Criminal Justice

Justice Scales and books and wooden gavel

WV resident charged with fraudulently becoming U.S. citizen; allegedly failed to disclose role in abuse of prisoners 

BY: - December 1, 2023

A West Virginia resident from Bosnia and Herzegovina was arrested in Morgantown on Thursday and charged with lying to authorities in order to become a U.S. citizen more than 10 years ago. According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Nada Radovan Tomanic, 51, is charged with two counts of unlawful procurement of […]

Six correctional officers from Southern Regional Jail charged in relation to inmate’s death 

BY: - November 30, 2023

Six more former Southern Regional Jail correctional officers are facing federal charges for an assault that led to the death of a man there last year.  A grand jury on Thursday indicted Mark Holdren, 39; Cory Snyder, 29; Johnathan Walters, 35; Jacob Boothe, 25;  Ashley Toney, 23 and Chad Lester, 33, on federal charges related […]

Cash bail policies are under fresh scrutiny

BY: - November 24, 2023

States can’t figure out what to do about cash bail. The system — in which an arrested suspect pays cash to avoid sitting in jail until their court date and gets the money back when they appear — is deeply entrenched in the nation’s history as a way to ensure defendants return to face justice. […]

Democrats urge feds to update banking ‘red flags’ on legal marijuana businesses

BY: - November 17, 2023

The federal government unfairly penalizes state-legal marijuana businesses whose owners have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes, restricting them from loans and other banking tools, a group of U.S. Senate and House Democrats wrote to the Treasury Department asking for a change in policy. The group of 20 lawmakers, who mostly represent states where recreational marijuana […]

Multiple employees at a state-run hospital have been charged with crimes this year

BY: - November 15, 2023

Standing before lawmakers, the state’s new secretary of health facilities fielded a question about the latest employee issue at William R. Sharpe Jr., Hospital: a nurse had been arrested last week and charged with murder for an incident that didn’t occur at the facility.  “Sharpe seems to be in the news all the time,” Secretary […]

Settlement in jail lawsuit would pay some inmates who lived in alleged ‘inhumane conditions’

BY: and - November 9, 2023

Current and former inmates at Southern Regional Jail could receive $4 million under a proposed settlement that would tie up a lawsuit over inhumane conditions at the facility. The proposed agreement was laid out before a federal judge on Thursday in Beckley, West Virginia. The class-action lawsuit, filed in 2022, said that inmates were denied […]

A sign for Southern Regional Jail in Beaver, W.Va.

Justice finally facing some accountability for lack of action on jails and prisons

BY: - November 9, 2023

Back in August, as the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation was in the headlines yet again for the horrid conditions that both incarcerated people and correctional staff are exposed to on a daily basis — this time because of a new lawsuit — Gov. Jim Justice passed the ball at a press conference […]

State fires Sharpe contract nurse charged with murder in unrelated incident 

BY: - November 8, 2023

The state Department of Health and Human Resources says it has fired a contract nurse for William R. Sharpe Jr., Hospital who was arrested and charged with murder in an incident unrelated to the Weston psychiatric facility.  Tamra Jo Garvin, 51, was booked into Central Regional Jail in Braxton County at 6 p.m. Tuesday, according […]

Possible settlement reached in lawsuit over Southern Regional Jail conditions 

BY: - November 7, 2023

A proposed settlement has been reached between some parties in a lawsuit alleging inhumane conditions at a Raleigh County jail. The plaintiffs, inmates at Southern Regional Jail, and state defendants  — former Division of Corrections Commissioner Betsy Jividen; former Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Sandy; former interim corrections commissioner Brad Douglas; current Corrections Commissioner William Marshall […]

Two correctional officers plead guilty to conspiracy for assault that led to inmate’s death 

BY: - November 3, 2023

Two former correctional officers admitted their roles in assaulting a Southern Regional Jail inmate who died last year as a result.  Steven Nicholas Wimmer and Andrew Fleshman both pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of conspiring with other officers to use unreasonable force against the inmate,  identified in court documents as Q.B., a 37-year-old pre-trial […]

Emails still missing from former Justice admins in lawsuits over jail, foster care conditions 

BY: - November 3, 2023

On Wednesday evening, Gov. Jim Justice’s administration announced that missing evidence in a class-action lawsuit against state officials over poor conditions at a jail had been located — it was there the whole time, they said. The revelation — which resulted in the firings of two top Department of Homeland Security employees — came after […]

Magistrate recommends judge approve summary judgment in state jails lawsuit

BY: - October 31, 2023

Finding that defendants intentionally destroyed evidence, a federal magistrate has recommended a judge grant a request for summary judgment by plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against a West Virginia jail.  U.S. Magistrate Omar Aboulhosn entered the order Monday. The lawsuit was filed in September 2022 by Michael Rose and Edward Harmon, who have been incarcerated […]