Grand jury charges include attempted murder and manslaughter


Attempted murder, involuntary manslaughter and gross sexual imposition were included in recent indictments by a Washington County grand jury.

Jerran Keith Knowlton, 40, of 6658 Archers Fork Road, New Matamoras, was charged with one count of attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and two counts of felonious assault, both second-degree felonies.

Knowlton was arrested after allegedly attacking his father with a metal baseball bat on Jan. 27.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call that Richard Knowlton was bleeding from his head after being beaten by his son.

Richard fled the residence and went to a neighbor for help. He was transported by the Newport EMS for medical attention, according to the sheriff’s office.


A second call was reported by dispatch about Knowlton being in an altercation with his father. During the call, a man who was identified as Jerran Knowlton stated he hit his father in the head with a bat. He also reportedly said during the call that “it happened so fast. I grabbed a bat out of my room and started whaling on him in the chair.”

Knowlton allegedly said his father put his arm up, but then was on the floor.

“I kept bashing him and bashing him until he couldn’t get up and was lifeless,” he reportedly said, noting he had hit his father a dozen times.

A sheriff’s deputy met with Jerran at his home, where blood was seen on the floor and living room furniture. Broken pictures, furniture and other items were scattered throughout the living room and kitchen.

He reportedly stated several times that he believed he had killed his father.

“Knowlton pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He has a $50,000 bond,” said Washington County Prosecutor Nicole Coil.

Deputies met with Richard at the hospital where he was being treated for several injuries, including severe head trauma, a possible broken arm and multiple lacerations. He was later transported to Grant Trauma Center in Columbus for treatment.

“Richard has been discharged from Grant and is back in the county. I contacted (Adult Protective Services) because he was left at a friend’s home by the person who assisted with his hospital discharge,” Coil said. “That lady could not provide him with the care that he needed. I believe he is at a skilled nursing home.”

Darin M. Craig, 24, of 615 Dalzell Road, Whipple, was indicted on seven charges, including one count of involuntary manslaughter, related to the Sept. 17 death of Samantha D. Seevers in Marietta.

He was also indicted on one count of corrupting another with drugs, a second-degree felony; two counts of complicity to trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound, both fourth-degree felonies; one count of obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor; one count of trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound, a fifth-degree felony; and one count of possession of a fentanyl-related compound, a fifth-degree felony.

Craig is accused of providing the heroin linked to the death of Seevers, 24, of Marietta. She was found with a needle in her arm behind the Seventh Street Speedway in Marietta on Sept. 18.

Marietta Police obtained cell phone messages confirming a meeting between Seevers and Craig to purchase heroin.

“He’s still in jail with a bond high enough that he hasn’t gotten out. I think it’s $250,000,” said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Joe Derkin. “I combined (Craig’s) two cases into one, so if it goes to trial, it will show a pattern.”

Craig’s second case was for trafficking drugs and the two cases happened during a short time frame, Derkin added.

Phillip C. Hughes, 34, of 201 Milton Road, Marietta, was indicted on one count of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony; one count of assault, a first-degree misdemeanor; one count of resisting arrest, a second-degree misdemeanor; and one count of disorderly conduct, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

Marietta police officers responded to a disturbance at Eighth and Wooster streets on Dec. 28. They found Hughes screaming at two men. When they attempted to talk to him, Hughes continued shouting and then attempted to hit an officer. He resisted arrest and had to be forcibly placed into handcuffs.

It was later learned that he had been picked up by a woman at the Second Street Speedway and while in the car with her, he allegedly became irate and at one point reached around her seat and used his arm to choke her. He also reportedly groped her chest and made comments of a sexual nature.

Derkin said Hughes also remains in jail. His arraignment is set for Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Other indictments include:

• Justin C. Truax, 42, of 330 Belavista Drive, Marietta, was indicted on one count of soliciting, a fifth-degree felony. He was arrested in December after allegedly soliciting another to engage in sexual activity for hire when he knew the other person was 17 years of age. He allegedly approached the minor at Wendy’s, 105 Pike St., Marietta.

• Sabrina Seevers, 39, of 1321 39th St., Parkersburg, was indicted on four charges, including one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; one count of illegal conveyance of drugs onto the grounds of a detention facility or institution, a third-degree felony; one count of aggravated trafficking in methamphetamine, a fourth-degree felony; and one count of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.

According to police reports, Sabrina Seevers was brought to the Washington County Jail on Sept. 10. During the intake process, four plastic bags were located within the toilet. Within one of the bags was a rock of suspected methamphetamine. Through investigation it was determined that Seevers had placed the contraband in the toilet. Seevers also tore the bags open and attempted to flush them.

• John A. Givens, 39, of 100 Linwood Ave. Lot B, Marietta, was indicted on two counts of domestic violence, both fourth-degree felonies.

