Man held on $150,000 bond for allegedly shooting at 3 people


Fast driving complaint may have sparked incident

BUCKHANNON — An Upshur County man is in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $150,000 bond after allegedly shooting at three people over an argument on Tuesday.

Samuel Edward Tenney, 39, of Tallmansville, was arrested for three counts of wanton endangerment with a firearm, a felony. On Tuesday, Deputy Tyler Gordon of the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call regarding a shooting incident that had taken place. The victim, Mary Spencer, advised Gordon that Tenney had allegedly fired a shot at herself, her husband Robert Spencer and her brother Marvin McIe, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office.

Tenney told the officer that there was an argument about McIe driving too fast on the road, but said he did not shoot a gun because he didn’t have any guns. Tenney then allegedly admitted there was a gun in his residence earlier in the day.

Gordon found two 12-gauge cartridges in the roadway in the general vicinity from which the victims stated the shots were fired. Gordon also found a firearm inside a locked Ford Explorer in the yard. Tenney advised Gordon where to find the keys to unlock the vehicle, and Gordon found another live shotgun shell identical to what was found in the roadway near the vehicle keys.

If convicted, Tenney faces confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than five years, or, in the discretion of the court, confinement in jail for up to one year and/or a fine of $250 to $2,500 on each count.

In a separate case, Anthonie Neil Ballheim, 19, of Elkins, was arrested for DUI first offense — narcotics, joyriding, contributing to delinquency of minor, no operators and DUI child endangerment, all misdemeanors.

On Tuesday, June 19, Gordon observed a blue Kia sedan traveling west on Route 33 at 50 mph in a 65 mph zone. The Kia was weaving in the left hand lane, according to the criminal complaint. After Gordon initiated a traffic stop, the driver, Ballheim, pulled over into the median with the vehicle partially in the road and Gordon asked Ballheim to pull to the right, completely off the road. Ballheim allegedly had dilated pupils, glassy eyes, droopy eyelids and a raspy voice, appeared confused and presented a blank stare to Gordon when asked simple questions about ID and who was in the vehicle.

However, Ballheim allegedly gave verbal consent to search the vehicle, and Gordon discovered a small amount of a substance that field tested positive for marijuana, the butt of a joint, according to the complaint. Ballheim and the juvenile passengers allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana about an hour earlier. Ballheim indicated impairment on the field sobriety tests. A 13-year-old, 15-year-old, 17-year-old and 14-year-old were all passengers in the vehicle. The Ballheim’s mother said her son was supposed to take the vehicle to the store and have it back to her the prior evening.

Coffman set bond at $20,500.

If convicted, Ballheim faces two days to 12 months in jail and a fine of $200 to $1,000 for DUI child endangerment, up to six months confinement and a fine of $100 to $500 for DUI first offense narcotics, up to six months in jail and/or up to a $500 fine for joyriding, up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $50 to $500 for contributing to delinquency of a minor and up to a $100 fine for no operators.

In another case, Dale Ryan Metz, 28, of Clarksburg, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance — meth, possession of a controlled substance — marijuana, and no insurance, all misdemeanors.

On June 20, Patrolman Tanner Collins and Sgt. Tom Posey with the Buckhannon Police Department located a maroon Hyundai after a Be on the Lookout notice was issued for a possible impaired driver, according to the criminal complaint. The driver, Metz, was allegedly driving 50 mph in a 65 mph zone and crossing the white line of Route 33. Metz allegedly admitted to drug usage and that he had marijuana in his sock and a needle in the vehicle.

Inside the vehicle was a black case with black marijuana and two small white crystal-like rocks, later said to be meth, two smoking devices and one small bag of marijuana.

Coffman set bond at $15,000.

If convicted, Metz faces confinement in jail for three to six months and/or a fine of not more than $1,000 on each possession count and a fine of $200 to $5,000 and/or confinement in jail for 15 days to one year for having no insurance.

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