Grand Jury indicts 24 individuals, murder suspect among charged

TAYLOR COUNTY—The Taylor County Grand Jury met on Wednesday for the March 2021 term, to hear multiple cases, indicting numerous individuals on an array of charges.

Typically, the Grand Jury only convenes three times a year, once in January, again in April and then finally, in September. However, courts were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which skewed the scheduled hearings.

Due to health and safety concerns, it was decided to cancel the January 2021 term of Grand Jury, and it was postponed until Wednesday, when the jury met to deliberate over several cases.

Among those indicted was Nicholas Christopher Padron, 29, who is currently being housed in the North Central Regional Jail following a murder that occurred in May. 

According to Taylor County Sheriff Terry A. Austin, it is believed Padron killed 49-year-old Michael Edward Blackburn at a home on St. Charles Street in Grafton, before making his way to Monongalia County, where he told detectives with the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office what he had done. 

It was reported that Padron allegedly beat his victim to death before decapitating him.

On Wednesday, after being presented with the case and evidence collected during the investigation, the Taylor County Grand Jury found that there was enough information provided to charge Padron for murder.

In addition, Logan N. Workman, 16, of Grafton, was indicted for one count of first-degree arson and five counts of attempted murder, following an investigation launched after a fire claimed a home on Robley Street. 

The following individuals were also indicted by the Grand Jury on Wednesday:

Saylen D. Huston, 40, of Salem, was charged with one count of strangulation and one count of second-offense domestic battery.

Tom Jay Hardesty, 47, of Rivesville, was indicted on one count of entering without breaking and one count of unlawful assault against the elderly. 

Amber D. Lantz, 32, of Grafton, was charged with one count of grand larceny, one count of conspiracy and three counts of counterfeiting.

Manuel B. Moore, 39, of Grafton, was charged on one count of grand larceny and one count of conspiracy. 

Terry Lee Grogg, 42, of Bridgeport, was indicted for fraudulently obtaining welfare and fraudulent schemes.

Michael J. Goodwin, 23, of Rosemont, was indicted for fraudulent schemes.

Darrick P. Arbogast, 44, of Fairmont, was charged with fraudulent schemes, as well.

Zachariah J. Cooper, 30, of Weston, was charged with three counts of fraudulent use of an access device.

Additionally, Benjamin F. Fairley, 29, of Grafton, was indicted on three counts of fraudulent use of an access device. 

Alisha L. Hinerman, 32, of Shinnston, was charged with third offense shoplifting.

Priscilla A. Lewis, 61, of Grafton, was indicted with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Ryn L. McGary, 30, of Flemington, was indicted for failure to register as a sexual offender.

Damon Seth Ferguson, 41, of Bridgeport, was charged with one count of driving while license suspended or revoked for driving under the influence of alcohol third offense.

Dexter K. Knotts, 40, of Thornton, was also indicted by the jury for one count of driving while license suspended or revoked for driving under the influence of alcohol third offense. 

Sean J. Trickett, age unknown, of Independence, was indicted for failure to meet an obligation to provide support for a minor.

Additionally, during the day, three individuals were indicted by the Taylor County Grand Jury for felony escape. Those charged included Christopher M. Hake, 45; Tina Sylva, 37 and Robin Kapp, 35. 

The jury also charged Michael Whitehair, 49; Courtney Carpenter, 26; Teresa Jones, 36 and Misty Stanton, 35 with failure to appear.

 All defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and each are awaiting hearings and trials for their alleged crimes.



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