Category: Bad Cops and corrupt public officials in Gilmer County WV

The Free Press WV

To: Gilmer Free Press

From: John M. Richards

RE: State of WV vs. John M. Richards and David Carl Wine Case(s) 13-F-7&9

Charges dismissed this morning November 10th, 2015 in two Ritchie County Felony Court Case(s) regarding Harrisville State Police B&E…

I am contacting you regarding a possible story regarding a systematic problem by the Ritchie County Prosecutors Office and Harrisville State Police conspiring to commit perjury and present other forms of false information to grand jury proceedings to gain wrongful indictments. This happen in at least two cases I know about, one being State vs. David Peter Weekley and the other case is mine and co-defendant David Carl Wine. I have a copy of a Legal Brief in David Weekley’s case which was prepared by a Ritchie County Attorney which outlines various forms of outrageous misconduct and grand jury perjury. Mr. Weekley’s original indictment was dismissed pursuant to perjury presented to the grand jury by Trooper Jason L. Brewer. After the first indictment was dismissed and a second indictment was secured a subsequent trial followed and heard evidence against Mr. Weekley where as you know Mr. Weekley was found not guilty of all charges.

In mine and Mr. Wine’s case, I prepared a Motion which I filed on November 6, 2015 with the Circuit Court of Ritchie County to Dismiss the Indictment because of misconduct by Ritchie County Prosecutor Steven A. Jones and Trooper Clinton Edward Boring, who is Harrisville State Police Commander.

Mr. Wine and I, John Richards were wrongfully arrested and indicted for burglarizing the State Police Evidence Room at the Harrisville Detachment. The Motion I filed on November 6th, 2015 to Dismiss the Indictment is based on incomplete discovery provided by the Prosecutor’s Office and facts of perjury presented to the grand jury, which said perjury was intentionally and willingly presented to gain an indictment in the case and there was a boat load of perjury presented by Prosecutor Jones and Trooper C. E. Boring.

The prosecutor was withholding the discovery information in an attempt to conceal the criminal misconduct committed by himself and Trooper C. E. Boring. Once I received the grand jury transcripts and read them, it became clear why both men, Jones and Boring were trying to conceal the discovery as it shows clear evidence of criminal misconduct by the duo.

My Motion to Dismiss the Indictment contains exhibits A thru H which are grand jury transcripts so my argument can easily be backed up with transcripts, and two statement, one coerced statement by Mr. William Willis Estep II who is the sole perpetrator of the State Police Break-in, and a statement by another State Witness, Ms. Kim Jacobs who Trooper Boring also gave misleading testimony to the grand jury of the actual content of Ms. Jacobs written and audio statement. Trooper Boring gave several false statement to the grand jury regarding Mr. Estep’s written and audio Statement, which I have outlined Trooper Boring’s false testimony to the grand jury, versus the actual content of Mr. Estep’s statement.

Trooper Jason L. Brewer, committed misconduct much like he did in the David Weekley case, but Trooper Brewer went further with coercing Mr. Estep to blame or included myself and Mr. Wine with his very own personal one man crime spree. Lots of misconduct occurred with the questioning of Mr. Estep for nearly 3 hours without Maranda warning as is shown with hidden video surveillance where Mr. Estep was held and question in contrast with the time and date Mr. Estep signed a Maranda Form. Police completed and filed their Report before they knew it was all caught on video footage. Biggest problem I have am having is I can’t get an attorney to file anything that shows misconduct on the prosecutor or State Police. I have received the following remark by one attorney: “you just don’t file on their misconduct, its bad business”… My current Attorney who I paid $5,000 said “they are going to dismiss the case, just trust me on this.” One other attorney when trying to get discovery said “why won’t’ they provide the discovery.” When I received the grand jury transcript back in March, it became clear why they were concealing the discovery as it was evidence of their criminal activity.

I have information and evidence copied and in a binder regarding the Motion and Exhibits outlining the misconduct ready to provide a reporter willing to review it. Or I could have the local Office Max fax any copies that would be needed for a story.

By the way I prepared this article yesterday evening, and found out from my Attorney George J. Cosenza that all charges were dismissed this morning (November 10, 2015).

Prosecutor Steven A. Jones was recused from the case pursuant to complaints I filed against him with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) Four (4) complaints in all for what I felt was violations of the rules of professional conduct by Prosecutor Steven A. Jones in the case.

The Judge who I also filed Two (2) complaints against during the case, was Timothy L. Sweeney and he made a request to the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute requesting a special prosecutor to handle the case. What bothers me about the Judges requests, is his reason for the request, in that the Judge made a statement which was arbitrary and capricious where he made a statement or judgement that I had lied about the prosecutor and a police officer which was totally untrue, as I was presenting information to the ODC of documented facts, that proved Jones and Trooper Boring lied to the grand jury and were intentionally denying discovery for their own self-preservation (so they would not be found out). I feel I offered all complaints to the ODC in a respectful manner and without being bias regarding my view of the misconduct by the officials.
My statement regarding the case is:

“The West Virginia State Police Organization has a lot of outstanding Police Officers who are loaded with professionalism and integrity. I live in Wood County and I have met several professional State Police Officers. However, when an organization as large as the WVSP is forced to allow unfit officers to slither through the screening process due to a low turnout of applicants the Organization suffers as well as the Public. State Government need to greatly improve the salary and benefits of the Men and Women who are the backbone of Law Enforcement (The West Virginia State Trooper).” – – Johnny Richards

The turning point in the case was when the Prosecutor’s Institute appointed a special prosecutor to handle the case. The Pleasants County Prosecutor’s Office was appointed and Prosecutor, Carl P. Bryant and his Assistant, M. Paul Marteney took over the case. Mr. Bryant, and Mr. Marteney with over 50 combined years of experience and a true drive to uphold the integrity of the profession dismissed the case.

