Morgan County Circuit Judge Debra McLaughlin accepted pleas and delivered sentences in multiple criminal cases during open hearings at the Morgan County courthouse recently.
Jared A. Cubbage, 24, of Hancock was sentenced to 1-5 years in prison after pleading guilty to making threats of terroristic acts. Cubbage made the plea as part of a plea agreement in Morgan County Circuit Court earlier this month. Prison time for Cubbage was suspended for three years probation and court-ordered treatment.
William E. Joseph, 56, of Paw Paw was sentenced to prison for arson and submitting a fraudulent insurance claim. Judge McLaughlin sentenced Joseph to 1-5 years for felony arson, 1-10 years in prison
for making a fraudulent insurance claim. The fraud sentence will be served concurrent to four years of the arson sentence. All prison time was suspended for seven years probation. Joseph must also pay $6,324 in restitution. He pled no contest to the charges.
Kenneth E. Merchant II, 37, of Berkeley Springs was sentenced to 1-5 years in prison after pleading no contest to strangulation. Merchant also pled guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery and fleeing from police on foot. He was sentenced to one year in jail for each of those lesser charges, to be served concurrently. Merchant’s felony sentence will be served back to back with the misdemeanor sentences.
David E. Sanner, 21, of Garrett, Pa. was sentenced to 1-5 years in prison after being convicted of felony harassment. He must pay a $3,000 fine and a lifetime protective order on behalf of his victim is in effect. Sanner violated a previous protective order that was in place, and police found he had dialed the phone number of his victim more than 50 times after a court hearing related to the protective order.
Levi N. Swaim, 25, of Berkeley Springs was sentenced to 1-5 years in prison after pleading guilty to gross child neglect creating a risk of serious bodily injury. Prison time will be suspended for five years probation and enrollment in Adult Drug Court. Swaim was found passed out in his vehicle with a toddler in a car seat in the back.
Francis L. Belt III, 37, of Berkeley Springs was sentenced to three months in jail after pleading no contest to misdemeanor child neglect creating a risk of bodily injury. Belt’s jail time will be served after his sentence in another felony case is finished.
Nathan Watson, 29, was sentenced to one year in prison for violating the terms of his extended release for a 2016 felony child neglect charge. Watson’s sentence will run consecutive to a sentence in an Hampshire County case, and he will be on five years supervised release following his prison term.