Sheriff pushes for more courthouse security after knife found in backpack

Man faces deadly weapon misdemeanor

BUCKHANNON — An Upshur County man who followed his wife into the Upshur County Courthouse Monday after a domestic situation was discovered with a 12-inch knife in his backpack.

Ethan C. Goldsborough, 26, of Buckhannon was arrested for possessing a deadly weapon on the premises of a courthouse, a misdemeanor.

Goldsbourgh and his wife had been arguing outside of the courthouse and deputies became aware of it and went to assist, according to sheriff David Coffman.

“She was escorted in to go before the magistrate and possibly get a domestic violence petition,” Coffman said. “While she was upstairs, he suddenly appeared in the magistrate’s waiting room outside their office.”

It was found that Goldsborough had an active capias out of Harrison County and he was immediately taken into custody, according to Coffman.

Goldsbourgh had a black drawstring backpack in his possession.

“Once he was taken into custody, the backpack was opened and there was the large knife,” Coffman said.

The knife was a Schrade knife approximately 12 inches in length, which is above the 3 ½ inch stipulation (unless hunting or fishing) for a concealed weapon.

Although the knife was discovered and nothing happened, Coffman feels this illustrates the need for enhanced courthouse security.

“It’s just something that could have been very ugly,” he said. “We were very fortunate that nothing happened.”

“This is why we are working with the Upshur County Commission to enhance our courthouse security. Today marks the first steps of making this happen.”

Two recent hires for court security, Jim Vance and Doug White, will be working part-time in phase one of the courthouse security plan for magistrate court.

“From now until next July, these two officers will be working mostly in magistrate court in court security,” Coffman said. “Next July, we hope to bring these two employees downstairs and hire additional employees to man an entrance with a walk-through metal detector.”

Those measures could help prevent what happened Monday from happening again.

“The knife could have been discovered at the front door instead of the magistrate court,” Coffman said. “It should never have gotten to the second floor.”

Magistrate Mike Coffman set bond at $25,000 cash only, but Goldsbourgh has requested a bond reduction.

If convicted, Goldsborough faces a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail.

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