Arbogast enters plea, Skidmore’s 2-10 year sentence reinstated


TAYLOR COUNTY—After being indicted by the Taylor County Grand Jury, a Fairmont man has admitted to his charge and was sentenced by Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Shawn Nines.

During their special March 2020 term, the Taylor County Grand Jury charged Darrick Paul Arbogast for one count of fraudulent schemes. In April, the defendant was arraigned on his charge and a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf to allow his counsel 30 days to obtain discover and file motions in the matter.

During his arraignment hearing, Judge Alan D. Moats learned that Arbogast was enrolled in a drug treatment program. Hoping that the defendant would receive the help he needed to overcome his addiction, Moats ordered that a $1,000 personal recognizance bond was set.

If found guilty of his charge, Arbogast faced a potential sentence of not less than one year nor more than ten years, or, in the discretion of the court, be confined in jail not more than one year and be fined not more than $2,500.

Recently, Arbogast, alongside his defense attorney, Scott Shough, was present in Taylor County Circuit Court, this time before Judge Nines, to enter into a negotiated plea agreement with the State of West Virginia.

Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord, acting on behalf of the state, revealed that in return for Arbogast’s guilty plea, he would recommend that his sentence be held in abeyance, and that the defendant be allowed on supervised release through the Taylor County Community Corrections Program, to undergo further drug treatment.

In addition, as part of the deal, Arbogast waived his right to a pre-sentence investigation, allowing the court to address sentencing during the same hearing.

After informing the defendant of his rights pertaining to the entry of a guilty plea and finding that Arbogast had freely and voluntarily entered into the agreement, Judge Nines accepted his petition.

When it came to sentencing, Nines asserted that he would rule in agreement with the plea deal. 

It was ordered that Arbogast was sentenced to a state penitentiary, but that his one-to-ten-year sentence would be held in abeyance, and he would be permitted to carry it out under the supervision of the Taylor County Community Corrections Program.

It was further ordered that Arbogast was responsible for paying restitution in the amount of $1,658 to his victim.

Additionally, during the court proceedings, Briston Edward Skidmore and his counsel Ashley Smith were present via TEAMS to address his termination from a drug treatment program.

According to court documents, Skidmore had previously been sentenced to a period of not less than two nor more than 10 years, after being found guilty of forging a public document. That sentence was held in abeyance, and the defendant was permitted to serve his time on Community Corrections.

Through the program, Skidmore entered a drug rehabilitation program at the Mercer County Fellowship Home. However, in March 2021, he was terminated from the program after his continued consumption of alcohol.

Once terminated, Skidmore failed to report back to the Taylor County Community Corrections Program, according to Director Tammy Narog, and a capias was issued for his arrest.

Smith told the court that her client admitted to the allegations presented to the court.

According to Skidmore, once he left the rehab center, he checked himself into a hospital and began treatment in Point Pleasant.

However, finding that the defendant had violated the terms of his supervised release, Judge Nines ordered that Skidmore’s underlying sentence was reinstated with credit for time served, and that the remainder of the term would be served behind bars.

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