Marietta Police reports an officer was dispatched to 615 Montgomery St. Apt. 2 on Oct. 7 in reference to a theft. It was found that the theft was a civil incident, but in reviewing camera footage, two acts of domestic violence by Givens were observed. He had a prior conviction from July 16, 2012, in Marietta Municipal Court.

• Brandi R. Messick, 25, of 460 Muskingum Drive, Marietta, was indicted on one count of aggravated possession of methamphetamine, a fifth-degree felony. The indictment stems from an arrest on July 2017 at 418 Fourth St., Marietta.

• Rachael B. Campbell, 35, of 5380 Johnson Ridge Road, Waterford, was indicted on one count of aggravated possession of methamphetamine, a fifth-degree felony. The indictment stems from an arrest in July 2018 at the intersection of Ohio 339 and Ohio 7 in Belpre Township.

• Preston V. Archie, 27, last known address of 171 Millbranch Road, Belpre, was indicted on one count of domestic violence, a fourth-degree felony, and one count of endangering children, a first-degree misdemeanor. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported on Feb. 6, 2019 that a deputy responded to a report that Archie had abused a juvenile victim. Multiple bruises/marks were observed on the child by the mother after the child had been cared for by Archie. Through investigation, it was determined that Archie had left the area. By phone he confirmed leaving marks on the juvenile to a deputy.

• Kyle Herwald, 32, of 65 Ridgeway Ave., Parkersburg, was indicted on one count of burglary, a third-degree felony, and one count of receiving stolen property, a first-degree misdemeanor.

A sheriff’s deputy responded to 368 Stanley Mills Road, Little Hocking, in April 2018 in reference to a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle was observed hung up in the front yard of the residence and was immobile. The occupant said her acquaintance, Kyle Herwald, fled the scene. Several items inside the van appeared suspicious in nature. When questioned, the subject advised that Herwald entered the residence, brought the items outside and put them in the van. The subject advised she was unaware of his intentions with the items because he stated he knew the owner of the property. Contact with the property owner was made and the items were described to him. The homeowner stated he knew Herwald, however had not given him permission to take the items or enter his property.

• Tyrone A. Taylor, 54, of 112 Sylvan Way, Marietta, was indicted on three counts of menacing, all fourth-degree felonies. Marietta police officers were dispatched to the 700 block of Glendale Road on Sept. 20 in reference to a possible fight and vehicle crash. Witnesses advised that Taylor chased a vehicle occupied by four people in his truck. He allegedly blocked them in and threatened them. He then chased a male victim and attempted to assault him.

• Darryl D. Gibson Jr., 35, of 1400 South Oxford St. Indianapolis, Ind., was indicted on one count of failure to appear, a fourth-degree felony. Gibson allegedly failed to appear for a final pretrial after being released on a recognizance bond. He was arrested in July 2017 on a forgery charge.

• David M. Moore, 43, of 1695 State Route 260, New Matamoras, was indicted on one count of failure to appear, a fourth-degree felony. Moore allegedly failed to appear for a final pretrial after being released on a recognizance bond. He was arrested for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in 2018.

• Christopher J. Richards, 20, of 1067 Sealy Ridge Road, Vincent, was indicted on two counts of assault, both first-degree misdemeanors. The indictments stem from an incident in September where sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to meet with Matthew Snyder, who reported being attacked with a sword at 309 Calder Ridge Road, Belpre. Snyder advised while he was sleeping, he woke up and was looking for his girlfriend. He said he found her in Richards’ bedroom and became upset, slamming the door several times. Snyder stated later he went to retrieve his cigarettes and was met by Richards, who threw a wooden board at him, which hit him in the chest and nose. Snyder advised Richards began to swing a sword at him, and struck him in the left shoulder, causing a deep laceration. Deputies then proceeded to 309 Calder Ridge Road and made contact with a woman who gave the same account of activities at the residence, however, stated that Snyder chased after Richards at one point. She stated Richards had the sword in his hand when he threw the wooden board.

• Emily A. Wagner, 32, of 822 Belrock Ave. Apt. 2, Belpre, was indicted on one count of misuse of a credit card belonging to a disabled person, a fifth-degree felony. The indictment stems from incidents between Sept. 1 and Oct. 19, where Wagner allegedly defrauded an elderly person by use of a credit card in one or more transactions.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

Possible Prison Terms & Maximum Fines:

• First-degree felony : Three to 11 years; $20,000.

• Second-degree felony: Two to eight years; $15,000.

• Third-degree felony: One to three years; $10,000.

• Third-degree felony involving an act of sex or violence: One to five years; $10,000.

• Fourth-degree felony: Six to 18 months; $5,000.

• Fifth-degree felony: Six months to one year; $2,500.

Source: Washington County Common Pleas Court.


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