Grand jury: Men sentenced for roles in beatings

Two West Virginia men who reportedly crashed a party in Belpre and brutally beat two men whom they deemed romantic rivals were among those indicted this week by a Washington County grand jury.

Brandon R. Claypool, 26, of 2417 Lake Washington Road, Washington, W.Va., and Colton E. Taylor, 29, of 1326 Avery St., Parkersburg, allegedly showed up uninvited to a home on Ridgewood Boulevard on June 1, 2012, where Claypool believed his ex-girlfriend to be, said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Jared Erb.

“He was not happy with her hanging out with other men,” said Erb.

Upon arrival, Taylor exited the vehicle with a club and began battering two male victims. Claypool also became involved in the physical altercation, which eventually sent both victims to Camden Clark Medical Center, said Erb.

“These were innocent guys. The victims had no criminal history, good jobs. They just picked the wrong girl to hang out with,” he said.

One victim required staples for a gash in his head. The other had a lacerated kidney and liver and spent a week in the hospital, said Erb.

Taylor, who was allegedly the main aggressor during the fight, was indicted on two second-degree felony counts of felonious assault.

Claypool was charged with two second-degree felony counts of complicity to felonious assault and a third-degree felony count of intimidation for a later incident.

In December, Claypool reportedly went to the home of one of the victims with a group of male friends in tow and brandished a handgun at the victim.

Other indictments included:

Felicia D. Wallace, 23, of 1360 Silver Globe Road, Marietta, was indicted on four third-degree felony counts of illegal conveyance of weapons or prohibited items onto ground of a government facility, two fifth-degree felony counts of drug possession and two first-degree misdemeanor counts of drug possession.

When Wallace turned herself into the Washington County Jail to serve a jail sentence on June 21, she reportedly tried to conceal multiple drug items on her person.

“She brought basically a pharmacy with her into the jail,” said Erb.

Wallace had six 5-milligram Oxycontin pills, six 10-milligram Oxycontin pills, three 2-milligram Xanax pills and four and a half 1-milligram Xanax pills.

Wallace had the pills in the balloon and is believed to have secreted them into the jail inside a body cavity.

“They sign a paper saying they know that sneaking stuff into the jail is a felony. They have this final chance to give stuff up,” said Erb.

The felony drug possession charges are for the Oxycontin while the misdemeanor drug possession charges are for the Xanax.

Douglas L. Morrison, 50, of 486 Sams Lane, Washington, W.Va., was indicted on a third-degree felony count of failure to comply with the order of police officer and a fourth-degree felony count of auto theft. Morrison’s ex-wife had a protection order against him but allowed him to be at the home until he began threatening her. When she left to call police, he allegedly stole her truck and fled, said Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider.

Morrison refused to pull over for police, starting a high speed pursuit involving at least four law enforcement organizations from Ohio and West Virginia.

“They reached speeds over 100 miles per hour on I-77 and 80 miles per hour on Emerson (Avenue in Parkersburg),” said Schneider.

Morrison eventually crashed the vehicle near the DuPont Washington Works plant.

Chadwick L. Smearman, 32, of 204 Seventh St., Beverly, and Dustin A. Carpenter, 21, of 129 Muskingum Drive, Marietta, were each indicted on a fifth-degree felony count of theft. The pair allegedly co-conspired to steal more than $3,000 worth of cigarettes from the Speedway on Second Street in Marietta. Carpenter was an employee of the store who had access to cigarettes stored in the back room, said Erb.

“Chad gave Dustin money to let him go into the back room and take the cigarettes,” he said.

Trey H. Good, 19, of 908 Front St., Marietta, was indicted on a third-degree felony count of tampering with evidence and a fifth-degree felony count of theft. Sometime throughout June or July a fusion machine, worth $3,000, went missing from Larry Lang Excavating.

Good had allegedly stolen the machine and taken it to an acquaintance who owned a goat stall at the Washington County Fairgrounds. The stall-owner allowed Good to store the machine there but eventually grew suspicious and contacted the excavating company.

Good was a former employee of Larry Lang excavating and quit showing up around the time the machine went missing, said Erb.

Roger L. Ward Jr., 35, of 1225 Weppler Road, Lowell, was indicted on a second-degree felony count of burglary. On July 17, Ward reportedly forcibly entered the home of an acquaintance at 7001 Muskingum River Road, Lowell, and stole a flat screen television. The television was later pawned.

Charles W. Baker III, 40, of 435 Francis Road, Lowell, was indicted on a third-degree felony count of having weapons while under a disability. On July 8, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to Baker’s home on a complaint that Baker was wielding a gun and acting irrational. Baker was not allowed to possess a gun because of a 2002 gross sexual imposition conviction.

