Dill not guilty on all counts
A Jefferson County jury last week found Victor W. Dill of Berkeley Springs not guilty of all counts against him in a complicated fraud case that has dragged on for years.
The not-guilty verdict on seven felony charges and five misdemeanors was returned on Thursday, July 12, in Jefferson County Circuit Court, following a trial that began on Monday, July 9. Three other charges were dismissed by Special Judge Donald Hott on the first day of the trial.
Dill, 57, was originally indicted in Morgan County in 2004 on charges that included obtaining property and money by false pretense, engaging in a fraudulent scheme, forgery and grand larceny. The original indictment was dropped and brought again in 2006.
The accusations grew out of events in 2003 and mostly involved business dealings between Dill and Lawrence Miller, owner of Lawrence Miller Excavating. Miller claimed that Dill had charged supplies and repairs to his accounts, and accepted checks that were meant for him.
Dill, however, maintained that he had a business association with Miller, and the Jefferson County jury found Dill not guilty in each of the specific charges.
After the verdict, defense attorney Paul Lane of Mar-
tinsburg called it "a com-
plete exoneration" of Dill's actions.
The Morgan Messenger attempted to contact Attorney Lane for fuller comment on Monday, but Lane was hospitalized in Hagerstown with serious injuries that he received in a motorcycle accident near Williamsport, Md. on Sunday, July 15. A staff member said it could be 6-to-8 weeks before he might return to the office.
The trial was moved to
Jefferson County because Lawrence Miller is the father of Morgan County Magistrate Greg Miller. Due to Magistrate Miller's working associations with judges and prosecutors, a special judge and prosecutor were named.
The case was eventually assigned to Judge Hott of Hampshire County, who came out of retirement to hear it.
The special prosecutor was originally Gina Groh, causing a further delay in the trial
date when Governor Manchin appointed Groh to a new cir-
cuit judgeship in January.
Judge Groh now presides in Morgan County. Special
Prosecutor Brandy Sims
presented the state's case last week.