“Carl P. Bryant and M. Paul Marteney are known by their colleagues to share a personal and high standard of integrity and ethics.” – – Johnny Richards

GILMER FREE PRESS REPORTS the REAL TRUTH on the POLICE RAID in LINN WV  Wednesday February 11th as they present….

This is an encore presentation of one of the highest rated Gilmer Free Press articles authored by a leading member of the Council of Concerned Citizens for Central West Virginia — which is being presented in a timely manner — in celebration of the fact that the Gilmer County Commission disapproved the final settlement of the Cottrill Estate based on a questionable final accounting presented by executor Mike Murphy — that did not include the sale of 36 acres of the Cottrill Estate. The Final Accounting and settlement of the Cottrill Estate contained no details or mention of the sale other than the fact the land that was sold was appraised for 166,000 dollars.

The alleged sale was final before the estate was closed, since the fact of the matter is that the Cottrill Estate in still not closed coming up on five years of the anniversary of the death of Willard Cottrill which is the 20th of October 2010. Rumor has it, that the powers that be in Glenville feel now the sale of the Cottrill Estate property to Richard Neal (hereby known as the GOATMAN  to locals) has been fraudulent,  and the ruling of Judge Alsop was misinterpreted, for the judge did not give the heirs to the estate permission to sell the share belonging to the oldest daughter, and allegedly, Mark Cottrill, Venita Cottrill and Alan Cottrill sold their shares and that of their sister to Richard Neal for $25,000 and a 1968 Camaro. No paper work regarding the car appeared in the final accounting which the RGW website has studied thoroughly. This RGW reporter, Editor Edison, heard it through the grape vine that the property would be yanked out of the hands of Richard Neal by the people who are really running the show down in Gilmer County. Also Laura Cottrill will be going on trial on Tuesday, October the 27th and will be looking at Prison time for her part in the criminal activities performed by her boyfriend Jeremy Askew (who recently pled guilty to charges in Gilmer County), and those of his associate Tommy Shaw. Shaw and Askew both threatened Ruth Mitchell while they were staying at the estate in such a way as to consider the matter of them holding Ruth Mitchell hostage in her own home.

Because of ALL of these latest changes in the situation concerning the Cottrill Estate — for review of the facts — let me please present this fine article first published by the Gilmer Free Press… 

        Cops Cops Tramps and Thieves, INVADE the Linn WV HOME of Ruth Mitchell!!

The Gilmer Free PressThe Cottrill Estate Debacle has been in the news both in print media and on the pages of the voice of the people, the Gilmer Free Press, for years now in Central West Virginia. Many people are familiar with the ongoing court battles, but the most recent MAJOR battle was WON by Ruth Mitchell, the live in companion to Willard Cottrill on 18 October 2013 in the West Virginia Supreme Court by a vote of 4 to 1.

In the ruling Ruth Mitchell is allowed to live in her home that she lived in with Willard Cottrill rent free for as long as she shall choose to live there, but the exact wording from the West Virginia Supreme Court is even more specific.

The Supreme Court document and ruling states further, that the matter of Ruth Mitchell living in the home she shared with Willard Cottrill should be rendered void should she at any time choose or need to live elsewhere.

The Gilmer Free Press
The residence with the carport where Ruth Mitchell resides
on the Cottrill estate property, which is close to 44 acres total.

There has been a long continuing dispute going among Cottrill family members of whether Ruth Mitchell should be allowed to stay in the residence, but the 4 to 1 Supreme Court decision put a stop to those debates. Those opposing family members which included Venita Cottrill-Murphy and her husband Mike Murphy appealed the Supreme Court decision (which is almost always a futile effort,) however they would not give up the legal battle—And then, after the decision allegedly sold the property to Richard Neal for $23,000 cash and a 1968 Camaro totalling to $40,000, when the property was once appraised at over 200,000 dollars.

After the Supreme Court decision, tempers flared and threats were made to burn Ruth Mitchell out of the residence if she did not leave on her own, and Richard Neal who the Gilmer County Commission let take possession of one or two of the homes on the property without a proper deed, shot one of Ruth Mitchells dogs and the local Sheriff did not even speak to Mr. Neal about the murder of the animal. Neal was never arrested for animal cruelty. Neal continued to make threats and threaten other members of the Cottrill family when they came to visit Ruth Mitchell.

There were more court proceedings in Gilmer County Magistrate Court where the matter of the sale of property to Richard Neal was challenged, along with his permission to live on the property without a deed, and without the estate being settled since the Willard Cottrill estate has not been closed officially. No accounting of the estate has ever been done.

The Gilmer Free Press
This is the 68 Camaro that was traded with $25,000 Cash for what
Richard Neal says is for all 44 some odd acres
of the Cottrill Estate but NEAL has NO DEED.

Linda Huff the current fiduciary commissioner originally turned down the job saying the estate was a mess and there were too many discrepancies. But, now Mr. Chapman the President of the Gilmer County Commission has assigned Linda Huff to be the current fiduciary commissioner. The estate accounting is still in limbo and remains NOT CLOSED, while the bond by Mike Murphy the executor of the Cottrill estate may have to cover lost funds that are said to be missing from the estate accounting, but that matter still has not been confirmed.

