TAYLOR COUNTY—Last month, it took a jury just over four hours to return a guilty verdict for one local man charged with third offense domestic battery. On Monday, the defendant was sentenced for his crimes.
Charles W. Mauller, 32, of Flemington, was found guilty of domestic battery, battery and unlawful restraint, during his June trial, and on Monday, Judge Alan D. Moats ordered that he would be sentenced to life in prison with the eligibility of parole in 15 years.
The Taylor County Grand Jury had previously charged the defendant in April with third offense domestic battery, malicious assault and kidnapping.
In January, Mauller was arrested following an investigation after claims were made that he had repeatedly beat his victim over a three-day span. The victim stated that Mauller had beat her at her father’s residence, at a friend’s house, and while they were in a vehicle together.
She told officers that Mauller told her that he couldn’t live without her and would kill her if she attempted to leave him. According to the complaint, he threatened to stab her with an ice pick if she tried to leave.
His victim testified that she had gone voluntarily with Mauller on the evening of January 5. It wasn’t until January 8 that she was able to escape the abuse and run to a nearby auto parts store for help.
When first seen by law enforcement, the woman’s eyes were black and blue, her face was swollen and she had trouble trying to speak, Grafton Patrol Officer Paul Collins alleged.
Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord revealed that the defendant had stipulated prior to the trial, that he had two previous third offense domestic battery charges.
According to court documents, Mauller was previously convicted on March 30, 2006 in the Circuit Court of Taylor County for third offense domestic battery. He was then convicted for third offense domestic battery on April 26, 2010, before being found guilty once more on June 4, 2019 of the same crime.
On June 17 Bord, acting on behalf of the state of West Virginia, filed a third offense domestic battery charge against Mauller, by way of information. Bord would be attempting to have the defendant sentenced to a stricter punishment through a recidivist motion.
Jason Gain, defense council for Mauller countered with a motion to have the recidivist dismissed.
Judge Moats ordered that he would not dismiss the recidivist action, as Mauller had a history of violent crimes against women.
“He has three separate felonies for third-offense domestic violence against two separate women. The first and second convictions involved the one female and the newest conviction involved a different victim,” Moats explained. “Therefore, the court finds that the prior convictions fit within the statute as they constitute crimes of violence.”
Mauller was given an opportunity to speak towards his sentencing before the judge handed down his final ruling.
Although he had typed up an open letter to the court, Mauller was unable to read the words he had composed, and asked Gain to read it on his behalf.
“I come here today knowing that my fate is not a good one,” Gain began reading.
In the letter, Mauller shared that he had been suffering from drug addiction since the time he was a young boy of just 12 years old.
“When I am not on the drugs and stay on my medicine, I am a good man. I was out of prison for eight years and a good man to Amy for five years,” he noted. “But once the meth was brought to us, we lost it. You know that we lost our son and after that, we just went crazy on the ice.”
He gave a defense that he does not recall harming his victim and that he must have been blacked out on crystal methamphetamine and a drug called flocka when it occurred.
“We were living in a delusion of the drugs and I am really sorry for what happened,” Gain read for Mauller.
He noted that while it was a very serious crime that was committed, he would be asking that the court temper the harshness with a little bit of mercy and grant concurrent sentencing instead of consecutive sentences.
Moats ordered the Mauller would serve a life sentence with eligibility for parole after 15 years for the recidivist action.
For his unlawful restraint, the defendant was ordered to serve one year in jail with the credit for time served, and the sentence would be effectively completed after 6 months of confinement if Mauller were to act correctly.
The two sentences were ordered to be served consecutively, and the life sentence would begin after the jail term was completed.