Delmar E. Wittekind II, 43, of 1485 Hanna Road, Marietta, was indicted on a third-degree felony count of intimidation and a fourth-degree felony count of assault of a police officer. An officer from the Beverly Police Department stopped Wittekind on July 19 for failing to stop at a stop sign in Beverly. Wittekind failed field sobriety tests and was being arrested when he allegedly become combative. He repeatedly punched Patrolman Bradley Oliver, knocked his radio away and was trying to obtain Oliver’s gun when reinforcements arrived. After being arrested, Wittekind reportedly told Oliver he was going to come after his entire family upon release.

Harrison C. Featherstone, 28, and Taylor M. King, 23, both of 2511 Brocton Court, Columbus, were indicted on one count each of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.

King and Featherstone were staying at an area motel on April 13 when agents from the Major Crimes Task Force received information that they were possibly dealing drugs in the area. A search warrant was executed at the hotel and cocaine was found inside.

King was also charged with a first-degree misdemeanor count of possession of drugs and a third-degree felony count of tampering with drugs for being in possession of Xanax pills for which she had no prescription.

Russell E. Babb, 35, of 8555 East Main St., Reynoldsburg, was indicted on a fifth-degree felony count of drug possession. Babb allegedly got out of a car at the Hardee’s drive-thru in Belpre, hopped on the manager’s bike and rode away. Later stopped by the Belpre Police Department, Babb consented to a search of his person. Officers reportedly found a small bag of methamphetamine stored in a cigarette pack.

Zackary A. Pryor, 23, of 709 Ninth St., Marietta, was indicted on a fifth-degree felony count of drug possession. A concerned citizen stopped at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Post in Reno to report that a black truck had recently struck a sign on Ohio 7 and continued driving. A trooper noticed a damaged U-turn sign and later encountered Pryor’s truck, which was dragging the broken sign underneath it. Pryor was allegedly driving drunk. His car was searched and bath salts were purportedly found.

Kevin C. Atherton, 41, of 77 Teri Lane, Little Hocking, was indicted on a fifth-degree felony count of drug possession. Atherton was stopped by a trooper from the Ohio State Highway Patrol on Nov. 25 after he was observed weaving recklessly on Ohio 7 near Belpre. Arresting Atherton for OVI, the trooper noticed a folded-up piece of paper in the vehicle. Atherton allegedly told the officer it had been given to him by a friend, and he had snorted it despite not knowing what the substance was. The substance was tested and found to be methylphenidate, a common ingredient in drugs used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Christopher A. Walker, 22, of 2836 Sealy Ridge Road, Vincent, was indicted on a fifth-degree felony count of possession of drugs. On May 30, an officer from the Belpre Police Department pulled Walker over after his ex-girlfriend called to report he had broken into her home. It was determined that Walker never entered the residence. However, a search of his vehicle reportedly yielded Adderall pills.

Danielle A. Dalton, 21, of 37510 Smith Run Road, Rutland, was indicted on a fifth-degree felony count of drug possession. Dalton was stopped by the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Little Hocking on March 28 after she was observed driving recklessly. Her car was searched and heroin was reportedly found inside.

Elizabeth S. Langsdorg, 52, of 1696 State Route 260, New Matamoras, was indicted on a fifth-degree felony count of possession of drugs. Langsdorg was stopped by the Ohio State Highway Patrol on March 1. A search of the vehicle allegedly yielded bath salts.

Joseph Slider, 23, of 836 Pike St. Apt. 2, Marietta, was indicted on a fourth-degree felony count of domestic violence. On June 15, Slider reportedly got into an altercation with his live-in girlfriend. He already has a prior domestic violence conviction making this charge a felony.

Jacob M. Shaffer, 26, of 330 Fourth St., Apt. C., Marietta, was indicted on a fourth-degree felony count of domestic violence. On May 24, Shaffer was in a vehicle with the mother of his children and reportedly struck her on the back of the head. She got out of the vehicle and found a nearby police officer to report the incident. Shaffer already has a prior domestic violence conviction making this charge a felony.

Gary L. McFadden, 43, of 210 S. Fifth St., Marietta, was indicted on two first-degree misdemeanor counts of assault. McFadden was reportedly involved in an altercation outside his home with Walter “Pete” Friend. Though Friend eventually struck McFadden in the head three times with an iron pipe, several witnesses testified that McFadden had been the aggressor and that Friend was acting in self-defense. Friend reportedly fled after hitting McFadden and escaping a headlock. The second assault charge stems from McFadden allegedly picking Friend’s girlfriend up by the neck and punching her several times.