Given all of this information it may come as no surprise that the home of Ruth Mitchell was raided by the appearance of no less than NINE PATROL cars, both from the State Police and the Gilmer County Sheriff’s office on Wednesday 11 February 2015!!

Was this an attempt for the executor Mike Murphy and Venita Cottrill to circumvent that 4 to 1 Supreme Court Ruling and take the law into their own hands?

Does the raid of nine patrol cars resulting in RUTH MITCHELL being removed from her home a direct result of the fact that Ruth Mitchell recently filed a complaint of murder against Venita Cottrill and Freda Cottrill? Are the raid and threats and removal from her home a way to SHUT RUTH MITCHELL UP about being an EYE WITNESS to murder?

The Gilmer Free Press
Richard Neal is pictured moving in an aggressive and threatening way
toward a visiting member of the Cottrill family and is flipping her off
as she attempts to visit Ruth Mitchell under a hostile environment
created by the opposing members of the Cottrill family that lost in Supreme Court.

The STORY BEHIND the RAID of the HOME of RUTH MITCHELL – How it all came about…

Laura Cottrill is a cousin to Venita Cottrill-Murphy the person who allegedly administered a lethal dose of morphine mixed with other drugs that led to the death of Willard Cottrill on October the 20th 2010. Laura Cottrill and her boyfriend Jeremy Askew had been staying with Ruth at the Cottrill estate. Ruth Mitchell recently filed a police report with Deputy Wheeler and reported she was an eyewitness to a murder; somehow the police raid is not a complete surprise knowing that fact.

We have spoken with Laura Cottrill on three occasions in the last two days in order to ascertain the facts of this report. We also talked with Sgt Smith of the State Police, an officer I trust and respect. I spoke with June B the health care provider for Ruth Mitchell that was present at the scene during time of the POLICE RAID in LINN.

June is a very fine person who takes her job seriously who says she works for an organization called the Gilmer Senior Citizens which is a entity funded by Medicaid. June explained that members of the Senior Center that included a nurse named Jennifer and a Lewis County social worker by the name of Luella Blake were present the afternoon of 11 February 2015.

June, further explained, she was present when Ruth Mitchell reported to elected Sheriff Larry Gerwig that she found needles in a room where Laura and her boyfriend Jeremy stayed. Sheriff told Mitchell very emphatically to, “Deal with it!”

The representatives of the senior center were there at the house that was raided last Wednesday to hear Ruth’s complaints and inspect the room where the needles were found.

It has been determined that it was possibly the SENIOR CENTER staff that brought the cops on Wednesday 11 February to the home of Ruth Mitchell after the complaint was made and the needles were discovered!!

Unfortunately, all the facts that the Gilmer County Senior Center shared with the police were false, all lies, and you can bet they think they have enough local political power to get away with this criminal act.

The Senior center nurse Jennifer Short and a LESS THAN SINCERE Social Worker– Luella Blake from Lewis County — most likely told the police about the needles Ruth discovered in the spare bedroom – and mentioned the SMELL in that back bedroom, but then DID NOT give law enforcement anything close to an accurate assessment of the situation.

The smell was described as mostly Body Oder according to June B. Ruth said it was the smell of SEX, but both assured there was NO METH LAB in that room at Noon on Wednesday, and then, a few hours later the cops were there shutting up the house and ordering people to stay put, then ordering them to all leave the premises.

Laura Cottrill called while interviewing June B and wanted to talk.  She called on the cell phone, while I was talking to June on the land line, so June heard some of the communication with Laura. I asked Laura to contact the police and please let them know the truth, that there was no meth lab in the house. In the conversation with Laura the day before, she confided in and said that the needles found were used to shoot morphine and they belonged to her boyfriend Jeremy.

So, now we know from the horse’s mouth so to speak, that the needles had not one thing to do with meth and witnesses that included the Senior Center representatives only discovered two needles and a bad odor that was more relatable to a Body Odor stink than a meth lab stink, was not reason enough to force and old woman with a disability out of her home in the middle of winter.

Witnesses on the scene of the Police Raid said that Gilmer County Sheriff’s Deputy Casey Jones was first to approach Ruth Mitchell and Jones stated something to the effect of, “You work with us and tell us the truth, and you can stay in your house…”  Then, they ask if Matt Montgomery who is often on the property was doing Meth up there with his brother and Ruth answered, “NO. Matt has never done Meth!” Then Deputy Jones asked about other people but did not seem to know the exact names of the actual suspects he was looking for.

To clear up this whole mystery I was just contacted by a person that was there and present last week when Jeremy Askew along with a person identified as Thomas Shaw purchased a hose from Advance Auto supply in Gilmer County last Wednesday the 11th, and more meth making supplies were purchased from the Hardware store located right there in the same parking lot. This person also informed me that cold pills were also purchased from the local pharmacy and that a meth cook was performed on or near the Cottrill property out away from the house without the knowledge of Ruth Mitchell. This person said they were very sorry about getting Ruth removed from her house and just now their selves got the guilty parties to admit purchasing meth making products locally, and then going out to the holler in LINN to make some shake and bake meth.

The Gilmer Free Press
Laura Cottrill may find herself between a ROCK and a HARD PLACE
now that the residence she was staying in was raided and the police
would like to have a word with her about a meth cook and
the activities of herself and boyfriend Jeremy Askew!

