Totten Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Crimes
Marlinton, WV – On Wednesday, the Pocahontas County Circuit Court held hearings in a high-profile criminal case and a civil case against the county commission.
During his arraignment, Bradley C. Totten, of Hillsboro, pleaded not guilty to 12 felony counts. In April, a grand jury indicted the former Pocahontas County Sheriff’s deputy with three counts of third degree sexual assault; five counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian; one count of first degree attempted sexual abuse; one count of first degree sexual abuse; one count of second degree sexual assault and one count of sexual intercourse with an incarcerated person.
Standing before Judge James Rowe, Totten responded “not guilty” as the judge read each of the charges. Totten was represented during his arraignment by Charleston attorney Michael Callaghan. Special prosecutor Brian Parsons, a Fayette County assistant prosecutor, is handling the case for the state. Pocahontas County prosecutor Donna Meadows Price was recused from the case.
Judge Rowe set bond at $50,000 for Totten, and allowed the former deputy to travel to and from work locations in Texas and California, after Totten agreed to waive extradition from those states. The judge set a trial date of July 25 and a pretrial hearing date of July 6. Following the arraignment, Totten paid his bond and remained free.
Following the arraignment, Callaghan told Allegheny Mountain Radio, “The great thing about this country is that every man gets his day in court.”
In a civil hearing Wednesday afternoon, Judge Rowe dismissed a writ of mandamus filed by John Fitzgerald and J.P. Duncan against the Pocahontas County Commission. The plaintiffs, represented by Lewisburg attorney Thomas White, claimed the commission had a non-discretionary obligation to reject a non-conforming bid from Sandy Mallow for the operation of the county animal shelter. The commission, represented by Charleston attorney Duane Ruggier, argued that awarding the bid was a discretionary decision and within the commission’s authority.
Mallow’s bid was the lowest received for operation of an animal shelter, but she requested an up-front payment to bring her facility to minimum standards. The judge characterized Mallow’s bid as a “conditional bid,” and a question remained whether awarding such a bid is within the scope of the commission’s power.
The judge noted that awarding the bid was a discretionary decision, and that procedurally, a writ of mandamus is used to require a governmental body to perform a non-discretionary act. The judge dismissed the writ of mandamus, but told the plaintiffs they have the option to refile a case, as a different cause of action.