins, Archie Ray Arbogast, age 36, of Dunmore, entered a plea of guilty to Possession of Material Used in the Manufacture of Methamphetamine. Arbogast, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The case was investigated by the United States Forest Service, the West Virginia State Police and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department.