In addition, this person also admitted that Jeremy Askew had some antique old Jewelry that he sold to a store in New York and received in the mail a cashier’s check for $250.00. This person admitted that this jewelry could have been stolen from Logan County. The proceeds were very possibly used to purchase the meth making materials. Sheriff Deputy Casey Jones found some of this jewelry during the raid and removed it from the house.

Therefore one alleged crime had to happen for another alleged crime to occur, because this informant admitted they were previously very low on funds and had no place to stay or go—And that this person acting now as a confidential informant fully admitted to taking advantage of the big heart and well meaning ways of Ruth Mitchell who had no idea what these criminal suspects were fully involved in.

So, on behalf of the local police it appears that they were right on the tails of Jeremy Askew and Thomas Shaw after being tipped off that they were buying meth making materials in town and most likely had a description of the vehicle used when purchasing these materials.

By all calculations when the police raided the home of Ruth Mitchell the police were very possibly no more than 20 minutes behind the alleged suspects that allegedly cooked a batch of meth near the Cottrill home of Ruth Mitchell.

As an investigative reporter the most important aspect of your job is to ascertain all the facts and then put them together in some kind of order that is a possible believable solution to the answers of what actually happened during a crime that is being investigated.

This investigative reporter was extremely lucky to reach people that were on the scene and were an eye witness to this event.

Surprisingly to me, this may be an incident in Gilmer County in which all the law enforcement agencies banned together in a cohesive unit to go out in search of the bad guys, and further, that they knew their time was limited to catch the drug making criminals.

After all these facts have been revealed to the public, as well as law enforcement via the FREE PRESS here in Gilmer County let us all hope we have acted in the cause of justice to make this area a safer and more comfortable place to live for all of us.

Please support us at the Gilmer Free Press in our effort to get the EPA out to inspect the home of Ruth Mitchell.

As a community let us all try to help Ruth Mitchell financially if we can, so to get her and her pets back in her home safe and as soon as possible.

~~  Author on File ~~

Cops Cops tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town

Down in Crooked County home of the CROOKED COUNTY CROOKS
They’d call us Cops Cops , tramps, and thieves

The Gilmer Free Press  

You better catch yer own train bitches!

I wish I was strong (now it won’t be long)
Would’ve known from the start
Instead of waiting so long
To reveal what’s behind
But there’s no use in talking
You made up your mind…

Baby you and I, (are not the same)
You say you like sun (I like the rain)
So before we go through it all again
You better catch yer own train

I wish I was light
I would shine through this tunnel
To the light on the other side
I would brake down this wall
So it could finally see
The truth of it all

UPDATE 22 FEBRUARY 2015 REVENGE of the Ghost Wolf — Bad Weather hits Central WV, and the outlaws of the latest METH COOK from GILMER COUNTY are having FUN and still on the RUN!!

By Dan Bingman

Feb 22 2015

Parts of West Virginia recorded record lows overnight Thursday and into Friday.

The National Weather Service said every single spot in the state of West Virginia was below zero.

Parts of the Mountain State appear to have broken low-temperature records along with some poverty records this winter.

The official Charleston low was minus-17 at the National Weather Service weather station in Southridge.

Other low temperatures recorded around the state include minus-15 in St. Albans, home of the State Police and minus-19 in Madison, minus-23 in Sandyville, Jackson County, and minus-24 in Mount Nebo, Nicholas County which is surprising since the DEVIL himself is known to visit there, and you would think that would heat something up a bit.

Remote hideaway near Mann WV in Logan County where the outlaws do roam - photo by Laura Cottrill

Remote hideaway near Man WV in Logan County where the outlaws do roam – photo by Laura Cottrill

In remote Calhoun, some residents reported a -15 to -18 and just put another log on the fire.

The cold could have been a factor in the deaths of two people in Logan County. Logan County is where Laura Cottrill and her boyfriend Jeremy Askew, the latest to cook up a batch of Meth out there on the Cottrill Estate are a hidin out. (Photo included is of a hideaway up the holler aways in Logan County.)

State Police were called for an unresponsive man. When they arrived, they found Michael Mullins, 35, dead outside near a trailer, frozen and stiff as a board.

While on the scene, police also discovered Ashley Conley, 24, known somewhat there in LOGAN near MAN WV for her constant complaining, but she won’t be complaining much anymore. She was found dead on the ground near the roadway, cold as frozen water and lifeless. (Photo taken in Logan County)

By Editor Edison- CalPatty Press Editor for Revenge of the Ghost Wolf

There have been many questions about the Cottrill Estate and the Final Accounting. This RGW reporter is going to clear up all questions regarding the Final Accounting and report on the current status of the estate. I have spent one dollar a page in American Currency to make sure I have the court documents to relay this story correctly, and in the proper manner that the matter deserves to be reported.

A healthy and younger looking WIllard Cottrill from Linn, WV with Prema... his true heart and long time companion. Willard and Prema were together for about 20 years and his tombstone has their picture, buried together. She suffered long from cancer and his heart was broken when she passed away. After that Willard just wanted to leave the property he had so that his children could enjoy the beautiful acreage in Gilmer County. He wanted to live out his last days in peace, but instead was taken early, murdered, on October the 20th 2010 in Linn, West Virginia by having drugs forced down his mouth.

A healthy and younger looking WIllard Cottrill from Linn, WV with Prema… his true heart and long time companion. Willard and Prema were together for about 20 years and his tombstone has their picture, where they are buried together. She suffered long from cancer and his heart was broken when she passed away. After that Willard just wanted to leave the property he had so that his children could enjoy the beautiful acreage in Gilmer County. He wanted to live out his last days in peace, but instead was taken early, murdered, on October the 20th 2010 in Linn, West Virginia by having drugs forced down his mouth.

