BUCKHANNON — Kenneth William Thompson Jr. entered a plea agreement Thursday morning, March 3, for multiple charges dating back to 2018. Judge Jake E. Reger presided over the hearing, with Brian S. Hinkle acting as prosecuting attorney and G. Phillip Davis for the defense.
During the hearing, it was noted that Thompson completed two rounds of competency restoration. According to the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, competency restoration is the process used when an individual charged with a crime is found by a court to be incompetent to stand trial, typically due to an active mental illness or an intellectual disability. A criminal defendant must be restored to competency before the legal process can continue.
Judge Reger educated Thompson on every aspect of the plea process, including that, as part of the plea agreement, Thompson would be waiving his right to a trial by jury. Thompson acknowledged he understood all information provided to him by both Judge Reger and Davis.
Per the plea agreement submitted to the court, Thompson would plead guilty to one count of sexual abuse in the first degree and two counts of sexual assault in the third degree. Thompson agreed to continue with the plea agreement and that the information would be recorded by factual basis, meaning the defendant was required to give Judge Reger a factual account of his actions.
Following the verbal guilty plea, Thompson also had to write his plea, since it is a felony offense. Judge Reger reported that Thompson’s bond was then revoked and he will remain at Tygart Valley Regional Jail until his final sentencing. Per the agreement, the defendant will have a pre-sentencing investigation performed, as well as a sex offender evaluation completed by a psychologist. Thompson is currently scheduled for sentencing on Wednesday June 8, 2022 at 10 a.m.