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Judge Jeffery D. Cramer Holds Court

February 14, 2018
BY ED PARSONS - Staff Writer (eparsons@tylerstarnews.com) , Wetzel Chronicle

The Honorable Judge Jeffery D. Cramer recently heard several matters in Wetzel County Circuit Court.

Jeremy Keith White, 31 of 217 Rural Street, Paden City, appeared in Wetzel County Circuit Court before Judge Cramer on Wednesday, Feb. 7, for a scheduled preliminary probation revocation hearing.

White previously pleaded guilty, in March 2017, to daytime burglary, in which he had taken a laptop and firearm. He was sentenced to no less than one and no more than three years, with credit for time served. He was also ordered to pay $900 for restitution. Upon release, White was to be on supervised probation for 36 months.

The petition to revoke probation is the second petition filed against him this year. The first was filed on Jan. 3 after he tested positive for a substance in his system. He was not incarcerated at the time and was given time to get the substance out of his system but failed the second test. He was then incarcerated on Jan. 17 and has served 22 days since.

On Wednesday, White admitted to Judge Cramer that he had violated his probation and that he is an addict. On a motion from White's attorney, Brett Ferro, Judge Cramer allowed the hearing to proceed, to argue sentencing. Ferro said White has a job waiting on him at a local fast food establishment, and he would like to get his time in and return to work. Prosecutor Tim Haught recommended White serve 60 days on the violation.

Judge Cramer asked if White had been evaluated for drug court to which the probation office informed the judge that White was found to not be an appropriate candidate due to a mental health evaluation.

Cramer recommended White receive a re-evaluation; however, the probation office said White had recently had a second evaluation done, which also found him not appropriate.

Judge Cramer then sentenced White to 60 days in the Northern Regional Jail, with credit for time served. Judge Cramer said after White serves his sentence, he will undergo another evaluation for drug court. White was remanded to jail to finish his time.

Jordan Tyler Kerns, 26, of Paden City, appeared in court before Judge Cramer on Feb. 7 for a sentencing hearing. Kerns, who is represented by Ferro, had previously been charged with battery of a law enforcement officer - second offense and fleeing from an officer on foot.

He had entered a guilty plea through a plea agreement and was present to argue sentencing. The state, represented by Assistant Wetzel County Prosecutor Justin Craft, agreed to stand silent during sentencing, as per the plea agreement.

Ferro, on the defendant's behalf, asked the court to impose a suspended sentence with probation. Kerns addressed the court, telling Judge Cramer he was sorry for what he had done. He said he is now sober and off drugs, and he takes full responsibility for what he did. He told the court he was a changed person. He asked for another chance.

Also taking the stand on Kern's behalf was his wife. She told Judge Cramer that she and Kerns had recently gotten married and are living in Wood County where Kerns is trying to start a new life. She said they attend a Baptist church together and her husband is a completely different person. Mrs. Kerns said she didn't how she could get along without her husband. She admitted he had a past, but it is not who he is now. She asked for probation.

Ferro, again, told the court he would like to see probation; he admitted Kerns had tested positive, but he was honest about it with the probation office. He mentioned Kerns had recently wrecked an ATV and had broken his leg, and if sentenced, he would like to see a delayed sentence to give him some time to heal.

Judge Cramer said most felonies that result in probation are for first-time offenders. He said Jordan has three felonies on his record, including two with battery upon an officer. "He also has a bunch of misdemeanors," Cramer noted.

Cramer passed sentence on Jordan, giving him a a one to three year prison sentence. He said he would entertain a rule 35 motion for early release in a few months, if Ferro files the motion. He also gave Kerns credit for any time he may have served.

Benjamin D. Francis, 37, of New Martinsville, was originally charged with three counts of drug-related offenses; he was in court Feb. 7 for a motion by the state to have him transferred for a forensic evaluation.

Prosecutor Tim Haught told Judge Cramer that Francis has not cooperated and has refused to take the tests required by the court. He asked the court to have Francis transferred from the Northern Regional Jail to the South Central Regional Jail and then to Sharpes Hospital. He is to have a forensic evaluation.

Judge Cramer ordered the transfer and then told Francis he needed to get the test done so the court can proceed with the case. He told Francis all matters are on hold, pending the evaluation. Cramer ordered Francis to be remanded to jail to be transferred to South Central Regional Jail.

 
 

 

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