My main point of this article up front is to report, that although the Commission was clueless — made obvious by the video of their meeting taped the second of October 2015 — the Commission came to the best decision by NOT APPROVING THE FINAL ACCOUNTING of the Willard Cottrill Estate based upon the recommendations of the Gilmer County Special Fiduciary Commissioner Linda Huff.  Linda Huff made bullet points regarding mistakes made in the final accounting and acts which could be considered illegal, if the matter were to be further investigated. THEN, of course there is the matter of the wrongful death of Willard Cottrill.  Dr Hilary Miller, a local Doctor prescribed a deadly dose of morphine without ever seeing the patient Willard Cottrill, further Willard WAS NOT even her patient at the time.  Outside law enforcement suspects a cover up concerning the Gilmer County Sheriffs office in this regard.

What the commission is discussing is a letter from Judge Alsop requesting that the commission either approve or disapprove the final accounting of the estate so that the estate can be properly probated via the circuit court system in West Virginia.

On this video (above) recorded by the Publisher of the Gilmer Free Press Dave Ramezan, please fast forward into minute four and let roll until about minute twelve, where the motion to NOT APPROVE the final accounting submitted by Mike Murphy the executor of the Cottrill Estate was voted on and passed by unanimous decision.

Only Commissioner Kennedy understood ANY of this process, and saved the day by recommending the commission go along with the suggestions of the fiduciary commissioner Linda Huff. Kennedy also brought attention to the reply by GERALD B HOUGH  to the law suit brought by Mike Murphy the executor of the Cottrill Estate to approve the final accounting that did not include funeral expenses or the sale of 38 of the 42 acres in Linn, WV.






The above PDF files is the REPORT by the Gilmer County Fiduciary Commissioner Linda Huff, who says this accounting is not even close to right and that she cannot accept the final accounting for the fact they used estate money for legal fee’s to fight the WV Supreme Court etc. which is a big no no along with countless other infractions. If a non bias person were to study all the facts of this case it would be easy to come to the conclusion that there was plenty of motive to murder Willard Cottrill for his money and property.

This reporter has been most critical of the actions of Hough in the past, but I am very happy to report that I was impressed with the document Hough authored that was the legitimate reply to the civil action brought by Mike Murphy requesting the final accounting to be accepted and the estate to be closed. The final outcome of this commission meeting of 10/02/2015 is that the final accounting submitted by Mike Murphy WOULD NOT BE ACCEPTED and WOULD NOT BE APPROVED and the estate is not going to be closed due to the fact there are several thousand dollars that were misappropriated, which is putting the matter in a most kind way.

Gerry Hough in fact enters into the discussion and is QUITE DISAPPOINTED in HOW CLUELESS LARRY CHAPMAN PRESIDENT of the Gilmer County Commission really is, Gerry saw for himself that Chapman was ready to rubber stamp and give official approval on the final accounting –because he thought the powers that be wanted him to — which they don’t — and which even HOUGH was shocked at how stupid Larry Chapman was regarding this Cottrill estate accounting. It is evident to see that Gerry Hough got very upset to the point of nearly losing his cool because he himself saw Larry Chapman was another case of the BLIND leading the BLIND.

Gerry Hough is noticeably upset when he figures out Chapman has NO IDEA what anyone is talking about regarding the final accounting of the Willard Cottrill Estate and was going to act in a manner directly opposite of what should be done and the position of legal matters regarding the estate. Gerry Hough is doing his job. Kennedy did his job, but that was about it that day of October the 2nd 2015.
Jean Butcher the Gilmer County Commission Clerk was also CONFUSED as to what exactly was going on and was all for rubber stamping an approval actually, which could be considered a criminal matter when all the facts of this case are revealed.

All the facts have been shared with outside law enforcement, waiting anxiously to see what actions are taken in Gilmer County regarding this estate that comes along with a cold blooded good old fashioned Gilmer County murder.

We are seven days short of the fifth anniversary of the DEATH of WILLARD COTTRILL coming up October 20th. Jean Butcher does not tell the story of events exactly right, which the tape of the Commission meeting accurately demonstrates and was NOT telling the story right with accurate information at the exact wrong time to do so,  just as the commission was about to act on the final accounting officially, as evidenced by watching this video.

“It scares me to think of how easily this all could have gone the other way without the immediate and astute action of Commissioner Kennedy by ascertaining the proper procedure to be immediately acted upon regarding the final accounting of the Cottrill Estate — and then, explaining it to his idiot associates…”

I would be remiss in my reporting of this matter if I did not point out what a disappointment the actions of John Bennett were in the Cottrill Debacle as shown in this video of the meeting.

Bennett was clueless and could make no sense of the judges letter which the commissioners were reading and taking under advisement in an official capacity. In fact John Bennett was so clueless as to look the FOOL!!  

Jean Butcher looked the fool for she is all for letting Mike Murphy off — of the over $300,000.00 bond by approving the final accounting — even though thousands of dollars have been misappropriated. REALLY? What an idiot! Do we need clueless people making big decisions for the county? Election time is coming around next year, so lets not be as foolish as to what we have seen proof of here thanks to this video(above)recorded by the Gilmer Free Press. 

WHAT A FOOLS BELIEVE in GILMER COUNTY is most often not the truth, and again we have proved that here, so this is the perfect song for the situation reported by Revenge of the Ghost Wolf the finder of truth in Central West Virginia.

