Multiple counts heard in magistrate court


BUCKHANNON—Joseph Ryan Lane, 29, Crawford, was charged with the felony offense of driving while license revoked for DUI 3rd offense and the misdemeanor offense of no insurance.  According to the magistrate court criminal complaint, Deputy W. T. Chidester initiated a traffic stop on Feb. 17, 2019 at the Health Clinic in Rock Cave, for the maroon Ford Taurus driven by Lane having no inspection sticker. When the officer made contact with Lane, he advised that he had a suspended driving license and failed to carry insurance on the vehicle. The officer checked the information through Upshur County 911 and was told that Lane’s license was revoked for DUI with two prior convictions on Jan. 18, 2013 and Dec. 7, 2015.  Bail was set for the total amount of $12,500, with $7,500 as cash/surety and $5,000 personal recognizance.  Lane posted bail and was accordingly released from custody on Feb. 19, 2019.  He will be notified of further proceedings at a later date.

Franklin Lee Tefft, 42, Buckhannon, was charged with the misdemeanor offense of possession of methamphetamine.  According to the criminal complaint, Deputy W. T. Chidester initiated a traffic stop on Aug. 12, 2018.  The Hyundai Tiberon was stopped for defective equipment on Route 20 South in Upshur County.  During the traffic stop, Deputy T. A. Gordon asked the defendant, Franklin Tefft, for permission to search the vehicle.  According to the report, upon searching the vehicle, Deputy Gordon located a bag with a crystal like substance, believed to be methamphetamine in the vehicle.  A warrant for the defendant’s arrest was issued on Jan. 17, 2019.  On Feb. 17, 2019 Tefft appeared in magistrate court where bail was set in the amount of $2,000 cash or surety along with $3,000 personal recognizance.

Justin Christopher Stevens, 31, Buckhannon, was charged with the misdemeanor offense of obstructing an officer.  According to the Upshur County Magistrate Court criminal complaint, Deputy T. A. Gordon observed a Chevy Lumina pulling into Christine’s Hotspot lounge on Feb. 18, 2019.  Upon a registration check, the officer was advised the vehicle’s registration expired Mar. 1, 2018.  The report stated the officer observed the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed entering U.S. Rt. 33 westbound.  Deputy Gordon finally caught up to the vehicle on Cottonwood Drive, where he pulled into his son’s residence, belonging to the defendant, Justin C. Stevens. The driver was identified as Clarance Collins and according to the report, he told the officer he desperately needed to use the restroom.  The officer allowed Mr. Collins to do so. The criminal complaint stated Stevens was hesitant to open the door for his own father, and when he did open the door, the officer detected the strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the residence.  When asked, Stevens avoided questioning regarding marijuana.  The report says the officer ordered the defendant to step off the elevated porch, which he refused.  The officer then commanded the defendant to place his hands behind his back and he again refused.  The officer then attempted to forcibly place the defendant in handcuffs unsuccessfully, at which time assistance was requested from Buckhannon PD.  The defendant was forcibly placed in handcuffs at that time and the officer observed a joint of marijuana in the ashtray in the living room.  According to the report, the defendant stated he would give the officer the small amount of marijuana in order to not go to jail but denied consent for officers to search the residence.  Stevens was transported to Tygart Valley Regional Jail, and was subsequently released on $5,000 bail, posted by Walton’s Bonding on Feb. 18, 2019. 

John Daniel Nepean, 32, of Bagley, MN, was arrested for the misdemeanor offense of DUI 1st offense, BAC greater than .150.  According to the criminal complaint, Deputy T. A. Gordon observed a gold van and white Ford F350 truck traveling westbound together on the Old Weston Rd in Buckhannon, on Feb. 19, 2019.  The officer said he observed the pickup cross both the center double line and the white fog line.  The van behind the truck also crossed the center double line and was erratic in the turn signal use while following too closely to the suspect vehicle.  Deputy Gordon initiated a traffic stop on both of the vehicles and identified the defendant, John D. Nepean, as the driver of the Ford truck.  The officer reported the detection of the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the defendant’s person, in addition to slurred speech and red watery eyes.  Deputy Gordon administered three standard field sobriety tests, in which the defendant showed numerous signs of impairment.  The criminal complaint said the defendant failed a preliminary breath test and participated in a secondary breath test, resulting in a BAC of 0.183.  Bail was set in the amount of $5,000 cash or surety.

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