Mercer County Sheriff's Department Blotter -- June 14-20


June 13

BURGLARY, GRAND LARCENY: Lt. S.J. Cary responded to Old Bramwell Road, where a resident returned home to find someone had entered her home through a window. A window fan appeared to have allowed access. The suspect then opened a back door, allegedly removing an Apple iPad, a Gateway laptop computer, a game system, jewelry and more. Cary talked with neighbors, who reported seeing a black car, possibly a Nissan, turn around in the complainant’s driveway on the day in question, but could not recall anything else substantial or suspicious about the day.

Cary entered information regarding the iPad in the National Crime Information Center database and referred the information on the investigation to the MCSD detective bureau.

BURGLARY, GRAND LARCENY, BREAKING AND ENTERING: Sgt. J.J. Ruble responded to Wright’s Mountain Road, where a resident reported he returned home to find someone had pried his back door open. The officer observed the pry marks. Firearms were reportedly taken from a gun cabinet, and a number of MAC tools were reported stolen. But Ruble noted that many high-dollar tools, such as weed eaters, lawnmowers and more, were left untouched when the thief left. The suspect appeared to have fled out a side door of the garage, moving a false security camera in the process. The complainant said he believed the burglar must be someone who knows him, because few people know the location of his residence.

Ruble noted that the case was being forwarded to the MCSD detective bureau.

June 14

DOMESTIC BATTERY: Shane Abshire, 20, of Princeton, turned himself in on an active capias for domestic battery. Deputy L.L. Addair processed the suspect.

BREAKING AND ENTERING: A complainant made an on-station complaint advising that someone entered her garage on May 25 and stole a Miller welder/generator, a Makita chainsaw, a toolbox, Snap On tools, two sets of Kobalt tools, a reel and more. She told Deputy T.A. Lacy the padlock on the door had been broken during the incident. A suspect reportedly admitted to stealing the Miller welder and promised to return it. She told the officer she located the Makita chainsaw at Godfather’s Pawn, allegedly pawned under the same name as the man who admitted to stealing the welder, and she alleged a man who works for Danieley’s Wrecker Service has the Miller Welder and claims to have bought it for $100. Lacy reported the case is considered open and is being forwarded to the detective bureau.

June 15

BATTERY: Lt. S.J. Cary responded to the area of Cove Street, where multiple subjects were reported in an altercation. The officer observed several subjects in the roadway, gathered around two unknown males arguing. One male was holding a broken wooden handle, possibly belonging to a shovel. The other appeared to be holding a piece of a broken cinder block.

All subjects were separated, and the two holding weapons were detained and identified as Jessie James Collins, 37, of Princeton; and James Russell Watkins, 42, of Princeton.

Speaking with Collins, Cary observed a large, swollen contusion to his right hand, and he appeared to have been struck with a wooden stick by Watkins. Collins reported he had been outside working when he observed Watkins talking trash with his aunt. Collins said he confronted Watkins, advising him to quit, at which time, Watkins allegedly struck him in the hand with the wooden handle and the two began to fight. Collins reported that at some point during the altercation, he took the wooden handle away from Watkins and struck Watkins in the face with it. Police arrived shortly thereafter.

As Cary spoke with Watkins, the officer observed a large, swollen contusion above his left eye, appearing as though he had been hit with something. Emergency medical officials were notified and responded. Watkins advised three subjects from across the street attacked him, prompting him to fight back.

He reported that he didn’t have a wooden stick, but one of the guys from across the street did. He said one of the men from across the street struck him with it.

The officer attempted to get statements from the other two men involved in the altercation, but they would not provide statements, other than to say that Watkins came at them with a stick.

Collins was then placed under arrest for battery and transported to Mercer County Sheriff’s Department for processing.

Watkins was transported to Princeton Community Hospital for treatment to his injuries. After transporting Collins to MCSD for processing, Cary proceeded to PCH to speak with Watkins, where he was issued a summons for battery charges as well.

June 16

POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, DRIVING SUSPENDED, DUI DRUGS: Cpl. D.A. Furches performed a traffic stop on New Hope Road, at the intersection of Harmon School Road, requesting assistance. Deputy C.K. Lester soon arrived on the scene, finding that Furches already had the suspect detained in the back seat of his cruiser. Furches reported that he found the suspect vehicle to have the passenger window down, with a baggy of what appeared to be 21 grams of marijuana in the passenger side of the vehicle and a strong odor of the drug inside the car.

An inventory of the vehicle allegedly revealed a set of scales inside the passenger front also. During a search of the suspect, officers retrieved 13 pills the suspect identified as Xanax and another 3.3 grams of marijuana inside his shoe.

Due to safety concerns, the suspect, Thomas Randall Law, 22, of Bluefield, was transported to nearby Grant’s Supermarket parking lot for field-sobriety testing, during which, he allegedly showed impairment. At that time, officers contacted Cpl. A.M. Ballard to perform a drug recognition evaluation.

Law allegedly consented to a blood draw, and he was transported to Princeton Community Hospital, where a phlebotomist completed the necessary procedure to test his blood for substances. Ballard reported his estimate was that the suspect was under the influence of depressants and marijuana.