Editors note, with text provided by Editor Edison CalPatty Press Editor for Revenge of the Ghost Wolf–

What a big lot of bullshit this meeting about the alleged attempted arson in Normantown WV was which was held almost one month after the alleged incident of Arson August the 13th 2015  —The meeting started out as bullshit because it was suppose to be at 4:30 pm but was changed to 6:30 by the WVDOE but they did not notify anyone about the change in time. Oh, yeah they will deny this fact like the Butcher Bitches denied sucking major dick to their mommy and daddy.

I would like to know who would benefit the most by the Normantown school building burning down, for therein lies the answer to who the people are that are probably responsible for this alleged  arson just waiting to happen.


The deputy fire marshal in charge of the investigation(that will never occur) -Jason D. Baltic Assistant State Fire Marshal is the cover dude. If anyone wants to take action on the debacle —-that is the dude that needs to be removed from this matter entirely. Figure that out, and these lying assholes that includes Cindy Daniel deputy dumb fuck won’t have a cover story and all they will be left with is the lies they are trying to tell while covering up the truth.

My hats off to Dave Ramezan for having the balls to call these people liars to their faces on the below video that is a must see. Also when called liars these pieces of shit don’t even try to deny it. When Dave Corcoran for the Glenville Democrap and Pathfinder of BULLSHIT was called out for making some shit up about bomb threats he quickly backs down and says something to the effect of he may have been mistaken, and that the false reporting was his fault.



Gabe Devono superintendent of Gilmer County Schools is the most dishonest of them all, for he tried to make Dave Ramezan the bad guy by making false statements about the reporting, but the people of GILMER COUNTY KNOW THAT THE GILMER FREE PRESS ALWAYS HAS REPORTED THE TRUTH EVEN IF IT MADE THE GFP UNPOPULAR WITH POWERS THAT BE.





Quoting press release from BOE Head Devono – – –
“I, Gabriel Devono, called the State Fire Marshall, which began a standard investigation.“

Reading the questions on Gilmer Free Press and comparing same with the “I, Gabriel Devano” press release, a body has to wonder if the author of the press release isn’t simply attempting to muddy the waters, brush this ‘candlewick’ attempted arson under the ‘rug-cover’ of the West Virginia Board of Education?

Gilmer citizens are well aware of the lack of transparency,  outright lies, withheld information, lack of notice for what should be public meetings, secret meetings, (principled closed door meetings as the local president refers) disinformation, the pass-the-buck and I’ll get back to you responses.  Which then never happens.

We have almost five years of West Virginia State Board of Education intervention experience now, we know the standard play book responses.  The State Board needs to take note of Abraham Lincoln’s quote, “you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.“  Mr. Green, Mr. Martirano, Mz. Daniel,  here in Gilmer we have been well aware of your game for years now.  You have educated us with the Manchins, McGraws, and Blankenships.

The arson attempt at the Normantown School required a FULL, FORENSIC INVESTIGATION.  Nothing less.

Those attending the spin response in Normantown,  to the arson situation, mentioned several minutes of mostly ‘aah’, ‘aah’, followed by more ‘ahh’, ‘ahh’, and then topped with a helping candy cotton.  Sweet but no substance.

It is important for Gilmer Free Press to publish the video of the meeting if there is one.

What we do know.  We have had a crime, breaking and entering, attempted arson, in a public building with children present.  Common sense would tell you there is an arsonist in our midst.  So what will be the next target?  Glenville Elementary?  Sand Fork Elementary?  Gilmer County High School?  When will the perpetrator strike again?

