TAYLOR COUNTY—After being charged in the January overdose death of a friend and roommate, one local man was back in court with developments in the case.
Michael W. Plymale, 33, is facing delivery of a controlled substance resulting in death, delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and conspiracy charges, following the January 2018 death of Michael T. Gavitt.
Plymale and his co-conspirator, Bryan Alan Knorr, who entered a guilty plea for his charge of delivery of a controlled substance resulting in death last Monday, knowingly delivered heroin to Gavitt, who consumed the drug in combination with methamphetamine, resulting in his death.
After a recent hearing in Taylor County Circuit Court, his council, Katica Ribel, a Criminal Defense lawyer out of Fairmont, asked that a psychological competency evaluation be completed.
On Monday, Plymale and Ribel were back in court to hear the results of the testing.
According to Judge Alan D. Moats, Dr. Thomas Adamski reported it was his opinion that Plymale was competent to stand trial.
“His report states that Plymale was able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his behavior, and he could have modified or adjusted his behavior accordingly with the law,” shared Moats. “He also could also possess criminal responsibility, so I will set this matter down for a trial.”
Ribel shared with the court that she was working with her client and the prosecutors to negotiate a plea agreement, although Plymale refused to accept the initial offer by the prosecutor’s office and asked that a bond be set for her client.
“Mr. Plymale is an addict and supplier of drugs. I don’t see how the state could recommend a bond for his release because of the issue of safety of the community,” voiced Taylor County Prosecutor John Bord.
Moats revealed that Plymale had a right to have the issue of bond addressed. Bord then suggested the maximum amount allowed by law.
“This is a very serious charge you are facing,” Moats said to Plymale. “When Mrs. Freeman did an initial bond report, she noted that your father stated that you didn’t stay in one place for very long.”
He revealed that the defendant’s father had also called his son a follower, saying that he would do whatever someone else wanted him to do.
“I will accept the state’s recommendation of a $100,000 bond to be made on good surety for your release,” Moats ordered. “If you are able to make bail, it is ordered that you will reside at your father’s house.”
Moats further ordered that upon his release, Plymale would be under the watchful eye of the Taylor County Community Corrections program, to undergo drug testing.
While Plymale was being issued a bond, another defendant was in court to address a bond revocation.
Ryan Dean Ketterman,24, who had been previously sentenced for grand larceny, a one-to-ten-year sentence, was placed on the community corrections program.
After a recent incident where Ketterman was found in possession of over 20 hypodermic needles and one containing what tested positive for methamphetamine, a report was filed with the court.
According to testimony from Community Corrections Director Tammy Narog, the defendant had regularly continued to test positive for meth use while on the program and in extremely high amounts.
“In all my years on the bench, I have never seen anything like this before,” voiced Moats. “I have never seen someone test at 200,000 nanograms before.”
When asked for her input, Narog simply stated that she would recommend that Ketterman’s bond be revoked and he be placed back in jail.
“I think it is the only way to save his life,” she commented. “He has been living on the edge of an overdose for quite some time now.”
She reported that Ketterman had been using drugs in the bathrooms of his assigned community service locations, including the Grafton Police Department and the Taylor County Emergency Squad offices.
“He has admitted that he was getting needles from another program participant,” Narog noted. “He had been accepted into the Legends drug treatment program, but refused to go.”
Ketterman said that he has since realized that he has to do something to combat his addiction, sharing that he has hurt his family and his son entirely too much.
Moats listened to Ketterman’s testimony, noting that he had failed to disclose where he was getting the drugs from.
“It doesn’t sound like you’ve made a change, that you’re ready to cut the ties just yet,” Moats expressed. “You said you wanted help, but that’s anything but help. That is keeping your drug dealers in your back pocket as your ace in the hole when you decide you don’t actually want to complete the program.”
Moats said that it was clear that Ketterman was willing to protect those people who are poisoning the community with drugs.
“A graduated sanction would serve no purpose,” Moats voiced. “When you decide you want to burn that bridge and stop protecting your dealers, then I will deal with your motion of drug treatment.”
With that statement made, Moats ordered that Ketterman’s bond would be revoked, his sentence be reinstated and he would serve his 1-10 years behind bars.