Law was then transported to MCSD for processing. His vehicle was towed by Browning’s Wrecker service for holding.

June 16

BURGLARY: Cpl. D.A Furches, Deputy D.A. Calloway, Detective J.E. Ellison, Detective W.E. Rose, Deputy M.R. Lacy and West Virginia State Police Cpl. James Long responded to a residence at 1060 Beeson Rd., in reference to a burglary in progress. Mercer 911 advised a male and female were in the process of burglarizing the home at the time of the call and were at the home with a red pick-up truck. The subject who phoned 911 lived next door and knew that a bank owned the property. The two suspects allegedly appeared to be attempting to steal items for scrap metal.

When officers arrived, they located a man in a blue T-shirt carrying a pair of pliers walking away from the mobile home and a woman in the bedroom. The man was identified as Tony Newcomb II, 36, of Princeton. The female was identified as Cherise Fee, 32, of Princeton. The pick-up truck bed was full of items that appeared to be read to be sold for scrap metal.

Both suspects were arrested and charged with one count each of breaking and entering.

FLEEING ON FOOT, OBSTRUCTING/RESISTING AN OFFICER, VIOLATION OF A DVP: Deputies M.T. Hatfield and J.K. Farmer received a call that a Michael Hudson, 23, of Princeton, was violating a protective order at Princeton Village apartments. Hatfield the spoke with the complainant, who advised she saw the suspect walk along the back side of the building and enter another apartment but never saw him leave. She told the officers she thought the protective order had been published in the paper, but she was unaware if he had actually been served with the order. At that time, Hatfield went to the apartment in question to attempt to speak with the suspect. As he approached, he reported seeing the suspect run, even after he announced himself as a deputy. The suspect allegedly ignored his instructions to stop fleeing and continued to run around the front of the apartment building. Eventually, the male tired and gave up his escape attempts in a field near the apartment complex. Hudson was apprehended and charged with the listed offenses. He was transported to MCSD and processed.

June 17

DUI, LEFT OF CENTER: Deputy J.S. Bish was traveling West Virginia Route 20, at approximately 1:15 a.m., when he reported seeing a white Buick LeSabre cross the center line as a red light turned green. The vehicle then allegedly crossed the center line again as they approached the Shaker Lane intersection. It allegedly came to a sudden stop in the parking lot for Child Protect, prompting the officer to approach. He used his flashlight to speak to the driver, noting that his pupils did not react to the light and that his eyes were bloodshot.

Bish also noted a faint odor of marijuana coming from the inside of the vehicle. The driver allegedly agreed to field-sobriety tests, on which, he allegedly showed some impairment, prompting the officer to continue questioning about the potential use of illegal drugs.

The driver, Cody R. Hernandez, 21, of Princeton, reportedly told Bish he had smoked marijuana approximately two hours before driving and had put his “bowl” under the driver’s seat. The officer then retrieved a glass bowl under the driver’s seat with fresh burn marks on it for evidence. The passenger was released.

Hernandez was placed under arrest for DUI and transported to Princeton Community Hospital for a blood draw, to which he consented. He was processed and placed in holding to await arraignment.

DUI: Deputy J.S. Bish was working highway safety when Deputy M.T. Hatfield reported needing assistance in the area of Denver Street. Bish arrived and found the suspect appeared to be very impaired near his Volkswagen Jetta. The driver allegedly exhibited extremely watery, bloodshot eyes with no reaction to light. He claimed he had consumed heroin the day earlier but none on Saturday. After the driver showed some impairment on field-sobriety testing, officers asked if he would submit to a blood draw to test for illicit substances in his blood. When he agreed, he was transported to Bluefield Regional Medical Center. There, he submitted to the test and allegedly admitted he had snorted a small line of heroin between 4 and 5 p.m. that day, prior to operating his vehicle. Charles L. Perry, 21, of Bluefield, was then processed at Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, where he allegedly gave verbal consent to search his vehicle. Hatfield reported during the search, he located an empty syringe and a condom in the glove box of the vehicle. Both items were secured as evidence.

June 20

DRIVING SUSPENDED, FAILURE TO OBEY TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE: Deputy L.L. Addair responded to the intersection of Athens Road and Eads Mill Road, regarding a two-car motor vehicle crash. He reported seeing a white sedan that struck a tan truck. Upon speaking with the driver of the sedan, the driver advised she was talking with her daughter when she looked up to see the traffic light was red. The driver was unable to stop and struck the driver’s side of the truck traveling through the intersection.

The officer observed that the driver of the sedan provided a non-operator identification card, rather than a driver’s license. The driver advised her license was suspended due to unpaid citations. Mercer County 911 reported the driver had two previous convictions for driving suspended in the year 2014 and for two convictions on March 21, 2016 and June 29, 2016. She also had indefinite convictions in Tazewell County and in Carroll County, Va. The suspect, Christina Dawn Beckett, 35, of Princeton, was arrested on the listed charges.

SHOPLIFTING: Deputy T.S. Rose responded to Walmart on Greasy Ridge Road near Princeton, where the loss-prevention agent reported a female exited the store without paying for more than $170 in merchandise. Sharon K. Phillips, 39, of Princeton, was detained and issued a citation for shoplifting.

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