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Judge Hummel Hears Court Cases

August 2, 2017
BY ED PARSONS - For the Wetzel Chronicle ( , Wetzel Chronicle

Samuel Minger, 38, was sentenced on Wednesday, July 19, in Wetzel County Circuit Court, by the Honorable Judge David W. Humme,l to one to five years in the West Virginia State Penitentiary for Men, for third offense DUI on a revoked license, as well as one to three years for fleeing from an officer. The sentences were to be served concurrently, for an effective sentence of one to five years. He was also ordered to pay all costs associated with his prosecution. Minger was given credit for 151 days of time served.

The sentence was the result of a plea agreement between the defendant and the state, whereby the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of his three-count indictment with one count being dismissed.

During the hearing, Wetzel County Assistant Prosecutor Justin Craft told the court what the state would offer as evidence if the case were to proceed to trial. Craft said, that on October 4, 2016, the defendant led the Wetzel County Sheriff's Office on a 33 mile chase through Wetzel County after officers noticed Minger driving a vehicle, when he had previously been arrested for driving revoked. Officers tried to initiate a stop but the defendant fled in the vehicle, reaching speeds of up to 80 miles per hour on the back roads of the county, nearing Harrison County, showing complete disregard for the safety of others.

Craft said the evidence shows the defendant had his girlfriend with him, wrecked the vehicle but kept going until he got a flat tire then tried to flee on foot.

Judge Hummel asked Minger what he did to make him guilty of the crimes, and he responded that he was driving suspended and was afraid so he sped up and took off. He said he let his girlfriend out of the vehicle, got a flat tire and stopped. After answering several questions from Judge Hummel, including admitting this was his fourth attorney and that he was completely satisfied with his defense, Hummel asked him if he could spell recidivist. The defendant answered no and Hummel told Minger to look it up while in prison because, "I have a feeling you will be one."

Judge Hummel then passed sentence and ordered Minger to be remanded to the Department of Corrections immediately to begin serving his sentence.

Also on Wednesday, Melissa Lee Lowe, 43, of North Fork Road, Pine Grove, was sentenced by Judge Hummel, to one to five years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Women, with credit for time served, for her role in the theft of two side-by-side vehicles from a neighbor in the North Fork area. Lowe admitted to her part in the scheme by pleading guilty to a lesser offense of conspiracy to commit grand larceny.

She had been indicted by the Wetzel County Grand Jury on two separate two-count indictments. One indictment charged her with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to deliver, and the second charge was conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine. They were alleged to have occurred on or about January 8, 2017.

The second indictment charged Lowe with entering a building other than a dwelling, and grand larceny. According to the charges she entered a garage, along with two others individuals, and stole a 2014 Can Am Commander four seater and a 2013 Can Am Commander two-seater.

Prosecutor Craft told the court the crimes did occur in Wetzel County and Lowe's part in the scheme was to drive the other two co-defendants to the scene. He said the three had planned in advance to take the side-by-sides.

Lowe, admitted to planning with the other two to take the vehicles. She said she knew, when she drove them to the scene, they were going to steal them. She also admitted to involving her 21-year-old son. She said she didn't know why she committed the offenses, other then she was high on Meth.

Her attorney, Patricia Kurelac, spoke in Lowe's defense, asking the court to consider probation. She said Lowe had spent 144 days in jail on drug charges but has been clean for seven weeks since her release. Kurelac said Lowe had places she could go live and also asked the court to consider that Lowe is helping care of her grandchild while also helping her mother. She also asked the court to allow Lowe to have a couple weeks to get her affairs in order and spend some time with her grandchild if she was to be sentenced to prison. According to Kurelac, she said didn't know why, but when people are on meth. they become Kleptomaniacs. At that point Judge Hummel said, "I wish they would become workaholics."

Hummel then spoke directly to Lowe, telling her what she did was really despicable.

"You not only took over $40,000 worth of this man's possessions, but you also took his sense of security." Hummel asked Lowe if she brought her toothbrush. He then pronounced sentence which included restitution of $652.34 and costs of her prosecution. She was remanded to the custody of the department of corrections immediately to begin serving her sentence.

Jamie Jordan, 31, of 131 Dunlap Street, New Martinsville, was in court on Wednesday, alongside his attorney Brent Ferro, for a plea agreement hearing. Jordan was indicted by the Wetzel County Grand Jury on a two-count indictment, charging him with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to deliver, and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance (methamphetamine). Both offenses are alleged to have occurred on November 2, 2016, in Wetzel County.

On Wednesday, he entered a plea of guilty, through a plea agreement, to the charge of count one of the indictment. Count two was dismissed.

Jordan admitted to being in the backseat of a vehicle, his brother was buying, along with a black metal box, which contained Methamphetamine. Jordan said the meth belonged to his brother, and he didn't know it was in the box. Later in the hearing, Jordan admitted that he knew the box contained meth and that it was being sold for $50 for one-half gram.

Justin Craft, assistant prosecutor, said a call had been reported to the police department, that there was a drug deal occurring, and New Martinsville Police Department Chief Tim Cecil responded. A search was conducted and the meth was found and was later confirmed to be meth.

Jordan admitted to smoking some of it and said it was good stuff. Craft also mentioned that Jordan had just served 30 days in jail on a misdemeanor charge prior to his arrest.

Jordan faces a potential sentence of one to five years in prison. He is free on bond and will return to court on August 17, for a sentencing hearing.



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