Hiler sent to prison for 2017 theft of railroad property

TAYLOR COUNTY—After pleading guilty to a crime committed in 2017, a Bridgeport man found himself back in court to address issues with his case. 

35-year-old Patrick Lee Hiler was originally arrested in June 2017 after he reportedly stole several spans of copper signal wire, and during that time, he admitted that he and another male had been taking the wiring. 

Hiler was first charged with felony crimes against the railroad by law enforcement officials and was ultimately indicted by the Taylor County Grand Jury for the crime.

The defendant eventually entered into a negotiated plea agreement with the State of West Virginia and was later sentenced to one-to-ten years for offenses against railroad property, as well as one-to-five years for conspiracy to commit a felony. 

Hiler was furthermore ordered to pay restitution of approximately $77,660, that both he and his co-conspirator were responsible for.

The terms were held in abeyance, and he was placed on the Taylor County Community Corrections Program at the end of January 2018.

His sentence was then transferred to the Harrison County program, and after a year, Hiler was released in December 2018 after he successfully completed the program. Upon his release, he was placed on supervised probation for a period of seven years.

In October 2020, Hiler’s probation was revoked due to continued drug usage, and he was placed back onto the Community Corrections program. Through the program, he was permitted to attend a long-term drug rehabilitation program.

Hiler’s drug addiction proved too strong, and it is reported that he tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamines in December 2021 while attending the BBC Rehab facility in Fairmont.

A report issued to the court also revealed that the defendant attempted to abscond from the program by removing the electric alarm out of a window and escaping from the building.

After Hiler failed to report to Community Corrections, a capias was issued for his arrest late in December 2021. The program was notified in July 2022 that the defendant was incarcerated in a regional jail for charges in other counties.

When questioned about his actions, Hiler admitted to the accusation made to the court and accepted responsibility.

Hiler’s counsel, Greg Michael, told the court that he believed he was not receiving adequate treatment at the BBC Rehab in Fairmont.

Michael also reminded the court that his client had been a victim of his addiction for numerous years.

Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Shawn D. Nines then questioned the State of West Virginia, represented by Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord as to their thoughts on the matter.

“The State would recommend that Mr. Hiler be placed into the West Virginia State Penitentiary,” Bord voiced. “He clearly has no respect for authority and believes that he doesn’t have to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth in this court.”

Nines, noting that Hiler was not a suitable candidate for an alternative sentence, decreed that his underlying sentence of not less than one nor more than ten years for the charge of offense against railroad property and his one-to-five-year conspiracy sentence were reinstated.

He further ordered that the sentences would run consecutively with one another, and that Hiler would receive credit for time served during the duration of the matter.


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