TAYLOR COUNTY—Just weeks after being sentenced in Taylor County Circuit Court, a former Taylor County Emergency Medical Squad (TCEMS) Medic was back before Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Alan D. Moats.
32-year-old Jeffrey Wayne Simmons, of Morgantown, was present with his counsel, Scott Shough, to address a failed drug and alcohol test.
According to Moats, when Simmons had previously appeared in court and was found guilty of one count of fraudulent schemes and one count of fraudulent use of an access device, he was ordered to be drug tested, and the results could alter the final sentence handed down in the matter.
For the charge of fraudulent schemes, Simmons was sentenced to one-to-ten years in prison and for the charge of fraudulent use of an access device, he received a determinate term of five years in prison.
That sentence was suspended, and Simmons was placed on three years of probation through the Taylor County Probation office, where he would be subject to the terms and conditions of that program.
However, depending on the outcome of his ordered drug and alcohol test on the day of the hearing, Simmons faced the possibility of serving his time on the Taylor County Community Corrections program instead.
“When you were here last, the court ordered that if your test came back clean, you would be allowed to serve your suspended sentence on probation, however, if you had a positive screen, you would be placed on Community Corrections,” Moats reminded Simmons. “You assured the court that you had not used drugs or alcohol and your test would come back clear.”
However, that was not the case, as Moats reported the findings of the assessment showed positive for both marijuana and alcohol.
Simmons tried to explain to the court that he, being a musician, had recently played a big show where numerous people were smoking marijuana, and that it was a possibility that because he had been in close contact, his screen showed positive for the drug.
Another reason for the positive screen he told the court, was that he uses Delta 8, a CBD product, and he said that through research, he found it could potentially yield a positive result.
And as for the alcohol, he had an explanation for that, as well.
“My girlfriend and I shared a bottle of wine on the Sunday before my test,” Simmons divulged. “I looked into it, and alcohol can be in your system for up to 72 hours.”
Not happy with the defendant’s justifications, Moats questioned his integrity and truthfulness.
“Yours was a crime of dishonesty. You stole from TCEMS. Now, you come into court and aren’t honest with me,” Moats voiced. “Tell me why I shouldn’t throw you in prison. All you have to do is just be honest.”
When Simmons tried to offer up his apology, Moats quashed it saying, “I’ve heard that so many times. All you ever do is deny, deny, deny. Honesty doesn’t seem to be one of your virtues and neither does telling the truth!”
With that, he ordered that the defendant’s one-to-ten-year sentence, along with his five-year determinate term, would now be held in abeyance would be served on the Taylor County Community Corrections program, where he would undergo drug and alcohol testing.
“You need a wakeup call, so it is further ordered that you serve 20 days in jail,” Moats voiced.
When Simmons revealed that a period in jail would cause him to lose his job, adamantly pleading to forgo the sanction, the judge conceded and found a work-around for the situation.
“You will get good time, meaning for every day you serve, you will receive an extra day. So, essentially, all you will have to serve is 10 days,” Moats explained. “I’ll even let you go to jail on your days off.”
He added, “All you had to do was tell the truth, and you couldn’t do that, because you think you’re smarter than everyone else. You will need to get your work schedule to your lawyer as soon as possible, because this takes effect immediately. Mr. Simmons, I hope that you take this time to reflect on this situation and realize just how close you came to losing everything.”