Plea negotiations reached between defendants and state


TAYLOR COUNTY—Plea agreements were reached between defendants and the state of West Virginia, last week, in Taylor County Circuit Court.

Wayne Francis Worden 42, present with his council Scott Shough, entered a guilty plea to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. According to court documents, that substance was methamphetamine.

Worden was facing a possible one-to-five-year prison sentence, a fine of not more than $15,000 or both.

As part of the plea deal, the state would recommend that his sentence be served concurrently with one his was previously serving.

The state would further note that if long-term drug treatment was obtained by the defendant, they would recommend that his sentence be held in abeyance and he be placed on community corrections, following the successful completion of the drug treatment program.

According to 19th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Alan D. Moats, the crime in question took place in August 2018, when Worden was found with approximately two grams of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver the drug to another party.

It was revealed that the drug had only undergone testing in the field, and had not been laboratory tested by the state, but Worden waived his right to have it lab tested, stating that he believed it to be methamphetamine.

“My client had no question that the drug was in fact methamphetamine. He has admitted to his misconduct, so we are asking that he be sentenced in accordance with the negotiated plea agreement,” Shough said on his client’s behalf.

Moats ordered that Worden’s sentence would be handed down in accordance with the plea agreement.

Christopher Lee Larew, 34, was present with his council, Katika Ribel, to enter a negotiated plea agreement, as well.

Larew agreed to plead guilty to fleeing from a law enforcement official showing reckless indifference for the safety of others, which carried a possible one-to-five year prison sentence and a $1,000-$2,000 mandatory fine.

As part of the deal, he would agree to waive his presentence hearing, and the state would recommend that his sentence would be suspended and he would be placed on probation through the Taylor County Probation Office.

“Mr. Larew has been incarcerated since March because he could not post bond,” Ribel shared. “He will be residing in Preston County, but knows that he must report to the Taylor County office until he can get his probation transferred.”

Larew reportedly fled from a Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy, leading him on a chase beginning on US Route 50, then onto US Route 119 South and ending in Barbour County.

When asked why he failed to cooperate with previously, Larew told the court that it was because he was immature.

“That, and because of my ignorance, pride and because of my drug use,” Larew shared. “There is no excuse for my actions.”

Moats ordered that Larew would serve his one-to-five years, but instead of on probation, he would serve on the Community Corrections Program, where he would be subject to drug testing.  It was further ordered that he would be fined the minimum of $1,000.

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