~~ author on file~~how many ‘aah’ and ‘ahhs’ does it take ~~

The Gilmer Free Press

~~~ Readers’ Comments ~~~

Devono keeps demanding for citizens to call him. Something akin to calling the WVDOE fox in the chicken coop?

You high paid WVDOE big shots should huddle to figure out why the calls are not rolling in. Maybe you could apply one of your rubrics you all like to talk about.

WVDOE why don’t you reassign Devono to do PR to bail you out of your school system money malfunction scandal and to sell your common core snake oil?

By WVDOE IS THE PROBLEM  on  09.16.2015

I could only stomach first 2 minutes of the video.
Went back and counted 25 aah’s in those 2 minutes.

By reader3  on  09.16.2015

Mr. Devano accuses both Calhoun’s Hur Herald and Gilmer Free Press of not printing his “response”??? That’s disturbing since both put his response out in an easily accessible hyperlink. Click and read. This man does not understand how to double click on a link but spend hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars on technology???

It’s obvious all that’s important is his story, not the truth.  The transportation director described something going up stairs and down the hall.  At least he didn’t lie to tell the pile of paper towel on the floor story.

Local Fire and Police not notified? They could have been in the superintendent’s office getting information, on their way to the scene and notifying the Fire Marshal 10 minutes from the time the call came in.

It was the first day of school, Devono didn’t know what it was.  Not a soul brought in to check it that day and the kids stayed on sight. They have gym and music in that building. What if was toxic?? Didn’t he say somebody got sick when they went in there?

By No More Of Forced Intervention  on  09.16.2015

I just watched the video of the Sept. 10 meeting. They reported “a volunteer fireman went into the building to get something” then told who it was. Later, they said the fire department had NOT been notified.  If you were a volunteer fireman and found a wicking set up in a school building that looked like someone was planning arson, would you not notify your own fire department FIRST before even telling the superintendent of schools?? Not one person at that meeting asked how, if a fireman FOUND the problem, the fire department didn’t know about it!  What else don’t we know??
And why aren’t inspections made of closed buildings to be sure there aren’t squatters in them, damage, etc?  That seems very strange.

By Karen Pennebaker  on  09.16.2015

Oh yeah, here we go.  The standard Gilmer County tactic of starting an “investigation” that never gets investigate and never was.  They just keep it ‘open’ so the public can’t get information until the incident and ‘investigation’ is officially closed.  They’ll keep it ‘open’ till people forget… except, people Won’t forget.

I didn’t hear any to any real question get answered in this video, but if they are correct about body language speaking volumes… this video shows it.

By Buy a ticket  on  09.16.2015

WE are on YOUR side Mr. Ramezan!  Your site speaks for itself, documents exist.  You have done nothing but present truth to the people in all of the local counties, you’re a man of your word and you work with TRUE transparency and ability to let people talk, and we THANK YOU!

As the man said, show the people the PICTURES, we know they exist.

By Buy a ticket  on  09.16.2015

Where were the other Board Members?  Why only one from Center District and one from City? Are they too busy worrying about what goes on in Lewis County? Much easier to deal with what you have no say so about isn’t it. (Not that citizens hear anything about that either). What about Gilmer County schools?  Devano admits in a very low tone he didn’t want the Board to say anything after he showed them pictures but never apologized for publishing that across TWO COUNTIES he NEVER told ANYBODY to keep quiet about this?

By State Farce  on  09.16.2015

Watching this performance, hope this State appointed BOE Superintendent doesn’t apply for too many jobs.

By sad performance  on  09.16.2015

Guess that the lady at right foreground is the Daniel lady from state board of education in Charleston?

She attempts to give cover to state superintendent.  Wonder how long it will take her figure out she will have a full time job doing just that?

It appears she does not even understand the roll of a superintendent job to provide information to a wide variety of people, primarily the elected board.

By Beall Family  on  09.16.2015

Did I see this guy on SNL ?

By job opening  on  09.16.2015

This lady Mrs. Daniel is there to support the state superintendent from what this video shows.  It was good of her to let the public talk but is she going to do anything about the superintendent’s intentional secrecy?  Can she do anything to bring about transparency from any state appointed superintendent without Mr. Martirano’s say so? Exactly who is the head boss man in Charleston? Are the county superintendents running the show with no one to answer to when they do wrong?

By Terrell H.  on  09.16.2015

Why is the WVDOE behind Calhoun with using even the most basic of technology?

Why couldn’t the WVDOE have used the 107.7 radio station to announce the change of time for the Normantown meeting? Mr. Woodward who is Calhoun’s school superintendent did it today when there was a water problem.

I will tell you why. The WVDOE did not want many to know about the meeting time change so people who would come early would go home and not be heard!

The time switcheroo and scheduling the meeting at a time with a known conflict for families by the WVDOE shows the level of dishonesty we are up against.

Mr. Joe Frasure, you gained lots of admiration when you refused to lie about the wick. If retaliation for your honesty is hinted or if it occurs in the slightest way the WVDOE will have more blow back and it will not be held back.

By Frank George  on  09.16.2015

So the custodian’s son was in the building on the first day of school. Why? Not an employee and not a fireman.  Why was he even there?  Who was this so called fireman that didn’t report to his Chief?  Not one from Gilmer County and that’s for sure.
The Fire Marshal took pictures so why would he need Mr. Devono’s? Do the facts change according to who has the documents and who does the reporting? So it would seem.
Why is it under investigation if the evidence was too old and the police not called in?  Will the “investigation” stay open until somebody confesses?  More than likely that’s how long it will be until anyone gets to see those pictures.
When the Superintendent and his own employee’s story of what was there differ what do you belive.
It’s almost pathological how fast Mr Devono will change his story. I didn’t say keep a secret, I said not to say anything.  It was a fireman, it was the janitor’s son.

By Phooey  on  09.16.2015

Lowest blow yet to attack the GFP and David Ramezan after what this county has gone through with the lies, secrecy, mismanagement, waste, cover up, deceit, and treachery.

Were it not for the GFP the Normantown incident would have been swept under the rug which is exactly what the WVDOE intended.

How has all this worked out for you WVDOE? Someone wrote in that the WVDOE is its own worst enemy which is the truth.

By WVDOE Attacks GFP  on  09.16.2015

After this latest Normantown slap it is more evident that the WVDOE opposes all local level authority.

What a low blow not to involve our local fire fighters who risk their lives all the time or us. They would have known what to do and to do it right.

That is what the WVDOE did not want to happen——doing it right and in a timely way to try to catch the criminal.

The crime scene is contaminated, bats were added to the story, and the WVDOE’s spin machine is going full throttle.

By Rex Barnes  on  09.16.2015

