GRAFTON—Circuit court convened on Monday, and Judge Alan D. Moats heard cases involving a plea agreement, mental competency findings and bond revocation.
Howard Franklin Vanscoy, Jr., 37, of Grafton, was back in court Monday morning to offer a guilty plea to two charges: failure to register as a sex offender and third-offense domestic battery.
According to court documents, Vanscoy failed to properly register on the national sex-offender registry. After being ordered to leave his previous address, and not return, he failed to contact the West Virginia State Police, to update his registry.
Vanscoy was charged with domestic battery in July 2016, and was previously charged with the same crime on January 2016 and July 2011. He admitted to the judge, that he had pushed his victim against the wall, after he had been drinking.
His charges will carry a possible two-to-ten-year term, and for the domestic battery charge, he could have to pay a fine of $2,500.
According to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Nines, the state was recommending that his sentences be served consecutively and that they be held in advance, allowing him to continue to serve on the Taylor County Community Corrections Program.
“Mr. Vanscoy hasn’t given us any trouble during this whole process,” said Frank Cornette. “He had his ‘come-to-religion’ moment, and has realized that his drinking was the major cause of his problems. He has completely stopped drinking. We are asking that you allow the state’s recommended sentencing.”
Moats said the court would accept both pleas, and that he would allow the state’s recommendations to be carried out.
“Alcohol has always been your issue, your problem, your downfall,” Moats addressed Vanscoy. “When you’re not drinking, you’re a nice guy, but when you are drinking, you are the proverbial mean drunk. I hope you have come to realize the alcohol isn’t worth it. You are somebody who can not drink.”
During the proceedings, Gregory Sharp, 45, was arraigned on a felony escape charge. Moats entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf, to give his council 30 days for discovery.
Sharp, who is also facing charges for possession in Marion County, was convicted of fraudulent schemes and conspiracy, in 2013. Since that time, he has been in and out jail serving his sentences.
In June 2016, he was released from jail to attend a drug-treatment center for rehabilitation. After being terminated from the program, for allegedly selling drugs to other patients in the program, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Sharp was arrested on December 28. When Moats questioned Sharp about his where-abouts for the past few months, Sharp said he was living and working in Huntington.
“I know what I did was wrong,” said Sharp. “But, they kicked me out of that program on a suspicion. I was not selling drugs to anyone. I was kicked out on Saturday and by Sunday afternoon, I was being drug tested for another program, and was clean.”
The judge ordered that Sharp would be remanded to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
Justin Cole Davisson had his bond revoked after a capias was issued for his arrest, following a failure to appear.
Davisson was originally charged with felony destruction of property and grand larceny in October 2015. His bond was set at $15,000. According the Moats, his sentence was held in advance and he was released from jail.
In January 2016, he was set to appear in court, and never showed up.
“He called pretty regularly, up until January 2016, when he just quit calling,” explained Roger Hickman, Davisson’s bail bondsman. “We have had no contact for a year, and I’ve been hunting him.”
Davisson told the court, that he was unaware that he was supposed to appear in court.
“According to our records, we had the case set for a plea deal, but Mr. Davisson claims he never knew about the hearing,” said Frank Cornette, council for Davisson.
Moats ordered that Davisson would be remanded to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, to await the outcome of the case.
Michael Junior Workman was sentenced to 16 years in William R. Sharp Hospital, after doctors deemed him unfit to stand trial.