Underlying sentences reinstated after noncompliance by defendants

TAYLOR COUNTY—After recent hearings in Taylor County Circuit Court, two individuals had their sentences reinstated, sending them back to prison for the remainder of their terms.

Candy Nelson previously entered a guilty plea to one count of forgery and one count of failure to appear.

Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Alan D. Moats then sentenced Nelson to not less than one nor more than ten years in prison for her forgery charge and an additional period of one-to-five years in prison for her failure to appear. He ordered that the sentences would be served consecutively.

Because drug addiction was at the root of her issues, Moats allowed Nelson the chance to attend drug treatment program three separate times. Each time, it was reported to the court that the defendant failed to adhere to the rules and conditions of the facility, and she was sent back to jail.

On the most recent occurrence, Nelson was permitted entry into the Waves Treatment Program, but because she was found with a cell phone, vape and other contraband items she was released from the program.

Upon her release, she was supposed to report to the Taylor County Community Correction Program, however, she failed to do so. She was picked up by authorities and placed into the regional jail to await a hearing in the matter.

During the hearing, Moats questioned Nelson’s Defense Attorney, Ashley Smith, her position on the matter. She told the court that it was the desire of Ms. Nelson to be placed on home confinement for the remainder of her sentence.

Finding that the court had provided the defendant with multiple chances to address her drug addiction, and that each chance was met with noncompliance by Nelson resulting in her removal from the programs, Moats voiced his displeasure in the defendant.

He then ordered that her previous sentences were reinstated, and she would be serving the remainder of them behind bars. He further ordered that she receive credit for time already served, including 13 days of community service hours completed through the community corrections program.

Additionally, Michael Todd Lohr was also back before Moats, to address his failure to adhere to stipulations set forth by the court in numerous cases against him.

The defendant was previously convicted for burglary and sentenced to one-to-15-years in prison. That sentence was held in abeyance, and he was place into the community corrections, which was transferred to Monongalia County.

According to court records, when Lohr failed to report to the program, a capias was issued for his arrest. The court then learned he had been apprehended in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, on a traffic violation, but waived extradition and voluntarily returned to face his fate.

During his hearing, Moats also addressed a bound over case in which Lohr had failed to appear on the charge of third offense driving while license suspended or revoked for driving under the influence. 

In addition, the defendant had also been charged in Monongalia County with possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to a period of one year on home confinement. That sentence was not completed.

On behalf of her client, Defense Attorney Deanna Pennington told the court Lohr had attempted to contact Monongalia County’s home confinement office, but never received a call back to schedule an appointment.

However, unsatisfied with their answers, the state moved to have Lohr’s sentence reinstated.

The court found that not only had Lohr failed to appear, bringing about a new charge locally, he also fled the jurisdiction of the court, was arrested and charged in two other cases.

Therefore, Moats ordered that his previous sentence of one-to-15-years for the charge of burglary was reestablished and his allowance on home confinement was revoked.

Moats also arraigned Lohr on the charge of felony escape, entering a not guilty plea on his behalf and allowing his counsel 30 days to complete discovery and file any motions in the matter.


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