Let us pray that the DOE’s rep applies for other jobs. If he will let us know each time he does, we will hold county-wide prayer vigils to ask for divine intervention for his career advancement.

By Career Advancement  on  09.16.2015

The comment about what can Dr. Daniel do is a good one. As a case in point the Clarksburg paper announced that Mr. Devono was selected as Blankenship’s replacement. That was in April or May of the year he arrived in Gilmer County.

The interesting point is that it was not until June of that year when it was on the WVBOE’s agenda to consider Devono’s move from RESA 7 to be the appointed superintendent.

How can that be explained? It does not seem that anyone, including Dr. Daniel, in the WVDOE or the WVBOE has authority to supervise intervention superintendents or to make decisions affecting them.

By Mystery  on  09.16.2015

There was no sense of urgency on the part of the Superintendent or it wouldn’t have been four days later before he even hinted of the problem to local BOE. He didn’t find it necessary to report it to local constabulary at all so what would make anyone believe he’d called the state any quicker? He has no track record of good faith action in Gilmer County. Don’t believe he has one in Charleston either.

By Bull Run Watcher  on  09.16.2015

Two of 5 local school board members attended.
Misty has much illness in her family.  Understand.
Dr. Armour and Mrs. Hurley appeared as responsible, concerned, and interested board members.
Bill Simmons and Tom Ratliff.  Where were you?
You both will be remembered come election time.

By Troy parent  on  09.16.2015

The Gilmer Free PressThe WVDOE’s attacks on The Free Press in their press release prompt far more questions to be asked than it does to clear up the arson mystery at the old Normantown grade school.

A response to the following questions by the WVDOE would be appreciated for clarification purposes.

Instead of naming persons the acronym WVDOE is used instead of referencing specific individuals.

The Gilmer Free Press    •  Because of the serious nature of the Normantown CSI issue as originally reported by the GFP, who at the WVDOE approved public release of the WVDOE’s responseto the original GFP CSI article? If none of the officials approved the release in advance was it not an example of inept management for the material to be published without prior official approval to give the distinct impression of inadequate WVDOE oversight during intervention?

The Gilmer Free Press    •  When the Normantown CSI incident was first known about was the crime scene adequately and immediately secured to prevent unauthorized access as is always done with superior law enforcement investigative work?

The Gilmer Free Press    •  When the crime incident was noticed the first time did the discoverer enter the building to get a personal look at what was there, and was that person interviewed by qualified law enforcement professionals to result in an official statement being available for public review?

The Gilmer Free Press    •  Who took pictures of the interior of the building to obtain immediate proof of what had occurred, and where are the pictures now? Were any of the individuals associated with the WV Fire Marshal’s office, the NES, the prosecuting attorney, local or State law enforcement or any other official entity?

The Gilmer Free Press    •  In the WVDOE’s reply to the GFP CSI article, paper towels were mentioned as the only visible evidence that could be interpreted as preparation work for arson. How can it be explained that at the last school board meeting, as seen and overheard by witnesses, the WVDOE representative showed pictures of the arson preparation described as exceptionally sophisticated, extensive, and indicative of work of a professional arsonist? Will the WVDOE project those same pictures on a screen at the Normantown town hall meeting on September 10, 2015, and will legally valid verification from all five Gilmer county school board members be submitted to prove that the same pictures were shown to them?

The Gilmer Free Press    •  Although there is no present proof that the arson preparation qualified as terrorism under U. S. federal government criteria, was the U. S. Tobacco and Fire Arms agency called to investigate as a precaution?

The Gilmer Free Press    •  Would the WVDOE explain why at the last board meeting its representative spoke about the elaborate professionally done preparation which had occurred for a devastating fire, and why it is claimed now that only a few incidental paper towels were observed at the crime scene? The WVDOE representative spoke of placement of a candle wick which is far more complicated and effective as an arson tool compared to a few scattered paper towels. WVDE in its press release mentions only paper towels. How did paper towels get tied into knots and made into a rope that goes upstairs and crisscrossed the ceiling? WVDE’s Superintendent even put his arms in a circle to show how big the candle base was with the “rope” going up the stairs coming out of it as a wick. furthermore, what investigation?  How can there be no threat to a building used every day by students? The observable fact is the Kindergarten and Pre-K classrooms are physically attached to that building.

The Gilmer Free Press    •  There is reference to a volunteer member of the local fire department entering the building on August 13, 2015 to inspect the crime scene. Was this an official act with witnesses in compliance with prescribed investigative procedures to protect the integrity of the original crime scene? Was the individual certified to be professionally qualified to perform investigative work? Who was the individual and did he/she file an official report to include pictures for citizens to review? During that conversation WVDE’s Superintendent made reference to some fire fighters liking to watch fires burn.  The school board member from Normantown specifically said “NO Normantown volunteer would EVER do such a thing”.

The Gilmer Free Press    •  Regarding the WVDOE’s pictures of the crime scene shown at the school board meeting, because they pertained to official school system business are they available as part of the official public record for citizens to review?

The Gilmer Free Press    •  Early on was the crime scene thoroughly checked for hair, fiber, DNA and other evidence by qualified experts in compliance with standard procedures for professionally done crime scene investigation work?

The Gilmer Free Press    •  Would all five members of our elected school board sign a notarized affidavit that they were not shown pictures of the complicated candle wick preparation work discussed by the WVDOE’s representative and they were not ordered to keep the arson planning incident quiet?

The Gilmer Free Press    •  With all the confusion would the WVDOE explain why citizens are unreasonable to question if there was crime scene tampering to elevate the original arson preparation incident to a higher level of criminality?

The Gilmer Free PressThe purpose of this article is to attempt to get the truth to help ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the County’s children, and to keep citizens informed.

The building has no fire suppression system and no sprinklers. Fire drills used to be the order of the day.  If we pull one of the alarms in the buildings used is there guarantee an alarm would go off? The alarms from the cafeteria building were hooked in for the trailers.  If one pull one of those, does it work?

Since the school system has been under State intervention for the past five years has Board of Education been permitted to walk through a single school and check the condition of any building?

This article has nothing to do to intentionally belittle the reputation of any individual through inference or any other deliberate intent.

Instead, the WVDOE is being held accountable for answers for Gilmer County’s people.


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