TAYLOR COUNTY—A local man was sentenced in Taylor County Circuit Court after being charged by way of information for a firearms accusation.
Rusty Lee Stemple was present with Defense Attorney Scott Shough to enter into a negotiated plea agreement with the state of West Virginia after being charged as a person prohibited from possessing a firearm.
As part of the deal, Stemple agreed to plead guilty to the felony charge, and in turn, Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord, acting on behalf of the state, recommended that the defendant’s sentence be held in abeyance, and he be permitted to enter the Taylor County Community Correction Program.
Stemple also arranged to waive his right to a pre-sentence investigation, allowing the court to sentence him during the proceedings.
During the hearing, the court found that Stemple had freely and voluntarily admitted guilt to his crime, after going over court documents with Shough.
Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Alan D. Moats then accepted the guilty plea.
Moats ordered that, for his crime of possessing a firearm after having those rights taken away, Stemple was sentenced to a period of five years in the penitentiary.
That sentence was held in abeyance, and the defendant was placed into the community corrections program, under the watchful eye of Director Tammy Narog.
While on the program, Stemple would have to submit to random drug and alcohol testing and could not possess either substance or enter an establishment that sells alcohol for on-premises consumption.
Moats also ordered that Stemple must surrender the firearm, a .45 caliber pistol, to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department, and pay all court costs associated with his case.
Stemple was warned that he was subject to adhering to all the terms and conditions of the program set forth, and if he failed to do so, his prison sentence would be reinstated.
Additionally, Rachel Marie Golden was back in court with her lawyer Tyler Reseter to address the bond so that the defendant could enter into a drug rehabilitation program.
After noting that plea agreement was in the works between Golden and the state, Reseter petitioned the court to set a $1,000 personal recognizance bond for the defendant. He revealed that she had been admitted into Recovery Point in Charleston, and they had already made arrangements for transportation to the facility.
A bond had already been issued in the amount of $50,000 but had not been posted due to the defendant’s lack of finances. Reseter told the court that the defendant’s family believed she was in a “better place” and needed to be allowed to attend the rehab center.
When questioned by the judge, Bord expressed that the state was not comfortable with a reduction in bond, knowing that Golden had potentially allowed others to sell methamphetamine from her residence, in addition to being arrested on drug charges of her own.
In fact, it was recalled that Golden was apprehended with 647 grams of methamphetamine.
Moats noted that the case had been bound over from Magistrate Court, and she had yet to be indicted by the Taylor County Grand Jury. He further revealed that her bond had been reduced previously by a Taylor County Magistrate and found that it was not appropriate to do so again.
He ordered that the motion to reduce bond was denied and that Golden had two options; she could post bond in the matter and report to the drug treatment facility or following an investigation by the Taylor County Probation Office, a hearing could be set to discuss the matter further.