Hope Katz Gibbs

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Dominion Post

Waived Extradition [The Dominion Post]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Fairmont Bureau Chief
The Dominion Post

Benjamin Theodore Touchstone, 29, of Route 10, Morgantown, was returned from Fayette County Friday night. State police in connection with last Saturday’s armed robbery of University Chevrolet also of Route 10, arrested Touchstone, along with Philip Michael Marciello, 26, in Uniontown. Touchstone was arraigned by Magistrate Tony Barill and ordered held in the Monongalia County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. Marciello is in Uniontown Hospital after suffering an epileptic seizure. He is reportedly in guarded condition. It was not known when he will be released.

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Guilty verdict returned in murder case [The Dominion Post]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Fairmont Bureau Chief
The Dominion Post
January 23, 1987

FAIRMONT—Twenty-four-year-old Denzil Bush was convicted Thursday of murder in the second degree for the 1986 in slayings of two Fairmont residents in what defense attorneys called a “crime of passion.” The verdict ended a three-day trial in the shooting deaths of Kelly Mason, 25, and Rebicca (Bunny) Brock Clauser, 28, who were found dead at Clauser’s apartment Aug. 19, 1986. The eight-woman, four-man jury deliberated for hours before reaching the verdict. Bush faces 5-18 years in prison for each of the two murders. Marion County Circuit Judge Fred L. Fox said Bush would be held without bail in the county jail until sentencing. Defense attorney Ross Maruka sought a reduced sentence, saying Bush was distraught after his girlfriend left him for another man. He said Bush had found them in bed together, and his judgment was compromised.

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O’Neal innocent of malicious assault [The Dominion Post]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Fairmont Bureau Chief
The Dominion Post

FAIRMONT—An 18-year-old Fairmont man was found innocent Thursday on charges he allegedly slashed a police officer’s hand and threatened his stepfather with two butcher knives on Oct. 1. Anthony O’Neal, of 348 Yodie Ave., was initially charged by the state with a misdemeanor of attempted malicious assault and assault during an attempt to commit a felony. Four police officers testified for the prosecution Wednesday, the first day of the trial, accusing O’Neal of being “very angry” and intending to kill his stepfather Garfield Singleton with the knives on the basement steps at his house. They testified he also intended to cut Fairmont City Police Det. Steve Cain. According to O’Neal’s testimony, he picked up the knives as a means of getting his mother’s attention because he was jealous of the affection she had been lavishing on Singleton.

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Wotring battles back from a head injury [The Dominion Post]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Fairmont Bureau Chief
The Dominion Post

He swerved to miss a child running after a dog and his car plunged 50 feet over a cliff. Stanley Wotring Jr., then 19, doesn’t remember that. He just knows he woke up after 11 days later from a coma. He was unable to speak or move the left side of his body. The Harrison County native suffered a massive head injury. The injury to his leg has left him with a permanent limp.
Four years later, he has made tremendous progress. He was able to walk up to the graduation podium to receive his bachelor of arts diploma in psychology. He graduated with a 3.4 / 4.0 average.

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Uniform Sentences Urged by Panel [The Dominion Post]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Fairmont Bureau Chief
The Dominion Post

FAIRMONT—More rigid jail sentences for convicted murderers and less stringent sentences for white-collar criminals are a sample of the changes Attorney General Charlie Brown has proposed in a bill before the state Legislature. “Murder draws the same sentence as armed robbery,” Brown said Thursday, “and that should not be.” Brown, joined by a panel of Marion County law enforcement personnel at a press conference, said he is confident the bill will pass this legislative session. But because it is rare that a bill passes the first time around, he said, if necessary “we will be back next year.”

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"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.

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